Woven into the Earth: Textile finds in Norse Greenland

Medieval Garments Reconstructed: Norse Clothing Patterns

The Medieval Tailor's Assistant: Making Common Garments 1200-1500

Men's and Women's Accessories of Medieval Romanesque Period - 11th - 15th Centuries Pattern by La Fleur De Lyse

14th Century Man's Accessories Pattern by Reconstructing History

15th Century Man's Accessories Pattern by Reconstructing History

14th Century Women's Accessories Pattern by Reconstructing History

This webpage is divided into three sections: men’s hoods, women’s hoods, and links to information on making hoods.

Men’s Hoods

I’m also encluding some examples of hoods being worn in the “chaperone” style, as they sometimes provide good construction-related details. Additional pictures can be found here as well.

  • Some Clothing of the Middle Ages includes information about several extant hoods.
  • October (fol. 10v) and November (fol. 11v), The Fécamp Psalter (KB 76 F 13), c. 1180
  • Ruth dines with Boaz, The Maciejowski Bible, 13th century: Several men wear hoods, pulled back, with center-seamed white linen coifs covering their heads.
  • Manoah in the Psalter of St. Louis (BNF Lat. 10525, fol. 55v), 13th century; button-front hood (but could it be a hooded courtepy?)
  • The illustrations of Der tugendhafte Schreiber (fol. 305r) and Der Kol von Nüssen (fol. 396r) in the Manesse Codex (UBH Cod. Pal. germ. 848), 1300-1330, show two different styles of wearing similar hoods; in the former, fur-lined hoods are worn as chaperons, with a decoration at center front of the roll, whereas the latter wears the hood more conventionally, over a coif.
  • The feast of Job in a Bible historiale (BNF Fr. 164, fol. 150), 14th century; note what appears to be a single button under the chin, as well as a folded-back section at the top of the head
  • The Bull of Monte Gargano in The lives of the saints (BNF Fr. 185, fol. 259v)
  • Romance of Alexander (Bodley 264), c. 1338-44; lots of different kinds of hoods.
    Dagged hoods: 43v, 82v, 83r, 123v, 124r(a), 124r(b), 138v, 152v, 165r, 174r
    Particolored hoods: 124r(b), etc. Red and pale blue seem to be the most prevalent color combination for particolored hoods.
    Plain hoods: 43v, 63r, 66r, 82v, 106r, 123v, 126r, 142v, 161v, 204r
  • The Luttrell Psalter (Brit. Lib. MS. ADD. 42130), c. 1325-1335
    Working men in several illustrations seem to be wearing fairly simple hoods; the length of the tails and cowls varies quite a bit.
  • There are several examples of dagged and/or embroidered (?) hoods in a 14th century Belgian book of Arthurian legends (BNF Fr. 122), 1344; use Mandragore to search for Cote Français 122
  • Several in Le roman de la rose (Selden Supra 57), 1348
  • Fols. 4r, 25v, 40r, 44r, 52r, 56r, 59v, 109r, 113v, and 133v, Voeux du paon (PML G.24), c. 1350; notice contrasting lining in hoods, variety in dags, and unusual methods of wearing or draping the hood.
  • Le Roman de la rose, c. 1350
    This illustration shows men wearing hoods with contrasting lining; one is worn with a brooch or ornament of some sort, another has an embroidered (?) pattern above a feathery dagged edge.
  • BNF Fr. 12565 (multiple stories within the same manuscript), mid-14th century). Note the ways the hoods are worn and/or draped, and the appearance of colored linings.
    Phesona, Edea, Idoire and their hosts (fol. 77)
    Coronation of Clarette (fol. 257)
    Porus presents the golden peacock to Alexander (fol. 260v)
  • The Marriage; the Kiss of the Bride (initial P); the Bride Abandoned by Nicolo da Bologna, 1350s
    Men wearing solid-colored hoods with gold trim.
  • The Book of Modus and Ratio (BNF Richelieu Fr. 12399), 1379: Men frequently depicted wearing hoods; the tails of some hoods are wrapped around the back of the head, or around the head; in some cases, there is a cap worn on top of the hood. A few examples of men wearing buttoned hoods. Use Mandragore to search for Cote Français 12399.
  • The Adoration of Jesus, before 1380
    Joseph and one of the shepherds wear plain hoods.
  • Self-portrait of Peter Parler, Prague Cathedral, 1379-86
    Parler seems to be wearing a plain hood.
  • Illustration from the Roman de la Rose, 1380
    Narcissus is wearing a hood; about all that is visible of it is the extraordinarily long liripipe/tail at the back.
  • The Book of King Modus and Queen Ratio (BNF Fr. 22545), end of the 14th century
    72: Notice that the men's hoods match their tunics.
  • Tacuinum Sanitatis, 15th century (BNF Nouvelle acquisition latine 1673), c. 1390-1400: Lemons (fol. 18); Cabbage (fol. 29); Hissop (fol. 29v); Marjoram (fol. 30); Loggers (fol. 54v); Quail (fol. 72v); Head (fol. 73); Tripe (fol. 74v); Acidic Wine (fol. 75v); Marinated Fish (fol. 78v); Salted Fish (fol. 79); Sugar (fol. 81 - note contrasting lining); Apothecary (fol. 87v - note contrasting lining, wear underneath cloak); Drunks (fol. 88v); Conversation (fol. 90); Silk Clothing (fol. 95); The Sea (fol. 97v); Aluminous Water (fol. 98); Gathering wood for the winter (fol. 98v)
  • Laborer, Liber de Moribus hominum (BNF Fr. 1166, fol. 28v), end of the 14th century or beginning of the 15th century
    The face opening seems to be folded back, and there is a U-shaped dagging along the bottom edge.
  • A messenger retrieves a letter from his hood, pen and ink drawing c. 1400
  • De mulieribus claris (BNF Fr. 598), beginning of the 15th century, shows several men in hoods, frequently with round dagging. Use Mandragore to search for Cote Français 598.
  • Several of the huntsmen in The Book of the Hunt (BNF Fr. 616), beginning of the 15th century, are wearing hoods, many of which have dagged edges.
  • Bible historiale by Guiard des Moulins, 15th century
    Several illustrations (available through Mandragore) depict men wearing hoods in different manners.
  • April, Les Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, 1412-1416
  • Border, The Hours of Marguerite d'Orleans (BNF Lat. 1156 B, fol. 135), c. 1426
  • Many of the 15th century workmen in the Mendel Hausbuch are wearing plain hoods.
  • The Nativity by Robert Campin, 1420-25
    St. Joseph has pushed back his hood around his shoulders; the shepherds wear hoods too.
  • The Bedford Hours, 1423
    Some of the figures in the illustrations, such as the working men in The Building of the Ark and The Building of the Tower of Babel, wear hoods regularly or as chaperons.
  • Portrait of a Goldsmith (Man with Ring) by Jan van Eyck, 1430
    A dagged hood worn as a chaperon
  • The Decameron (BNF Arsenal 5070), 1432
    108v: The pious husband wears a blue hood.
    215v: Men's hoods worn as chaperons/wrapped about the head.
    223v: A baker wears his blue hood in the conventional manner, contrasting with the wealthier man wearing a chaperon.
    304: A red hood worn under a fur hat, and a blue hood wrapped around like a chaperon.
    347v: Two men wearing hoods, one of whom puts his on in the middle of the narrative. (The hood, I mean. The tail too, apparently.)
  • Portrait of a Young Man (Tymotheos) by Jan van Eyck, 1432
    A plain hood worn as a chaperon
  • Many examples of men’s hoods in The Hours of Catherine of Cleves, c. 1440
  • Suche a stinke in the chapell he hade,
    That dwelle ther he ne myghte.
    He stopput his nase with his hude;
    Nerre the chapell dur he yode,
    Anturs for to lere.

    Sir Amadace, ll. 71-75

  • Seven Sacraments Altarpiece by Rogier van der Weyden, 1445-50
    The chaperons and hoods in this detail of the left-side panel provide good details of various dagging styles
  • Le Regime des princes (BNF Fr. 126 fol. 7), ca. 1450
  • Annunciation to the shephers (fol. 63v) in the Book of Hours of Paul Overtvelt, c. 1475
  • The Great Book of Hours of Anne of Brittany (BNF Lat. 9474), c. 1503-1508
    January (fol. 4): a man wears a hood over a cloak but under a hat
    February (fol. 5): a subtle pattern (brocade?) on a hood worn with a hat

Women’s Hoods

One thing I’ve noticed: I can find no examples in period illustrations of a woman wearing a dagged hood. Sure, I’ve seen them in dagged sleeves, and even in one example, a gown with a dagged bottom hemline – but no dagged hoods.

Katie Dawson has pointed out a sketch of a lady wearing a dagged hood. Thanks for sending it along, Katie! It's still the only image of a female in a dagged hood that I know of, though; plain-cut bottom edges seem more typical on women's hoods.

I’ve found a few literary references, though. Margery Kempe, in a section of her writings posted as an inset further down on this page, describes herself (“this creature”) as having been proud and vain, and wearing hoods with dagged tippets. (As discussed elsewhere on this site, it seems that “tippets” refer to the long tail of a hood, rather than sleeve-streamers.)

  • Some Clothing of the Middle Ages includes information about several extant hoods, including two buttoned hoods -- London 246 and London 247.
  • The Maciejowski Bible, 13th century
    Boaz encounters Ruth: Farmworker picking up grain (lower central part of illustration); notice white linen head-wrap worn under the hood.
  • Manesse Codex (UBH Cod. Pal. germ. 848), 1300-1330: A woman observing the tournament of Albrecht Marschall von Rapperswil (fol. 192v) wears a fur-lined open hood; a woman observing the tournament of Johann von Ringgenberg (fol. 190v) seems to have a hood perched on top of her head.
  • The Luttrell Psalter (British Library MS. ADD. 42130), c. 1325-1335: Some of the women (like the milkmaid in fol. 163v) wear open hoods, sometimes over a veil
  • Coronation of Clarette, Parfait du Paon (BNF Fr. 12565, fol. 257), mid-14th century; Clarette wears a buttoned hood, and another lady wears her hood draped over her shoulders
  • Some of the women in Le Roman de la Rose (University of Chicago Library ), c. 1365, wear open hoods, some of which seem to have buttons; see fols. 80r, 81r, and 83r, for example.
  • Illustration of St. Ursula and companions in an Italian breviary, ca. 1380; one of the women in the back row wears a red hood on top of her head.
  • Tacuinum Sanitatis, 15th century (BNF Nouvelle acquisition latine 1673), c. 1390-1400: Celery (fol. 28v); Hissop (fol. 29v); Marjoram (fol. 30)
  • Bible historiale by Guiard des Moulins, beginning of the 15th century
    The Judgment of Solomon (BNF Fr. 10, fol. 318): Two women wear open hoods.
    Birth of Israel (BNF Fr. 10, fol. 444): One woman's headdress looks like an open hood worn over a veil and wimple.
    Abraham travels (BNF Fr. 9, fol. 19): Sarah wears an open hood.
  • A shepherdess in the Rohan Hours (BNF Lat. 9471, fol. 85v); a bright red lining on the black hood
  • And, whan this creatur was thus gracyowsly comen ageyn to hir mende, sche thowt sche was bowndyn to God and that sche wold ben his servawnt. Nevyrthelesse, sche wold not leevyn hir pride ne hir pompows aray that sche had usyd befortym, neithyr for hyr husbond ne for noon other mannys cownsel. And yet sche wyst ful wel that men seyden hir ful mech velany, for sche weryd gold pypys on hir hevyd and hir hodys wyth the typettys were daggyd. Hir clokys also wer daggyd and leyd wyth dyvers colowrs betwen the daggys that it schuld be the mor staryng to mennys sygth and hirself the mor ben worshepd.

    The Book of Margery Kempe, ll. 189-196

  • Sketch of a woman wearing a dagged hood in a French sketchbook (PML M.346 panel 3v), c. 1400
  • De mulieribus claris (BNF Fr. 598), beginning of the 15th century: Women wear open hoods in illustrations of Juno (fol. 12), Minerva (fol. 13), Pamphile of Kos (fol. 68v), Tanaquil (fol. 70v), Sappho (fol. 71v), Thamyris (fol. 86), Leontion (fol. 92v), Flora (fol. 97), A young Roman woman (fol. 99), Iaia (fol. 100v), Tertia Aemilia (fol. 112), Turia (fol. 123v), Sulpicia (fol. 125), and Anicia Faltonia Proba (fol. 143v).
  • Women in open hoods throughout the Comedies of Terence (BNF Latin 7907 A), c. 1400-1407
  • A woman wears an open hood with an almost exaggerated (wire-supported?) front in Terence's Comedies (BNF Arsenal 664, fol. 230v), c. 1410
  • Les Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, 1412-1416
    Women in February, July, and September wear open hoods.
  • Decameron, c. 1414-1419
  • Several women in open hoods in an illustration from the Decameron (BNF Fr. 239, fol. 1r), 2nd quarter of the 15th century
  • Border, The Hours of Marguerite d'Orleans (BNF Lat. 1156 B, fol. 135), c. 1426
  • Several women wear open hoods throughout The Decameron (BNF Arsenal 5070), 1432
  • Good rear view of a woman's open hood in the Gathering of Manna in the Hours of Catherine of Cleves (PML M.945, fol. 137v), c. 1440
  • Gifts of the Holy Spirit (BNF Fr. 50, fol. 28v) and Miracle of St. Narcissa (BNF Fr. 51, fol. 91), Speculum historiale, 1463
  • Lust, a book of hours (PML M.1001, fol. 98r), c. 1475
  • Two women in open hoods, a book of hours (PML M.1001, fol. 48r), c. 1475
  • Open hoods on fols. 1v, 3v, 6v, and 20v of the Hours of Charles d’Angoulême, c. 1475-1500; the white band underneath may actually be this sort of coif
  • More open hoods of a few different styles on fols. 24r, 45r, 48r, 67v, 76v, 77r, 109v of Le roman de la rose (Douce 195), end of the 15th century. Notice the “winged” look on some of the hoods; others seem more loose, without the stiff shapes along the sides. Again, this style of coif seems to be worn under the hood in many of these illustrations. In fol. 66v, the hood is lying on the floor, giving an unusual view of an empty hood, though it may be more like the headwear shown on fol. 11v and 114r.
  • Annunciation to the Shepherds, Hours of Henry VIII (PML H.8, fol. 56v), c. 1500

Making Hoods