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Spotlight on History: The Origins of the Paisley Print

Paisley bandana

The paisley design looks like a teardrop with a curve at the top

One of the most famous prints printed on bandanas is the paisley print

 

The paisley design looks like a teardrop with a curve at the top. The design originates in India and was brought to Europe and America in the 18th and 19th century. Most notable were the paisley scarves brought in by the East India Company. However, the design only got its name when it started being mass-produced in the large Scottish textile town of…you got it… Paisley!

 

The paisley print went in and out of fashion for the next couple of decades and made its big comeback in the 1960s in the U.S. In the 1960s multi-cultural looks were the rage and the paisley pattern was back in its full glory. John Lennon or Beatles fame even had one printed on his Rolls Royce!

 

Nowdays, some of the more common items that have the paisley print are handbags, skirts, paisley sunvisors, paisley wallets, ties and of course the bandana! Paisley bandanas can come as squares, triangles, or in their pre-tied bandana head band version.

 

So go ahead – it’s not just for the summer! The paisley print will carry you all through the year with its rich history and classic look!

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Spotlight on History: The origins of the Bandana

Bandana

bandanas are used more as a fashion statement for tying back hair

Bandanas. You see them all over, that versatile little square of cloth. Where did the bandanna originate? And how did they grow in their popularity?

Bandanas have been around for over 200 years. Their popular function was a handkerchief (in pre-Kleenex days) or worn around the head or neck to keep dust out of the eyes and sweat off the neck and out of the collar. The word bandana comes from the Hindu word bndhn which is  a process used to dye small pieces of cloth.

 

At the end of the 1700s, with the British controlling the large landmass known as America, the colonists were thirsting for independence. In an effort to control the colonists, the British imposed a ban on printing.

It was at that time of political struggle that Martha Washington was on her way to visit her husband George when she stopped off in Philadelphia. She wanted to bring George Washington a gift and upon recommendation of Benjamin Franklin, she asked John Hewston, a printmaker to print a bandana a picture of George alongside military flags and cannons. Although it was illegal, John complied.

 

When the war was over, that bandana was reprinted for the masses and so was the first souvenir bandana created!

Many other politicians started printing their pictures and slogans on bandanas as well. Bandanas were also printed for war heroes, sports stars and were used during WWI and WWII to promote patriotism. They were also used as a marketing tool for companies. For example in the 1920s Kellogg’s put a bandana into their boxes of cereal with instructions how to sew it into a stuffed animal!

 

Part of the reason bandanas took off so well, is that they easily absorbed the same ink used for printing paper (both were made from cotton) and fit on the printing press.

 

While bandanas were valued in the past for their protective benefits, nowadays, bandanas are used more as a fashion statement for tying back hair, to add to an outfit to spice it up or many other uses. So next time you tie a bandana around your head, keep in mind its rich history!

The Cocktail Hat – What is it Exactly?

cocktailhatFor those of you who do not know what a cocktail hat is – it’s a small brimless dress hat that is worn simply for style since this hat does not provide Hair Coverage at all. The base of the hat can be found in a few variations such as a tear drop shape which allows it to sit comfortably on ones head or a flat base. They usually have flowers, feathers and such other designs and embellishments which makes it dressy and fashionable. In addition, some come with a net hanging over which droops down over ones face to provide an extra special look.

How did the Cocktail Hat come about?

In the 1930’s women took great interest in wearing daytime hats. However, these weekday hats did not suit their needs when they were looking to go to fancy affairs such as cocktail parties, tea dances, etc. Therefore, the designers of the time came out with the cocktail hat which is more appropriate for dress of higher class. Today, Cocktail Hats are worn by women all over, especially by Royalty. It makes a great fascinator and hair accessory for a Wig and Hair on a special occasion. Cocktail hats can be found in white worn by a bride as well as in all different colors for any special occasion. Some have tall embellishments for those looking to provide height and some are small and flat.

So if you’re looking for an extra little something to dress up your outfit you know exactly what you need! Just remember, if you are looking for a Dress Hat to provide head coverage you should try and stick to a cloche or other kind of Hat.

Hats Around the World: Part 2

The next stop on our world hat tour will be…..Asia.

And here we can find some really cool and interesting hats.

Korea: Ever heard of the Ayam?

Traditional Korean Hat

Ayam Hat

It’s a really cool looking hat that was worn basically by Korean Women from 1392 till 1910 as a winter hat. It was made from silk and fur during the Joselan period. The Ayam was worn mostly by female commoners.

The Ayam isn’t the only interesting hat you might see in Korea another one is the Gat, yes that’s the name, Gat. The Gat  was also worn during the Josean Dynasty. It was usually Cylindrically shaped with a really wide brim and during the 19th century was restricted to married and middle class men; sort of a social class thing. Now hows about a visit to…

China: One hat with a really exotic name is the Phoenix Crown Hat or Coronet. This was a really spectacular looking hat that was worn by noblewomen mostly in the Ming Dynasty (the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644) this hat, which was more of a headdress could have over 5000 pearls and 100 gemstones sewn into it!

Korean Gat Hat

Korean Gat Hat

And headcovering fun in ancient China was not exclusive to the female gender the men  also had some cool hats, here’s one:

The heads  of the Chinese Han  officials during during the aforementioned Ming Dynasty, usually  covered up  with a black hat that had two  flaps (sort of like wings) made of thin, oval shaped boards on each side. The hat was  called the Wushamao  and the common folks were not supposed to be wearing one of these   headdresses unless they were the lucky guests attending a wedding ceremonies or event, (Party anyone?) involving noble families or officials.

And now a stop in Burma (Myanmar).

The Gaung Paung ( for those that don’t know it means headwrap) is a hat that is not so different looking then a turban and is traditionally worn by the Shan, Rakhine and Mon peoples.

Depending on the wealth of the owner it is either made from silk or cotton. Its  mostly a ceremonial piece of headwear and if you look closely you will know the ethnic group of the wearer as each ethnic group wears it slightly differently.

Cambodia/Vietnam: We’ll round up our tour of Asia with the most famous Asian Hat of all the Conical shaped hat which is really worn by farmers throughout Asia. Some know it as a “coolie” hat, though as Wikipedia notes now-a-days many find that term offensive.

coolie

Aisan Hat

It’s called a conical hap ’cause thats it’s shape, a cone, and it has a strap that goes under the wearers chin keeping it in place. The point of the hat is mostly for sun protection.

Well that wraps up the Asian portion of our tour.

Follow the MyHeadcoverings BLOG to make certain you don’t miss Part 3 of our World Hat tour!

Around the World in a Hat: Part 1

Hats are great. They’re stylish, they’re fun, and  all in all make great head coverings.
But did you know that they also form an essential part of national ID around the world. Take a look around the world and what you’ll see is a dizzying array of Hats and Caps in all of the colors of the rainbow! So in the spirit of the summer travel season lets start a world -wide hat tour.We’ll start our tour in Europe.

The Borsalino Hat

The Borsalino Hat

Italy– Well Italy gave us hats you could say. The word Millinery is similar to Milan for good reason, it was coined as the term used to refer to hats coming from Milan,Italy the location of the worlds best hat makers  in the 18th century. No stop in Italy would be complete without a visit to Alessendria, the place in Italy that hosts the Borsalino factory makers of the famous Borsalino felt hats which are made from belgian rabbit fur.

The British Police Bobby Helmet

The British Police Bobby Helmet

England– Come on, any world wide tour of Hats has to have a stop in Britian to see the Helmet worn by the British Bobbies (policemen) when they are on patrol and while we’re in Great Britian, lets take a look at the Beerskin a tall furry hat worn by the Guards that are in charge of guarding the Queen in Buckingham palace.

The Glengarry Hat

The Glengarry Hat

Scotland– Crossing into Scotland where we’ll see a hat with a poetic name that does the people of this fair country justice, the Glengarry. Its shaped like a boat, without a peak, made from a thick woolen material, has a rosette cockade on the left and ribbons hanging down. It is normally worn as part of the dress of the Scottish Military.

The Cordobes Hat

The Cordobes Hat

Spain Its not to far from England but Spain has a hat that it gave us too! The Cordobes are a flat brimmed hat with a flat top that originated in Cordoba Spain. Do you want to know how it looks? Well if you know anything about the Mask of Zorro you’ll recognize it, the hero has one as part of his costume.

Iceland Tail Cap

Iceland Tail Cap

Iceland– It’s a tiny country to be sure but Iceland has a cap that’s part of the traditional national costume, its the Icelandic tail-cap.

By Ben Levi

Wedding Hair Styles: Choosing a Dress Hat or Headscarf for a Wedding

Dress Hat for Wedding

Dress Hats for Women are and Elegant way to attend a wedding when undergoing Hair Loss.

Choosing the right head covering for a wedding can sometimes be a just a tad overwhelming for women who cover their hair for reasons such as hair loss or religious purposes. Although some women opt for a wig in order to achieve a more natural look (and believe it or not sometimes even looks better than regular hair), lots of women find wigs uncomfortable and hard to take care of, which is why they turn to head coverings.

The advantage in choosing a headcoveringis that there are lot’s of choices! The large variety of head coverings available include hats, caps, snoods, berets, pre-tied bandanas, head scarves, etc. which makes it exciting to cover ones hair. However  when you have to find the perfect head covering to match your dress for a wedding, the many choices out there it can wind up being overwhelming! So decided to put together  some ideas that might help you out on your quest for the perfect hat for a wedding.

The most common wedding head coverings worn by women worldwide are Dress Hats. There are many different types of variations of Dress Hats. Some are flat and some have height, some are brimless and of course there are lots of wide brim hats for women too. Some have a crown such as a Fedora that has a crown with a pinch at the front to give it a little bit of a modern look and some of the crowns are simply round. Women looking for a lot of height on their hat generally go for the Cloche hat which is a hat in the shape of a bell. It is round on top, goes in by the head and then out again by the brim. All these hats come very well decorated. The most common materials used are Silk, Satin, Ribbon, Lace, Organza, Chiffon, Tulle, etc.

There are lots of style’s  to choose from. Some are simple and classy and others are more decorated with sequins, flowers, feathers, and much more. When choosing the right hat first take a look at your dress. If the outfit you are wearing has a lot going on, you may want to go for something a little tone down so that your hat shouldn’t take away from your outfit but if your dress is a little bit more simple, you may want to wear a head covering that has some added touch to dress up your outfit.

Another option is a headscarf. A head scarf has the advantage that it could be tied in any style or fashion you desire. In addition, if you are having trouble finding the perfect color head scarf to match your outfit, you can always walk into a fabric store, find the perfect material in the perfect color and create your own head covering. In addition, lots of head scarves have lurex and fringes which adds a great fashionable look. Lots of women like tying their head scarf in the crown style which is a head scarf that is tied with a little swirl across the top to make it look like a crown; which in effect adds height. It is fancy and dressy and has a great fit which makes it last throughout the night. Otherwise, consider tying your scarf in the bun style or any other style and add an applique to dress it up. You can add a flower a studded applique or anything else under the sun. It’s original, different and really comfortable.

One thing all the many options to choose from have in common , and that is that they are all really pretty, stylish and comfortable. We hope this information helps you out to guide you to find the perfect head cover for your special occasion.

The Cowboy Hat: You Don’t Have To Be a Cowboy To Wear It!

Although the cowboy hat started out as a uniform and hat exclusively for cowboys, the cowboy hat today is definitely a fashionable and trendy hat.

The cowboy hat today is definitely a fashionable and trendy hat.

The cowboy hat as we know it goes back to the 1860’s. Before John B. Stetson invented it cowboys wore many different types of head gear. There was no specific hat or “uniform” so it would be common to see a cowboy wearing sailor hats, war gear, caps, tall hats and many others.

Thankfully, Stetson came along and created what we no know as the cowboy hat. It was truly a great invention since most people look good in them, not only cowboys. For many, cowboy hats are  great for the summer. People love wearing straw cowboy hats in the summer to block the sun from their face since it’s not just any other cap; it really looks cool. A cowboy hat adds a lot to an outfit and believe it or not, when you’re wearing one, you get the spirit of a cowboy!

Suddenly you feel like you can do anything! Sort of like the Lone Ranger.

Some wear them when going horseback riding or simply when working in the garden. It also makes a great hat to dress up a lovely summer outfit and makes you feel taller and stronger!

Just like any other type, different cowboy hats are made of different materials. The most expensive and high quality ones are made from real felt, which is animal fur. A typical felt used in the cowboy hat is that of a beaver, a muskrat or a rabbit. However, it is very common to see a one made from a mixture of beaver, muskrat fur and rabbit fur. Another fabric or material used is straw, which is what we are mostly familiar with today. (Nowadays however, many straw hats are actually made from the pulp of a tree just like paper so often, cowboy hats and other straw hats will have 100% paper listed as the content.) These are definitely more affordable, comfortable, lightweight and stylish! They are worn by cowboys and many other men, women and children around the world.

There are many different styles and looks for a cowboy hat but the most common is simply a wide brimmed hat with a medium sized crown. In addition there is a prominent pinch at the front of the crown to give it that country look and cowboy twist.

Although the cowboy hat started out as a uniform and hat exclusively for cowboys,  today it definitely is a fashionable and trendy style option. Put it together with a pair of cowboy boots and your good to go! So when packing for your summer vacation up in the mountains, a camping trip or any other summer getaway don’t forget your cowboy hat to add to the spirit! If you don’t own a cowboy hat or are just a little too feminine for them definitely go for a beach or straw sun hat which will do just the trick and look really good!