1390s French Crespinettes II

The winner of my Hat Prize for Canterbury Faire 2021 requested a formal late 14th – early 15th century headdress to go with her court garb.

The headwear needed to cover all of Eleynor’s hair, which was long enough to plait but of random colour – and be wearable alone or under a coronet. Her preferred colours were black and silver.

Headform with 14th century headdress
Silk, silver braid, silver plated rings, velvet ribbon, faux pearls, linen lining. Case supports: linen canvas, rabbit skin glue, wire. Linen lining.

Research and Design

After going down a few fruitless design dead ends, we ended up with a version of the crespinettes I had made for Tailltui, based on the late 14th century French sculpture of Isabela Bavorska.

This style of headwear was worn by ladies of the nobility in the late 14th-early 15thc, and was known by several names – crespine, crespinette, caul or tire.


I followed the same basic approach to design and construction as the previous instance, but in place of the leno, I used linen canvas stiffened with rabbit-skin glue. It worked well and should be more robust against damp and damage.


Elynor loved the headdress, but the cases ended up a little too high, so her coronet needed padding to sit properly. The challenges of making something remotely…