Few caps are actually dated, but this one has a story and a date. It’s a simple lappet cap, small and unadorned, of soft sheer cotton mull. The catalog record tells the story:
“Janneke Phoenix Krum was the wife of Hendrck W. Krum — a soldier of the American Revolution. The flax was spun and woven by Janneke Krum, and the cap made by hand — also by her.”
They were married on May 4, 1777, so the record implies this is her wedding cap. The DAR Museum in Washington, D.C. owns this cap.
Made of three pieces, caul, headpiece, and ruffle, but with wide (1/4″) hems throughout. The caul is gathered to the headpiece with whipped gathers over the top 6″ of the headpiece. The headpiece is on the straight grain, 1.5″ at the CF, widening to 3 1/4″ where the caul and headpiece meet under the ears, and skinnying down to 1/2″ wide at the ends. The ruffle is joined to the headpiece with a whip stitch.
The ruffle is gathered at the CF and at the turn of the lappet only, a common characteristic of the era. The headpiece is reinforced with tiny triangles of cloth at the tips to withstand the tension of the gathering strings attached there.
Questions that Remain
The wide hems and the cotton cloth make me wonder if this is 19th C, but the style and construction fit the bill for 18th C. Note the museum record says Mrs. Krum spun the flax (i.e., linen) herself, but then identifies the cloth as cotton mull. I wonder if this is a cap from later in her life? I wonder if the hand-spun cloth story is real.
Lappet caps are the most common mid-century cap. Notice that she has a ribbon under her chin. DAR 1203 has a surviving tie sewn on to the tips, to tie under the chin. I wonder if the ribbon in this portrait is sewn on to the cap, pinned on, or tied around her neck separately? I’d opt for sewn on to the cap, but I’ve never seen ribbons on an original, not until the 19th C when they grow large and wide.
I’m still learning about how the weight of the cloth impacts the gather. On this cap, although the whipped gather only goes across the top 6″ of the cap, I had to keep gathering it nearly all the way down the sides to make the caul fit onto the headpiece. That’s also partly because I was still learning how to infer a flat pattern from gathered shape, and got the proportions wrong. Another complicating factor was replicating that curve under the ear. Most caps are straight here.
Click here for notes and pattern: BookScanCenter (1)
You can see the problems I had making a pattern! I’ve gotten better at this over time.
Thank Yous and Permissions.
Thanks to Alden O’Brien, Curator of Costumes and Textiles, of the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum in Washington, DC, who gave me permission to blog about the DAR caps I saw.
Other Related Scholarship
I am not aware of any scholarship on this cap.