Chart of 18th C Characteristics Compared to 19th C Characteristics of Women’s Caps
Here are the characteristics which seem to distinguish 18th C caps from 19th C caps, which could be used to help date the caps in a box of miscellaneous undated linen.
This is my working hypothesis; comments appreciated.
|Earlier (More Likely to be 18th Century)||Later (More Likely to be 19th Century)|
|V. narrow (1/16, 1/8”) linen tape ties on lappets at chin||Self-fabric ties, ribbon ties, wide (1”) ties, ties with lace edges, at chin|
|Minute seams, (1/16, 1/8”)||Wider seams (1/4, ½”), shadow seams, corded seams|
|Rolled gather or stroke gather||Modern gather: drawn cloth between covering layers|
|One layer of cloth||Doubled cloth|
|Plain linen||Figured linen, cotton, machine-made net, whitework|
|Hard ruffles only at turn of lappet and widow’s peak||Hard ruffles all along front of cap|
|Cloth or lace ruffles skinnier (1” and less) around face||Cloth or lace ruffles wider (over 1”) around face|
|Hand-made lace||Crochet, tatting|
|Lace for ruffles, edge trims||Lace inserts in caul or headpiece|
|Caul gathered only at nape and top of head||Other gathers in caul, such as in the middle, or crosswise, or extra poufs.|
|No band at nape; caul gathered here forms edge.||Flat band at nape; caul gathered above|
|Headpiece meets caul at about the ears. Caul is larger||Headpiece is wider, meets caul near back of the head. Caul is smaller, muffin-looking.|
|Headpiece pointed at cheek; headpiece with lappets.||Headpiece squared at cheek|
|Round or pointed lappets||Square-ended lappets|
Exhibit: Piecing Together the Details: Eighteenth- Century Women’s Cap Construction
Sherri B. Saines, M.L.S.
Alden Library, Ohio University
Reference and Instruction Librarian