The Crispinette C. 1300 - 1500
The Crispinette (or Caul) came into fashion in the second half of the 13th
century (1250). It was originally known as the "Crispine", which was a
network cap to confine the hair. These caps were shaped like bags or like
hairnets (which you can buy from Boots the Chemist today).
They were made of gold or silver mesh or hand woven silk.
By the 1300´s hair coiled over the ears in the "Ramshorns" was becoming
increasingly bulky. It needed to be contained. The "Crispine" came to be
adapted. In the previous reign, it was used to contain hair under the
Torque, in a net at the back of the head. Now it became smaller and split
into two parts. The hair was coiled into two gold cauls (nets) over each
ear, held in place by a fillet (a narrow bar of metal in gold, silver or
embroidery, according to the position of the wearer). This was the
A veil was also worn with the crispinette and again
decorated to the position of the wearer.
Women of the 14th Century attached great importance to the dressing of
their hair and wanted to be in the height of fashion. Princess Isabella
(known as the "She wolf of France") brought this fashion of hair dressing
to the English court when she married Prince Edward II, and because of
her status, it became fashionable to dress the hair in this way.
By the time of Edward III, the Crispinette was still worn by all levels
and ages of female society for day and State wear, along with the other
headdresses of the time, the
"Goffered" and the
"Tressour Crispinette." A simpler form
of Crispinette was worn by the middle and lower classes, where their
hair took on the shape of "Ramshorns," plaited and coiled underneath
their veils and head coverings.
The Crispinette was worn well into the time period of Richard II although
the cauls became much larger and were worn higher over the ears. From this
it developed into the reticulated headdress known as the
"Cross Tree" or the "Gibbet" and of course,
the "Heart Shaped Hennin."
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