Ajattelin huntuja ja kerroksia / Veils and layers


Päärmätessä ajatus lentää. Viime aikoina olen ajatellut huntuja – tarkemmin sanottuna tapoja pitää niitä. Olen ryydittänyt päärmäyssessioita katselemalla kuvia aikakauden muodista. Hautapaasissa on se mahtavuus, että niiden kolmiulotteisuus auttaa näkemään kerroksellisuutta paremmin kuin vaikkapa maalauksissa, miniatyyreistä puhumattakaan.

Tämä sivu on esimerkiksi varsinainen herkku. Silmään sattuu aina jotain uutta! (kiitos Utalle siitä, että muistin sen taas)

Olen kiinnittänyt huomiota siihen, millaisia kerroksia huntujen alla näkyy. Ja miten monta kerrosta sieltä paljastuukaan, ja mitä muotoja. Melkein vakuumiin vedetyt leukaliinat, pienet rypytykset siellä täällä. Erityisesti kiinnostaa se, miten kasvojen ympärille saadaan ”kulmikas” kehys. Ja on muutakin jännää - esimerkiksi joillakin on ollut tapana pukea tavallinen huntu röyhelöhunnun päälle…

Mieleen hiipii väistämättä, että olen ehkä käyttänyt liian vähän huntuja päällekkäin. Ajatusta on vahvistanut se, että aikalaiskritiikeissä muodikkaita naisia on arvosteltu niin painavista päähineistä, että kaula hädin jaksaa niitä kantaa. Mutta eihän pelkkä myssy, leukaliina ja huntu paina juuri mitään!

Kaivauduin huntuvarastooni, otin kuvista mallia ja ryhdyin kerrostelemaan ja kokeilemaan uusia tyylejä. Miten paljon kaikenlaista saakaan aikaan eri tavoin kerrostelemalla! Yllä iloksenne muutama hassu kuva koelaboratoriostani (hunnut suoraan laatikosta, mukana silmämeikki ja rillit, wheee!). Kuvassa alhaalla oikealla on röyhelön ensimmäinen koeponnistus.

Olen kiinnostunut kuulemaan, mitä te, rakkaat lukijat, olette näistä asioista mieltä? Monta kerrosta teillä on huntuja? Mitä kaikkea niiden alta löytyy? Miksi huntupäähineet painoivat paljon (arvostelijoiden mielestä?).


Hemming makes the mind wander. Lately I’ve been thinking about veils – or more precisely: the ways in which to wear them. While hemming, I’ve entertained myself with pictures of 14th century fashion. I like effigies because being three dimensional, they provide a beter look into the layers.

This page is pure awesomeness. Everytime I look at it, I see something new. (Thanks to Uta for reminding me to look at it again).

Looking at effigies it is hard not to see all the layers underneath veils. And I see more layers than I usually wear – and all sorts of fascinating shapes. The wimples that almost create a vacuum, the small frills and the square veil shape that surrounds the face. And other fun things – like the way of wearing a regular veil over splendid frills.

I cannot help but wonder whether I have worn way too few veils at a time. My suspicion grows stronger when I read the contemporary medieval commentators critisize women of their headdress being so heavy they can hardly keep their heads straight. But a cap, wimple and veil hardly weigh a thing!

So I dug into my veil drawer, looked at some pictures and experimented. It was so much fun! As you can see in the weirdo pics from my test lab above, you can get so many different styles with a couple of veils and some pins. If you ignore the wrinkly veils, makeup and glasses, you can see also the first tryout of the first frill in my latest set of frills coming up.

But now I want to ask you, dear readers: what do you think about veils and layers? How many layers do you wear? What do you think goes underneath? Why did / did they weigh so much? 


13 vastausta artikkeliin “Ajattelin huntuja ja kerroksia / Veils and layers”

  1. I usually wear a kerchief or cap to hold my hair, a wimple, and a top layer. My ruffled veil is 5m long and has enough heft to it that I can tell when I don’t have it balanced. I wonder how much some of the decorated hair nets, cauls, and headbands (the ones with the mounts) weighed, though. I also wonder how many were using false hair that would add to the weight. (My own hair can give me a headache if I don’t have it braided evenly.)

      1. I just weighed it, and I’m surprised that it’s only 9 ounces. If you want to see it, I have pictures on my very new facebook page Elisa’s Endeavors.

  2. I guess one reason women wore so many layers of wimples and veils was the simple reason it gave them an opportunity to show off how many they could afford to buy and keep well laundered, ironed and starched (did they starch veils?).

    I usually wear a cap, wimple and one veil, but then I portray a simple hand gunners wife in a military camp, and not an affluent woman of leisure :)

    1. Excellent point, layers are a way of showing wealth. And having it meant flaunting it in the medieval era.

      I also believe they did starch veils – the frills and ruffs generally really benefit from that. Should look more into starching in the 14thC, if I could find real evidence. 16th C shows craftsmen that specialise in starching frills, but what about before?(I’m just full of questions today! :D)

  3. I haven´t tried the 14th century veils that much, but when I do I use three layers, cap, neck vimple and veil. But for the 15th century styles I can use any number of veils and vimples, up to 5-6 at a time. And I too think it was a way to show off how wealthy you were.

    1. Interesting! If you wear 5 or 6 layers of veils, how do you layer them? How does it add to the look/weight? How does the style evolve during the 15th C? Or is there any transition to be seen?

  4. I have cap, neck wimple and a veil, but I have used my frilled veil so that I have a large veil under it and frilled on top. And I love the feeling it gives ;D (look, all this white linen I have)

  5. I have a difficult time wearing veils, mostly because I can’t seem to settle on a style I like. Right now, I’m in the process of changing the style of clothing I wear so I’ll be wearing little caps instead of veils. I’m looking forward to it as it always seems the wind catches my veils and hits me in the face!! Not terribly graceful, I’m afraid. ;-)

  6. I generally portray something along the lines of ’reasonably comfortable but firmly lower class’. I have:

    – my own hair which is now an inch or two off knee length and moderately thick (I mostly do a ’coronet plait’ – basically a single ’english’ plait at centre back pinned up in a crown-shape around the head – as this is least visible under the veils and I usually don’t have time or a posh enough character to do fancy visible hairstyles)
    – fillet
    – smallish wimple (one that is pinned to itself at the crown and is not long enough to completely cover the back of the head/hair/back of neck on its own)
    – moderately sized square veil (reaches between shoulder- and armpit-level at back and a bit past chin at front)
    – often, straw hat

    Of all of that, the bit that is most able to feel ’heavy’ is the hair itself. However, that is not due to actual weight but rather improper weight distribution and/or having the weight suspended from too few pins or pins in the wrong place. Seeing as it’s my own hair I have to deal with that all the time, though, so I’m pretty adept at getting the style in the right place and pinned correctly so it’s comfortable.

    As far as veil layers go – certainly 14th C effigies suggest many more layers were often worn than just the 2-3 that I wear. (I love the temple buns, wimples and and multiple veil layers of approx. 1340). Certainly 14th C effigies show far more than the 1 that most reenactors I know wear. However, those are very rich upper class women… what the poorer women were wearing I don’t know. Some manuscripts (e.g. Roman de la Rose) suggest a single square veil (possibly with a small ruffle) or a rectangular veil wrapped in a style more commonly associated with the Anglo-Saxon and early Norman eras by reenactors.

    I can certainly think that veils could be a good way of displaying material wealth – the fineness of the fabric, use of silk, the whiteness of the fabric, the amount of fabric, ruffles, number of layers – even the number of pins as pins were an expensive commodity (even plain pins with wrapped wire heads).

    Perhaps the middle classes used veils to show off as it might be cheaper than a dress? Or perhaps that is a modern perspective speaking, as the dress would not need the constant washing and bleaching and starching and tending that veils would?

    Another consideration – I wonder whether there were differences in veils for activities as well as class. One of the main issues with masses of veils when reenacting is that we (at least) are usually outside where the wind and rain plays havoc with them. Presumably there would be more elaborate veils for special occasions (church, court, feasts and festivals), less elaborate ones for everyday and even less elaborate ones for travel/pilgrimage/etc.?

  7. When wearing 14th century style, I wear 3-4 layers, depending on the veils I use. Though I must say, that the handwoven veils I have are softer and drape much much nicer than modern machine made linen. And they are lighter.
    The frilled veil (the frilled edge is woven) measures nearly 4 meters, I usually use it for 15th century styles (there are so many funky styles, from neatly stacked pleats to ”a headcloth fell from sky and landed on a head” to simply pinned on over braids (though that’s too daring for me)

    Back to the layers:
    see here:
    – woven ribbon to keep the braids in place.
    – small cloth to keep the braids and the ribbon in place.
    – wimple (pinned close in the back)
    – Top layer (here a normal cloth, not rounded)

    1. That looks lovely! Now I also have handwoven linen veil envy. :) All the handwoven linens I have are either bedsheets or even coarser.

      I’d also love to see pictures of your frilled veil.


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