Historical Hats, Costumes & Accessories

Made by Nobility, for Nobility

The Nebule or Goffered Headdress C.1350 - 1380

Gold nebule with pearls The "Nebule or Goffered Headdress" was worn during the period of 1350 to 1380 but became more popular towards the end of the 14th Century. It was used when hunting or hawking and was considered by medieval women to be a "convenient fashion to keep the hair in order." Women of the 14th Century attached great importance to the dressing of their hair and wanted to be in the height of fashion.

The "Goffered Headdress" consisted of lattice or honeycomb effect which formed a frame around the face and was held on place by a narrow fillet, across the forehead. It can also consist of many layers of pleated or ruffled linen, which would have been sewn onto semi-circular pieces of veiling. Sometimes the back of the veil was ruffled as well.

Several variations of the pleating were used:-

  • an "SS" effect
  • a "XX" effect
  • a "Z" effect
to give the look of Zig Zags.

Many brasses, effigies, illuminations and manuscripts are in existence and show this style of headdress. The earliest brass with this type of headdress is of Richard and Margaret Torrington in Great Berkhampstead Church, Hertfordshire. Other churches in England have female effigies wearing this particular headdress. Tewkesbury Abbey for one, has a fine effigy of Lady Despencer wearing the "Goffered Headdress." A ceiling boss in Canterbury Cathedral shows a woman wearing the "Goffered Headdress" and is presumably Edward the Black Prince´s wife, Joan of Kent.

During the time of Edward III, the "Goffered Headdress" was still worn by all levels of society for day wear, along with the other Headdresses of the time the "Templars," the "Crispinette" and the "Tressour Crispinette."

Gold nebule with pearls Gold nebule with pearls Gold Nebulé Encrusted in Pearls Gold Nebulé Encrusted in Pearls


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