Friday, July 24, 2015

1860s Velvet Hair Net

I made this 1860s velvet hair net after years of wrestling with my hair.  It's long, thick, and I have ZERO hair dressing skills. I knew I wanted something neutral and I was lucky to find a ribbon that matched my natural hair color. The black ribbon is vintage from a friend. 

To make the net, I cut a round piece of cardboard and marked the the center with a north-south and east-west guideline.  I cut long strips (I think 16") of the brown velvet and wove a lattice pattern like a pie.  I then used pins to keep the strips in place and then sewed each overlap point with matching thread (see image below). THIS TOOK AGES.  Once the lattice part was sewn, I finished the edges by making a loop at the end of each strip.  THIS ALSO TOOK AGES.  The loops were then used to thread a length of brown twill tape that meets at the nape of my neck.  The twill tape is pulled tight once I have the net in place.  To cover the loops and twill tape, I pleated the black velvet, as was common in period images (see below).  I roll my hair into a rat at the nape of my neck, put the net on, and secure with a few bobby pins.  So much easier than making buns, braids, and rolls that I used to.  Also, I just like the neat and tidy look.
1860s velvet hair net side view

1860s velvet hair net back view
1860s velvet hair net bathroom mirror shot!
Latticed ribbon pinned in place.
Godey's 1864
Flat velvet ribbon