Thursday, April 7, 2011


Bindmössan refers to a type of Swedish folk hat that is worn with a regional Folkdräkt. The literal translation is a bond cap, a small, rigid, rundkullig hat which originates in the dress of the 1500's. The hat is usually covered in silk or sometimes wool and embroidered using a tamburnålar. They are often adorned with rosettes or a floral pattern and complemented with a piece of lace or embellished linen. The one pictured here is worn by my dear friend, Inga Marta, and compliments her Lyckseledräkten and was made by Tora Risberg of Lycksele.

The female headgear had a strong symbolic function. It was primarily the status of women, married or unmarried, as was shown with the headgear. Married women have since prehistoric times covered their hair with a scarf or a hat.

The model for the Bindmössan came from Mary cap. The hat is French in origin and was worn by Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-67). The hat was originally soft and covered the entire head with deep cutout at the temples and tied together at the back of the neck.

The tie the hat was common in the fashion of the 1500s and later part in the 1600's. Noble ladies began to wear the hat during the 1600s, but  it was mainly middle class women who wore it in a tight variation of headgear, made of dark fabrics. It became the most common headdress among the Swedish peasant women thereafter.

The model changed over time and during the late 1700s ladies reduced the caps in size and it evolved into a harder form. Cutout at the temple fell, and in many styles the cutout eventually disappear completely. Tie hats were difficult and expensive to manufacture.

The Bindmössan used to indicate a difference between married and unmarried women, but this differentiation disappeared overtime and by 1800s this headgear could be used by the unmarried women as well. Upon confirmation many girls would receive their first bond cap.

I found a beautiful blog entry from a young woman named Fia in Lunde about making her own bindmössa. It was very inspiring to see the beautiful work she did. She told me she got the pattern from Ulla Centergran in Göteborg. As I understand it, once Fia finished the hat she took it to Ulla to have it shaped/ stretched into shape. I have had little to no luck contacting Ulla for patterns. Should anyone have a contact or ideas for where I could procure patterns, your comments are very welcome.

1 comment:

  1. If you could get hold of a copy of "Folkdräkter förr och nu" By Ulla Centergran and Kicki Kirwall, there is a section describing how to make and embellish bindmössor