hsifeng: (Sudlerin)

I was recently asked by a friend to describe how I had made one of the first Steuchlein’s I ever attempted. I make no bones about the fact that this is *not* a historically correct version – although the end results are nice looking.

What you will need:

Get a large, plastic coffee tin lid. The old fashioned Yuban or Folgers type. This need to be clear/white in color. I know more modern Folger’s lids are red… You can also use a smaller macramé hoop (metal ring).

Heavy weight buckram; about 1/2 yard.

Batting or rope roving (see below for description of use to get an idea of how much you might want)

Linen fabric (see note for batting above)

Silk/light weight veil fabric (see note for linen above)

Historical pins; I recommend between 8 - 20 depending on your budget (available at a number of online retailers)

Here are the basics:

Using the lid/ring as base, build a buckram ‘flower pot’; the lid should be the smallest point, with the buckram flaring out from that size to a size that will fit your head (behind your ears). You can cut the buckram so that it fits around your ears more easily once your basic shape is done. The angle that you cut it at will determine where the ‘crown’ of your hat sits (bigger and higher up in earlier period, smaller and more toward the back of the head is later period).

At the front peak of the flowerpot (the point where it rests on the top of your head) sew in a haircomb. This will keep the whole thing in place.

Once your flowerpot is done, use batting (or ‘rope roving’ – the sort of batting that comes in a coil) to pad the area around the base of your flowerpot (nearest to the lid/hoop) to whatever size you want; again bigger = earlier, smaller = later.

Now, you will want to find some pretty linen fabric (maybe with a woven in pattern of some sort). Make sure you have at least one layer of linen that is thick enough to use as a base that will conceal the support structure you have built. You will drape this fabric over the flowerpot, making sure to leave enough overlapping the front edge to cover your forehead. I usually start out with a square of linen that is my head measurement + 6” wide and my center forehead, back over the top of the flowerpot to the base of my neck + 6” long.

To begin draping, I recommend that you pin this fabric in place at approximately the same spot that you put the hair comb (don’t forget to leave the extra draped for covering your forehead!). Once this is secured, begin making pleats over the ‘base’ of your flowerpot. These can be arranged in a number of ways, but should gather the fabric in to the base of your neck.

Try the hat on. If the fabric is arranged to your liking, you are ready to sew it into place. If not, play with it until you like the way it looks.

Once the fabric is draped (and remember, you may be doing more than one layer if your ‘pretty linen’ needs a heavier underlayer in order to cover your hats framework) hand-sew your pleats in place. You should do this so that there are a minimum of stitches showing on the outer layer of the hat. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, I recommend sewing on the underside of your pleats, securing them to your batting layer.

Once this is done, you can make the extra gathered fabric at the base of your nape neater by cutting away any excess, and then covering the cut ends with a rectangular ‘pouch’ of the same fabric. You see this sort of rectangle on the backside of a number of these hats.

Finally, get yourself some very light (silk?) veil fabric. Cut and hem this to about the same size as your linen layers (maybe a skosh bigger). I recommend not sewing this layer on, but instead using tiny brass pins (as were used in the period) to secure it and it’s pleating to your hat. 


Out of sense of fair warning, I must say that the disadvantage of this style are:

1)      It is not easy to clean, and you will end up with ‘ring around the forehead’. You could solve this with an internal layer that you can take off to launder more easily;

2)       This version does not have a lot of ‘squish’ factor without doing some permanent damage to the hat. You may want a hatbox for storage, and wearing a Tellerbarret (pizza hat) over this version would be difficult in a larger size.

 The results will probably look something like this (dont' judge, it was my first German outfit...*chuckle*):

hsifeng: (Sudlerin)

See, if you just wait long enough, someone else finds/figures out the details for you.

My exploration of Steuchlein/Wulst/Zopfe combinations got derailed last year due to some rather confusing results in the mock-up stages (“Wait, the JA coifs are *how* small when made up to scale?!?”, “Why the hell to the braids not work with this stuffing, what should I be using instead?!?”, etc.).

Due to some conversation with [livejournal.com profile] sstormwatch last night while working on the BBB project (which is coming along ‘swimmingly’….*chortle*), I think I am going to get back on the case this summer. And then, the universe desided to point out some new ideas via [livejournal.com profile] vanagnessayem‘s blog about her Durer braids (and her subsequent discovery of this lovely blog that talks all about Zopfe among other things).

hsifeng: (Sudlerin)
Where is that drawing board?

OK, some discussion/results on Marion's blog has me thinking about my long-forgotten Steuchlein recreation project.

That, and I love this hat! "Ohhhh...spanglees!"

I need to look back over all the TH translations that jillwheezul did and come up with some thoughts. I don't know why I think that the answer regarding the number/types of layers in this garment will be clear (we're talking about a bit of clothing history where there are no extant pieces to examine), but I think it may be different than the one I had previously come up with...

hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)
Today was nice, and very productive. I managed to do laundry, cook a ham, work on the garden and yard, study for German (class starts up again tomorrow), get to Home Depot, take care of a sick hubby...

AND get some sewing done! *grin* )
hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)
*does a little dance*

So, I got a reply from Elizabeth Bryan from the MET Costume Institute today. I am going to copy and paste it, along with the questions from the original message text, for future reference. 

*Note: I am interested in her response regarding the presence of a 'back seam' not clearly visible from the original photo of the cap.

Dear Cherylyn,

Thank you for your e-mail and interest in The Costume Institute. 

Q:   Where is the cap originally from? A: Unknown- database states German

Q:   Is there any more date-specific information to be had (early, mid- or late century)?  A:  no

Q:  Is there any hypothesis as to the gender of the intended wearer? (We would assume for a woman.)   A: no

Q: Are there diagrammatic sketches of the cap available with measurements?    A:no sketches- (Specifically, is the 13 X 11 inch measurement of the cap when flat, or of the entire length and width of the cap?) length flat 11” width flat 9 ½”

Q: The seam running from the wide/dark border to the narrower border (and apparently through the line of embroidery) appear to curve rather than create a 90 degree angle; is this the case, or an effect of the manner in which the cap is displayed?    A: curve

Q:  Other than those seams visible in the image, are there any others that are not clearly visible? A:back seam that begin from 5 ½ inch from center top to band

Q: The narrower of the two reinforced edges (parallel to the line of embroidery work), appears to have been gathered at some point. Is there any evidence of how this gathering was created; if it was a part of the original cap design, or instead a result of the method in which the cap was stored?    A: no

Q:    How was this edge finished? (Bias) Tape? Wide hem? - THIS QUESTION MAY NOT HAVE BEEN ANSWERED BY THE "No" ABOVE...

Q:   Is the cap lined? Is the darker/wider band of cloth self-lined or lined in another fabric?   A: cap is lined – it appears to be a past conservation treatment

Q:   Does the difference in color between the band and the main ‘body’ of the cap indicate a change in fabric, or the presence of dye?  A:unclear

Please note that we have answered your questions to the best of our ability.  Unfortunately, we are closed for research appointment to date as we are working on an assessment of our collection and are photographing the entire collection.  However in the future I would suggest that if there are any objects that capture your interest as a costume historian that you may want to schedule an appointment to do further research as we may not be providing the details to your satisfaction.

With your permission we can place you on our e-mail and mailing list to keep you abreast of our progress and appointment availability in the future.

Best of luck with your projects.


Elizabeth Bryan

Elizabeth Q. Bryan, Senior Research Associate

Collections Manager

The Costume Institute

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1000 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY 10028-0198

(212) 396-5441

hsifeng: (Default)


I didn't find a direct contact for the "Rogers Fund" and I am unable to locate information on how to contact "The Costume Institute" Department that the cap/coif is housed in. No contact information on the Met site or via Google that I could locate for any of these departments, or for the Costume Institute in general. *le sigh* I did find this list of folks associated with the Costume Institute, also no luck on contact e-mails or phone numbers:

Harold Koda, Curator in Charge
Andrew Bolton, Curator
Christine Paulocik, Conservator
Jessica Regan, Research Associate

In researching information on one of the conservators who worked on the identification of a late 16th C. Spanish jerkin (Christine Paulocik), I discovered this little jewel at the Met website.

So, in researching where to send my little letter for more information on the German silk cap. I found this link, and I believe that this is my best choice for contact:

Antonio Ratti Textile Center and Reference Library
Phone: 212-650-2310
Fax: 212-650-2676
Email: rattitextile.center@metmuseum.org

Anyone have a different opinion?

The Costume Institute direct line is 212-570-3908.  I have left a message with their phone service. With any luck they will ring me back!

Got a call back with contact information for Elizabeth Bryan (Senor Research Associate @ the Costume Institute). I will be sending her a message, just in case she feels especially inclined to help!

hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)
OK folks. I have drafted a letter for the Met (I still need to figure out who there to send it to...but that is the next step). Please review it and let me know if you have any other questions you would like included or if you believe there should be other changes to the letters contents.

Thank you!


Good Afternoon,

Allow me to introduce myself; my name is Cherylyn Crill-Hornsby and I am writing to you today on behalf of a group of historical costumers who are interested in further details regarding the item described below and shown in the attached image (image of cap will be attached to the acutal e-mail to the Met. In the meantime, go here if you want to see it in my prior entry). 

Cap (Coif)
, 16th century
silk; 13 x 11in. (33 x 27.9cm)
Rogers Fund, 1908 (Accession # 08.194.1)


After some debate as to the original use of this cap in the arrangement of layers composing 16th C German headdress, we would like to seek further information from the Met on this item. Specifically, we are hoping to answer the following question:


1)     Where was the cap original from?

2)     Is there any more date specific information to be had (early, mid or late century)?

3)     Is there any hypothesis as to the gender of the intended wearer (we would assume for a woman)?

4)     Are there diagrammatic sketches of the cap available with measurements?

a.      Specifically, is the 13 X 11 inch measurement of the cap when flat, or of the entire length and width of the cap?

5)     The seam running from the wide/dark boarder to the narrower boarder (and apparently through the line of embroidery) appear to curve rather than create a 90 degree angle; is this the case or a matter of the manner in which the cap is displayed?

a.      Other than those seams visible in the image , are there any others that are not clearly visible?

6)     The narrower of the two reinforced edges (parallel to the line of embroidery work), appears to have been gathered at some point. Is there any evidence of how this gathering was done and if it was a part of the original cap design – or perhaps instead a mater of the method in which the cap was stored?

a.      How was this edge finished? (Bias) Tape? Wide hem?

7)     Is the cap lined? Is the darker/wider band of cloth self lined or lined in another fabric?

8)     Does the difference in color between the band and the main ‘body’ of the cap indicate a change in fabric, or the presence of dye?


We hope to use this information to help in the recreation of historically documentable head wear for this time period. The number of extant pieces that are available for research of this type is extremely limited, and can make these reconstructions highly conjectural.


Given the sometimes complex structures represented in art, this lack of original resources represents a great challenge, but one that we welcome: With your assistance, we hope to be one step closer to determining how these many-layered hats were structured and worn.


Thank you for your assistance!




My Signature

hsifeng: (Creative)
[livejournal.com profile] jillwheezul just posted this item on the GRC list on Yahoo! groups. I have seen it before, and some thoughts she expressed about the piece got me thinking about it again. *click on the image below to go to the original listing at the Met*

Cap (Coif), 16th century
silk; 13 x 11in. (33 x 27.9cm)
Rogers Fund, 1908 (08.194.1)

Having made both the Tudor Tailor 'cap/coif' and a mock up of [livejournal.com profile] attack_laurel 's take on the Elizabethian coif (which I understand come at the same hat from two VERY different angles), I have been left to wonder if this hat is a sort of hybrid of both concepts.

Now to consider, is 13" X 11" enough to have it fit *over* a wulsthaube, or is this an underlayer?
hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)

My friend Pax pointed out to me that the overall shape of the Italian Blazo is very similar to the shape of a German Steuchlein in many ways.  He suggested I do some internet searching on the subject to see if I could find anything telling on this similarity.


Damn him. (*grin*)


The very first site that popped up was this one , and it reminded me all over again that I have been curious about the possibility of wooden ‘Wulst’ structures for some time. This curiosity comes to me at least in part because I seem to recall that the term ‘Wulst’ is universally used to describe the understructure of a wide variety of linen hats for German women in the 16th C, including the HUGE ‘Nürnberg Church Hats’ (Sturtz).


Having made ‘stuffed linen roll’ versions of the Wulst in multiple sizes, I can say that the larger ones would be difficult to place as far back as they are portrayed without *some* sort of caged frame to support them. In my very first Steuchlein, I took care of this issue by making a ‘fez’ of buckram, reinforcing the end with a coffee canister lid and putting the roll on it – the result was perfect looking, but lacked in the accuracy department.


Well, I have an event by a river coming up in November, perhaps I will gather some willow branches and ‘have at’ with some twine to see if I can craft something that would work….

Time to revive some of those ‘underwater basket weaving’ skills* I got at community college!



*I mean it, I really did take basket weaving as a part of an overall ‘fiber arts’ class at Fresno City College YEARS ago. We went to the river and got willow switches with weave with for part of a project and we ended up weaving them partially underwater to help them preserve their suppleness.

hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)
OK, so I just talked [livejournal.com profile] sstormwatch  into helping out with some photo demos' of possible layer combinations for making up a Steuchlein. (*HUGS* Thank you!)

There are a few different styles I would like to try and recreate, clearly they all involve ‘similar’ layers, worn in a variety of ways. The layers as I see them are as follows:

False braids - Zopfe (*not everyone would need these, but I am going to try them out)
Understructure – Wulst
Cap – Wulsthaube
Veils – Schleiertuch
Chinband – Kinnbinde

For these parts, I am going to assemble the following pieces:

False braids
One pair of Zopfe - which appear to require about ‘one ell’ and then some of fabric (around 45” – 50” at a width of about 25”), plus stuffing.

One curved ‘crescent’ Wulst
One rounded ‘roll’ Wulst

*One under-Wulst-cap/Wulsthaube based on this style  - having worn my other versions of a Steuchlein a few times, I know that having something under all those other layers that help keep them clean is a good plan.
*Two over-Wulst-cap/Wulsthaube based on this style in two different colors

Two basic Schleiertuch in linen in two different colors
One basic Schleiertuch in silk
One extended Schleiertuch in silk based on this model

Two Kinnbinde in two different colors

Why two colors you ask? I am interested in showing how the layers interact in a variety of combinations.

The following images demonstrate the styles I would like to attempt to recreate.  )

hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)
Textile Conservation and Research. A Documentation of the Textile Department on the 20th Anniversary of the Abegg Foundation.
Bern, Schriften der Abbeg-stiftung, 1988

Awhile back I managed to ILL this book (I love my librarians!) - I took a whole lot of photos with the intention of posting them online for discussion and future reading. Then our laptop hard drive died. I lost a boatload of research and articles I have written over the years. But thankfully, all the photos I took of the Abbeg book were still on the digital camera!

So, now that I have learned my lesson and *will* be webbing my stuff from now on (*beating head against desk*) I am going to start putting up sections from the book for folks to consider and discuss.

I will be breaking this down into 'single subjects so that the number of pictures per entry don't get totally out of hand.

Women's bonnet from Gelterkinden... )
hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)
I am collecting my thoughts for my Steuchlein mock up attempt tonight and tomorrow: Here are a few inspiration sites that I haven’t listed already in this vein.
Katinka’s version of a Wulst with attached hair band. (“Look ma, no hair combs!”)
*getting excited about the project*

Hey [profile] sstormwatch, I know it's late notice - you interested in joining me?
hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)


Clicking on the image will take you to the original bildindex entry.

Per Babelfish, the upper caption reads:

+1,200,199 Berlin, copper pass cabinet, Albrecht Dürer, still life, feather/spring design? (Aufn. 1900-40)

The lower caption reads:

obj 00030727 Dürer, Albrecht, still life with apron, desk and Tintenfaβ, 1512/1514, sketch, Berlin, national museums to Berlin - Preuβi cultural possession, copper pass cabinet - collection of the Zeichnunger and printing graphics

NOTES: OK, I know that the caption says 'apron', but given the scale of the objects involved (and my own stubborn will, I am sure) I am having a hard time believing that this is an apron. During this period, aprons weren't tiny little affairs worn by French maids. 


Also, during the 1512/1514 period Albrecht was living in Nürnberg producing art for Maximiian I. This was between his trips to Italy and to Antwerp and therefore means that this image is most likely German in origin.

hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)
[livejournal.com profile] dragonwoman found this lovely image for me. It is a little 'later period' but has some very nice color definition of the various layers that make up this type of head covering.

Cut for HUGE version of this image... )

Edit @ 4:56 PST: 

Rather than posting *yet another* entry just to add another layers image, here is a close up of the figure wearing the Steuchlein style hat from the 'Anna Meyer' alterpiece. Thank you again [livejournal.com profile] dragonwoman!

I am facinated by how the sheer veil appears to be sandwiched between the Wulsthaube (?) layer and the outer layer that seems to lay mostly at the back of the hat and perhaps also has the chinstrap attached in the same piece?

EDIT 11/18/08: Another lovely image from [livejournal.com profile] dragonwoman - yes, that is someone in a baptismal that you see there in the background. Take it as allegory as you will...

hsifeng: (Creative)

I've been brewing over ideas about the construction for the Wulst/Wulsthaube/Steuchlein &  'chin strap'**. Now I am going back and attempting to compile the various internet resources I have available from those that have made these before.

[personal profile] marion has a lovely site with information on her construction and research.

[profile] saragrace and Heather also put together a couple of pages on how they got their Wulst and vached Steuchlein working.

Going back over the TH translations from [personal profile] jillwheezul: "Formwise the Bündlein followed the same contour of the Sturz, except that the circumference was considerably reduced to an outer bow on the back of the head, progressively becoming smaller each year until it slipped below the crown to follow the natural shape of the head. A tightly bound edge over the front of the forehead along with the decorated border (Borte) sitting on top of the hair line creates the festive Steuchlein look. Solely in the tightly bound chin-strap did the medieval “gebande” headgear live on, and this was distinctive from all other upper class headdress in this time period. Early in the second half of the 16th century the chin band began to be loosened around the neck, although it remained an essential element for the Bündlein."

OK - while I have a good idea of what I want to build, I am going to have to *finally* go back a reread all the 'Wulst' supported hat sections of the TH with the actual book in had so that I can review the images at the same time and try to get the best possible idea of the differences between a Bündlein & a Steuchlein.

Also, it is finally getting through my skull that a 'Wulst' is *any* supporting cap structure for these final hat shapes...rather than always being a roll. At least that is what I get via the re-read of the Sturz materials (since clearly, it isn't just a roll holding up all those high flying layers of church hat...

[personal profile] hsifeng...Hat Detective....*snort*

**"I want to be a German Ninja!" Seriously though, my 'mock chin strap' ala the various images of women following military trains saved my lungs a lot of dust at my last events.
hsifeng: (Creative)

The furthest I got on the recreation of this piece was completing the Wulst roll (and inspiring a slew of folks to do the same!): [profile] amatilda and I are planning on hosting a workshop on recreating this many-layered marvel in detail sometime in August. I am hoping to come up with some sort of coif/hat that will act as the 'Wulsthaube' (pad, roll or ring-hat):

"All the previously described lady’s caps/coifs show a recognizably similar construction. Over a shape supporting under cap/coif, which was at first constructed with a high bow shaped arch, later becoming a light accentuation on the back of the head, was placed an over cap/coif, leaving the shape of the under cap/coif only visible through the impression of the curved shape of the over cap/coif. Depending on place and occasion the materials range from plain linen, to delicately transparent woven silk. The width and design of the appropriate decorated border depended on the social status of the wearer. Wulsthauben” (support cap) are recorded for each type of cap/coif (hauben)." ("Textiler Hausrat" by Jutta Zander-Seidel, translated by [personal profile] jillwheezul

In 'my' version of this hat, there is at least three layers: Wulst, Wulsthaube/coif, Schleier/shapped veil/embroidered over-coif.
For those images that have the lighter 'outer layer' I would add a light silk veil as a fourth layer and to protect my embroidery.

Was looking at [profile] attack_laurel 's website today: http://www.extremecostuming.com/reproductions/vacoift281975.html 

I think I am going to start testing out this 'sort' of basic shape with more 'room' in the back as my Wulsthaube layer. Holding the Wulst in a position to the extream rear of the head (which was common in the early period) is hard to do without 'cheating' via combs attached to the bottom of the roll. I am trying to get a final form that will hold the roll of the Wulst in place without any need for pinning the Wulst to my head/hair. 

Then I can work on creating a sort of formed Schleier (a modified rectangle, shapped with less fabric toward the front edges and embroidered for decoration). 

Then I can figure out how to pin it all together and add the silk veil. 

Any thoughts on shaping from those with more patterning experiance (everyone?) are appreciated! Thanks for listening.


May. 30th, 2008 03:12 pm
hsifeng: (Creative)
So, I am in the process of updating my Steuchlein. Last weekend I did some work with hair taping and played around with a new Wulst roll: I liked the results enough that I am proceeding with phase 2 this weekend – creating a Wulsthaube/Unterhaube to hold the roll in place and cover it.
As a reminder to myself as I move on with this process, the known components of a complete Steuchlein (mushroom hat) are shown in the following list. As no extant versions survive today to show us exactly how they looked, or how precisely they were assembled, I am guessing at the reconstruction – just like everyone else…*grin*:

Wulst (wool stuffed roll)
Wulsthaube/Unterhaube (linen cap over the roll - one layer or two is the question...)
Schleiertuch (linen veil..again, how many of these?)
Kinnbinde (chin band), in earlier periods, which makes for both a modesty cloth and a good protection against the dust of the trail.

In my opinion, the Unterhaube or an underlayer of Schleier is what we see covered in embroidery which shows through the lighter outermost Schleiertuch. Once I figure out how many layers I am going to have in my hat, I will work out some embroidery to make my hat pretty!
The manner hair taping that I did last weekend at Korneburg (it was under my hat most of the day, so not everyone would have seen it if you were there), is demonstrated here. Juliana got her hair taped by the ladies who wrote the 'Tudor Tailor' book and has recreated the experience on YouTube for the rest of us. 

I plan on building a cap like the one she puts on at the end as my Wulsthaube this weekend.

BTW - images of the original hair taping, as well as the other hat sessions from the 'Tudor Tailor' workshop held in 2007 in San Jose can be seen on [profile] sstormwatch‘s Flickr page.
Any thoughts, suggestions or input would be appreciated!


hsifeng: (Default)

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