The headdress once served as a symbol of authority, power. For example, in Ancient Egypt only the pharaoh could carry big headdress made of a striped fabric, which the crown was put on. All others classes, except for slaves, were content with wigs from a vegetative fibre. Wealthier the person, the wig was bigger and ringlets were more magnificent.


In the Ancient Greece men, and women went with an uncovered head, only during travel would they put on a low round felt hat with fields (a swift-footed Hermes with such a hat on was represented as a god's envoy on the frescos and in sculptures).


In the middle Ages, men, and women wore capes and raincoats with hoods. Hoods had diversified forms. Sometimes the end of a hood was so long that hanged down below the waistline.


In the Middle Ages, headdresses become an ornament and a luxury goods. People decorated their headdresses with plumes (bunches of feathers), fur, tapes and jewellery.


Ladies and some men were wearing so called genin - high cone-shaped headdress. It is assumed, that genin was thought up by Isabella Bavarian and she had brought it into fashion in 1395. Only one hundred years later it had disappeared from secular clothes, but had not ceased to exist absolutely as masons began to wear it. The skeleton for princesses genin was 3 feet high (nearby 1), court had genin up to 2 feet (about 60 cm). A skeleton was made of a firm paper or starched cloth and fitted silk or other expensive fabrics. The transparent veil went down from the back part of the genin. It often covered the person. All the beaten out hair was only the small triangle-in the middle of forehead. Genins were of such height, that sometimes it was necessary to cut through doors in addition. Even heads of the heretics sentenced to burning were crowned with a cap with sharp top from a cardboard on which tongues of a flame and demons were painted. Later genin has got the form of a half moon or two-angled.


From the East the fashion on turbans had come to Europe. Turbans have received wide circulation. They were carried both by men and by women. Persians named a turban a fabric, which tied a head. The Persians spread this headdress widely across the Islamic world.


In XVII and XVIII centuries the turban disappeared from European fashion and appears again only during a campaign of Napoleon to Egypt (a fashion an empire style) and once again during the Second World War.


In Central Asia turbans were not allowed to be worn by time workers and beggars, nevertheless all other men from approximately 5 years and on wore turbans. The turban could be as a smart dress headwear and as casual headdress also and it could easily be transformed to a belt.


In the Middle Ages in Europe, the cap became available. At the beginning it was used for bathing and as a nightcap both by women and men. The man's cap could have a long top, which was hanging down on one side. Later, men refused to wear this headdress, and only llamas were wearing it up to the end of XIX century.


In XIV and XV centuries the French fashion dominated in Europe. Caps were long and sharp as cones. Men's caps had been entirely decorated by peacock feathers. At that time, felt hats made by Russian hand craftsmen used to be very popular.


Since old days, east Slavs of all social levels wore caps a little bit extending towards the top. Peasants had caps with a high crown narrowed up at the top made of felt. There were also low cut caps with round fur band and velvet or brocade crown, they were known as murmolki. Dandies and tsar's guards (streltsi) in XVII century wore caps with low fur band and the high upward pointed soft velvet crown.


About the author:


V. Karpenko


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