Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Kilmarnock and Hummel Bonnets

I've always got several 'new' hat projects on the drawing board, in some cases spending months or years looking at surviving portraits and where possible extant examples whilst working up numerous test versions in order to work out a pattern that I feel gives an appropriate interpretation of a historic style. A recent request from a re-enactment regiment encouraged me to get a move on with a couple of styles I'd been looking at for the last year or so, and get them polished up into a functional hat.

Here are my latest two projects, I've been working on Kilmarnock and Hummel Bonnets for Napoleonic period Highland Regiments, and I think I've got these just about right now. The plain blue Kilmarnock bonnet pictured below is a little shorter than most of the ones I've been working on, they usually need to be about 6inches tall, (but I rather like the shape of the shorter version as well, and its a better picture than my taller ones, hence its inclusion here.)

There are some great portraits that survive showing Hummel caps in wear, I found this collection particularly interesting, note how variable the size and number of the dice (checks) round the hat are? http://www.74thhighlandregiment.com/uniform_study.html There are also surviving Hummel bonnets in several museum collections, so I was able to balance portrait and physical evidence when coming up with my version.

I never consider any of my patterns to be a final version, there is always the chance that I'll get to examine a 'new' extant hat in a museum collection or will see a portrait that I havent seen before, or in the case of military headgear, be directed to a set of regulations and supply guidelines that will help me make small modifications to continually increase accuracy and appropriateness for use in historic impressions today.

I gather that Deb Pulliam did an article on Hummel bonnets for Piecework a few years ago, but I havent yet been able to track down a copy, will be interesting to see if she has any additional details that will help me polish my versin even further. Will update in due course if I ever manage to get hold of a copy to have a look at.

In the meantime, if you know anyone that might be in the market for a new bonnet, point them at the shop site (www.sallypointer.com/shop)

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