Bonnets were popular among women in the 19th century and signified status. Worn both indoors and outdoors, bonnets kept hair tidy and kept dust out. The type of lace on this bonnet is called “limerick,” or “needlerun,” which consists of embroidery on a net ground. Tiny metal pins line the edges of the starched wings.

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Why do you think the row of pins was stuck into this bonnet?

responded: Apr 12, 2013

Posted by VIC224Y1 Material Culture Research Project

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For my research project, I was curious to know why the pins were attached to the bonnet. Since the starched brim is stable on its own and securely sewn to the lacy net part of the bonnet, the pins really weren't needed for support. Pins are normally taken out once the pieces of material are sewn together, but I still haven't resolved the issue why the pins are attached: was the bonnet incomplete? Did the wearer keep them in and wear the bonnet as is in public? I thought about the latest fashion trend these days of wearing metal pieces on clothing, such as studs and chains. For my creative component of the project, I attached pins to the collar of a lace blouse to mimic the metal collar style. The blouse reminded me of the bonnet because of its lace trim and they were both very feminine pieces of clothing. Adding pins to the clothing piques interest from observers because the materials of the clothing seem to be firmly attached already.

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