How to decorate with short feathers

While working with the latest Tellerbarret and its feathers, a type of landsknecht hats seems to be covered with fluffy feathers poking almost straight out on the brim and at each top, decorated with a tip of some kind.

 
I couldn’t find any information about how to achieve the look, and started some small experiments to see what can be done to get a similar look. 

1) the feathers pokes almost perfectly straight out from the brim

– a normal wing plume top will “dip”, especially if you add a baubles on the end. 

– most feathers of “normal” length is too long, and would go too far out over the brim

Possible solution: cut the feather in desired length, use the stiff part …of course it hurts a little to cut off a perfectly good feather! But, it’s actually a good way to reuse any old broken feathers you may have (and I saved the nice fluffy feather tops to be used for later hats)

  
2) make the feathers look all round and fluffy

– one feather isn’t enough, sew at least two together

– each feather is curled to achieve maximum fluffiness 

I’ve used this technique before, read more about how-to-do or follow the quick tutorial;

 
 3) Attach the decoration
The First Book of Fashion describe one hat to be decorated with   “[…] white ostrich feathers […] augmented with gilt aiglets”. Excellent, and simple:

 

4) the result 

(Sorry for the potatoe quality, my iPads camera is getting a bit old nowadays)  

I’ve made two so far; don’t be tricked by the few steps involved in this tutorial, curling the vanes is what you’re going to hate the most… 2 down, 14-20 more to go before it covers the whole brim

How I made the hat
5) future changes

– I used high quality wing plumes for these sets, but since I’m cutting them in half, I wonder how it would look if I instead used ordinary feathers. The stiffer feathers might also be easier to curl ..and cheaper. Which is of course is a plus.

EDIT:

People on my Facebook page suggest the feathers to be called “frizzel/frizzle” feathers, the word “frizzle” dates back to the 16th c (Thank you W.Grant and D.Gonzales)

Sources;

Graf August Johann Breünner Enkevoerth, Jacob von Falke (edited by M. McNealy), Landsknecht Woodcuts: Kriegsvölker im Zeitalter der Landsknechte, 2013 (originally published 1883)

Rublack, Hayward and Tiramani (edited), The First Book of Fashion: the Book of Clothes of Matthäus and Veit Konrad Schwarz of Augsburg

Fabric Covered Tellerbarret

An inventory in the Textiler Hausrat mention a fabric covered straw hat, and I decided to try the technique by doing a specific kind of Tellerbarret. First book of fashion also mention hats covered in fabric, but doesn’t give any clues of what the base might be made of. Probably not all hats of this type have a strawhat base, but since it’s cheap and availble I found it suitable for a campfollower.  

  
The hat is based on Erhard Schöns “Landsknecht and Wife”, 1525-1530.

How I made the hat;

1) Take a straw hat and mark and cut of the top. Don’t worry if the hole is too big, you’re going to add a layer of fabric, which will reduce the size some, and if you planning to wear it on top of some kind of head cloth, you kind of want it to be larger than your head.

  In this case I used an old straw which was a bit damaged anyway. 

2) measure the width of the brim and double the measurement and add seam allowance, this is the width. Measure the outer circumference of the straw hat, and this is the minimum length of the fabric. My straw hat was exactly the width of my fabric, which was nice.

Tip: wool rips really easy: just snip and rip in perfectly straight lines.

Mark the middle of the fabric and put in gatherings threads, mine is about 1/2 inch (2 cm) between. I choose to make two rows on each side of the middle, to ensure that the pleats would stay neat on both side of the brim. (Honestly, I remade my gathering threads six times before I settled for this kind. Do as you believe works best for you)

3) pull the gatherings thread carefully, you-do-not-want-them-to-brake! I used a thicker linen thread, it still broke, and I had to remake it. Fun times… Fold the fabric over the hat and place the gathered part along the inner hole. I then pulled and pinned the fabric evenly over the brim, making sure it was evenly stretched.

4) I made sure I’ve pinned all the way around on the brim and let go of the pins around the outer edge, so I could fold and whip stitched the two layers of fabric on the outer side, without loosing the even pleating. 

 
5) the inner hole with the two rows of gathering thread ended up even and nicely 

 
6) I wasn’t able to find any leeds on how the top of a fabric covered Tellerbarret would look like, so instead I study several different other models of a wide flat type of hat around the same period,  to get an idea what would be most plausible design. Here is three examples of the construction of the crown: 

  

A) most tops seems very flat, some looks like they are made out of a cut out round circle, some like they’ve been shaped (felt? leather?) or possibly sewn out of several pieces. The design I chose is based on the first woodcut which seems to have a curve. 

B) some hats seems to have some sort of butto- like decoration on the top.

C) I’ve noticed that a cord during this period, often seem to go through the brim and over the head.

7) a friends pattern of a hat crown seemed to be similar to the shape I was looking for; measure the base to be sure it will fill up the hole on your hat, don’t forget to take any seam allowance into the calculation. Cut out four, sew together. 

  
8) the crown is then sewn on to the brim; the edge is folded to keep it hidden. The edge is then whip stitched to the brim, which also helps keep the pleating even.

 

9) add cords; when you look at the woodcut, the cords seems like they goes through/attached to the brim rather then the seam between the crown and brim, so I punched a hole through all the layers and pulled my cord through it.

  

10) …and the hat is finished to be decorated with feathers; I am still working on how to get the same look as the woodcut, I have some ideas I’ll experiment with and publish when I’m satisfied with the result.

Amount of work hours around 8-10 hours.

  

Things to work on:

When studying and compare my finished hat with the woodcut, a few things might need a tweak.

– thinner cord

– smaller straw hat; the size between head and edge is smaller then mine.

– more fabric? The woodcut shows more pleats, which is also smaller. Since I made the hat out of Melton wool, I would probably need to experiment with either a thinner wool or another type of fabric.

Sources:

Zander-Siedel, Textiler Husrat: Kleidung und Haustextilien in Nürnberg Von 1500-1600. (English translation by Katerine Barich), 1990

Graf, Breünner, Jacob, Landsknecht Woodcuts: Kriegsvölker Im Zeitalter der Landsknechte (edited by M. McNealy), 2013

The first book of fashion: the book of Clothes of Matthäus and Veit Konrad Schwarz of Augsburg (Edited by Ulinka Rublack and Maria Hayward), 2015

Tece de Kaxtone, Drachenwald, http://tecedekaxtone.livejournal.com