Thursday, June 11, 2015

Colors in 18th Century Bonnets

I've been busy busy making 18th century headwear for my adventures with Royal Blue Traders.  I've also been on the hunt for decent evidence of colored silk 18th century market bonnets, and met with some success.  So far, from what I have been able to turn up, the brighter colors, which tended toward blues and greens, were popular in the 1780s, and especially popular for younger wearers.

Blue Bonnets

A Lady and Her Children Relieving a Cottager (1781) by William Redmore Bigg, English, 1755 - 1828
Some very interesting hats in general in this painting.

A Market Girl Holding a Mallard Duck (1787) by John Russell, English, 1745-1806

I made my own version with less fullness, and more of bill-shaped brim in some lovely teal silk taffeta I picked up at Affordable Fabrics in Rocky Hill, CT.  That place is a treasure, but it's real hit-or-miss as to what gems you can find hidden away on the flat-fold remnants tables.  You also really need to know what you're looking for, and have a good handle on how to identify fibers, as nothing is labeled.

My version

Green Bonnets

A Girl Gathering Filberts (1782) by William Redmore Bigg

This spring-ey little piece is a very similar shape to the ones I have been making.  I think I need to re-create one from this portrait with that pink ribbon.

Mrs Ogee, satirical print published by Matthew Darly, 1775

This one features an older lady in a more olive green with blue puffed trim and a wider brim shape.

There is an extremely helpful, extensive list of sources a the Buzz at the Hive.  Especially helpful for the American Revolution period.  Now, on to cranking out more hats in time for the season before the baby arrives!

My version

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