Historical Hats, Costumes & Accessories

Made by Nobility, for Nobility

The Reticulated Caul C.1100 - 1540

Gold reticulated caul with gold beaded tassel The "Reticulated Caul" has the same name as the "Templars" and "Cross Tree" as it denotes the way the hair is encased by metalwork or fretwork ('net' or 'Webben'). It is a Spanish Headdress, but is Byzantian in origin and adopted by the Italians and Spanish.

The hair was visible inside the caul and worn by fashionable ladies of the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries of England and France. On matrimony the hair was bound up in various successive shapes and styles (only maidens and Queens wore their hair loose). Around 1135, plaits were encased in ribbons or fretwork. "Ribans were essential" and sometimes called 'bindae' or 'bisette' (a type of ribbon in gold or silver). Fashionable ladies sometimes added false hair to their own hair. Ladies who had little hair would not be out done and devised extensions of tubes of brilliant shades of silk, "stuffed with tow" and the caul over the top of it. By 1140 onwards it became fashionable to wear the hair in this way.

By the 1200´s it became fashionable to wear the hair in one plait, down the back, under the "Torque" along side the other fashionable net headdress, the "Crispine."

During the 13th and 14th Centuries women of England, France, Spain and Italy wore their hair encased in this "Reticulated Caul" along with the various headdresses of their time. The "Caul" was made of Gold or Silver mesh and was set with pearls and jewels. The corrupt and vain wife of Bocccaccio (a normal woman who wanted to look good no doubt!) wore a headdress of this type c.1355 "gathered her hairs to her head and put on them a sort of wrapping with bands of silk which she called a 'trecce' having fixed under this a delicate net, and placing none without first taking council of her mirror".

By the 15th Century hair in England was no longer seen as it was covered by "Heart shaped Hennin´s" ,"Flowerpot Hennin´s" and "Butterfly Hennin´s," but the "Reticulated Caul" was still worn on the continent in countries such as France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Italy with the headdress called the "Halo Bonnet."

Gold reticulated caul bound with blue silk Gold reticulated caul with gold beaded tassel


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