Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Knitted American Civil War Bonnet!

From the seller:

A sweet 1860’s Civil War era bright red wool hand knitted bonnet.  The bonnet has long side lappets.  It is trimmed with black wool edging and has a diamond pattern on the crown that is done with black.   The bonnet might have been used for skating.  It is in very good condition.  There are no holes.

From Me:

How cool!  I think I need to make this.  It looks like a very simple design in using a large sized knitting needle.  And I have a ton of red yarn...hmm... 


  1. Actually, this is a post-Civil War (1866-69) Tunisian crocheted cap.

    1. Hi and welcome to my blog! As you can see, this was posted well over 3 years ago. I'm afraid I don't know you yet and therefore, don't know your background in fashion history. Without any links to evidence to support your theory, well, this is the Internet. Anyone can (And will!) say anything.

      However, since you seem to think this is later, here is some of my evidence:
      http://what-i-found.blogspot.com/2012/11/civil-war-fashions-engravings-from-1864_13.html <- it show caps/bonnets with similar shapes from 1864
      http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/black-lace-flat-cap-93808 ->Another similar shaped but out of lace only
      http://theebonswan.blogspot.com/2013/11/childrens-fashions-headwear-petersons.html ->the "new" style cap in 1864 also has a similar shape
      http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-py93azzXUZU/UiejaKoytRI/AAAAAAAAAJA/I7invbOTS3M/s1600/October+bonnets+godeys+1865.jpg ->Although these are technically after the Civil War, it is only Oct 1865.
      http://karleeaturner.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/plate-37-may-1865.jpg ->This is from May 1865 and shows ladies wearing a similar style although with more lace in the back than on this particular model

      http://books.google.com/books?id=7zEsY52d81gC&pg=PA257&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U3h00z-AmahLxc7ponY9T-HgzZ3og&ci=16%2C677%2C958%2C547&edge=0 <-1864

      This is why I believe it to be from the American Civil War period.

    2. I forgot! There is also this one from 1862:

      and this one from 1861 although the shape is a bit different:

      Because the shape is more similar to those from the 1864 fashion plate, I believe it to be from about then.

    3. You start to see a decrease in the size & shape of the bonnets/caps towards the end of 1864 but you really don't see the "diamond" shaped fanchon cap/hat until 1866.

      from 1866:



      from 1867:


      Not knitted but same shape: http://digital.ub.uni-duesseldorf.de/ihd/periodical/pageview/2966700?query=fanchon

      Those are the ones I can find at the moment.

      As to my knowledge of the period, I've been a studying & sewing historic clothing and reenacting the ACW since 1988. I've owned my own business, MorganAside, since 2007. On the historic reproduction side, I specialize in boy's clothing, women's riding habits and knitting/crocheting items for the reenacting community and more.This doesn't mean that I don't sew other items from the period but I work with two other women and those other items are their specialty.