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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What age and social group of women wore this type of bonnet and for what occasion?

responded: Sep 14, 2011

Posted by Jessica P

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This type(design) of bonnet is quite different from the ones that the upper-class women wore. For the upper-class women, bonnets served as an item that would display their wealth and their taste. The "brim", the part which projects outward from the forehead(like a cap), continued down to the sides of the face and usually down to the jawline.The brim somtimes projected out so far that they had a limited view of their surrounding. The lower-class women wore similar but different bonnets called the "slat bonnets". This bonnet had shallower brim and the side curtains that hung down to the shoulder and to the back. Slat bonnets were worn by rural women who usually had to work out in the field. The way that this bonnet is shaped protected their face and neck from the harmful sun and did not interfere with their visions(view). Although one can assume that the lace was highly valuable and that it could only be acquired by upper-class, laces had become widely trade by the middle of the 19th century. The industrial revolution made large-scale production of the laces possible and it was readily purchased by lower and middle class. This lace bonnet was possibly worn by low to middle class women in their 20's to 40's only for the special occassions to attend weddings, church or for weekend outing with families and friends.

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