As you know, Serena’s research fascinates me. I thought you would all enjoy reading about this project.

Serena Dyer

The calash bonnet is perhaps one of the most intriguing eighteenth century accessories. It is simultaneously attractive and strange to the modern eye, appearing both extraordinary and intricate. The calash bonnet was worn throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries for protection from both inclement weather, particularly wind, or sunny weather. It first came into use in the 1760s in the form of a supported, collapsible hood. This new style could protect the wearer, like its predecessor, the padded hood, without crushing the hairstyle, cap or headdress worn beneath.

Calash bonnets were usually constructed from green or black silk, and often lined with pinkish red linen, said to improve any complexion. They could also be brown, but very few other colours seen to have been particularly popular. It was given its concertina shape using cane or whalebone inserted into channels, and gathered rows. It was held in place with a…

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