In the book I recently purchased, Visage de la Touraine (published 1948), there is this sketch by a G. Royvan of a traditional bonnet as worn by women of the Touraine (see end of this blog). I know that I have seen bonnets being worn in old photos and postcards of women in the Touraine but this design is more for Sunday-best, perhaps?
Generally, I think, the function of women’s simple linen bonnets is rather curious. I presume they were cheap to make, easy to wash and maintain and could be made from old materials such a sheets. They would also provide covering for one’s hair as well as keeping the head warm. They will also, of course, have had a role as a fashion item. They were also important for their use as head coverings when women went to Christian churches and chapels.
So, I did a search on Google and came up with this information:
“A taste for simpler fabrics in the 1780’s, anticipated the more democratic styles that followed the French Revolution. Cotton was introduced as a fashion fabric. Simple cotton house bonnets ornamented with a separate ribbon became fashionable for all echelons of society. The elite still wore hats (sometimes atop the bonnet) with tall crowns adorned with wide silk ribbon bows. Hats fell from favour after the French Revolution. They were associated with the upper classes and it was considered stylish to be democratic.”