The Nebule or Goffered Headdress C.1350 - 1380
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
Several variations of the pleating were used:-
to give the look of Zig Zags.
- an "SS" effect
- a "XX" effect
- a "Z" effect
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
"Crispinette" and the
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