A few weeks ago I called Kitty Calash gushing with excitement after a little antiquing adventure...I had just purchased what appeared to be a non colonial-revival lappet cap. And I didn't pay a fortune! (It was more like lunch at Panera.)
I've never been inclined to like lappet caps...
...I think of them as either frumpy...
Sarah Porter, 1750s-1760s
...or from an era that's earlier than I normally portray.
Mrs. Faber, mid 18th century
In preparing for What Cheer Day, the importance of lappet caps became apparent. My mid century lappet wouldn't work for an 1800 event and I skirted the issue of wearing one (and making one) by portraying someone who wasn't married. But they are important. I'm told that they were quite common in the late 18th and early 19th century, so I will need to make one.
The cap I found has some great details that suggest its age is close to my era.
The linen is much more white in person than it appears in the photos.
- It's made with two kinds of fabric: a very fine linen for the ruffle and a heavier linen for the rest of the cap.
- It's constructed with period techniques such as lapped seams and stroke gathers.
- And, of course, it's hand sewn with perfect little stitches.
Stroke gather envy!
I have not yet been able to pinpoint an era for it...nor have I been able to answer any of the questions that it raised for me such as: "How long were caps like this worn into the 19th century? If they were worn in the late 19th century, would they have been hand sewn? Can the shape of the lappet, which isn't very dramatic or long, help me narrow down an era in which it was worn?"
I've started a Pinterest board for cap research, and I hope to dig into this cap craze more in the coming months. While I'm still not stoked about the idea of wearing, and making, a lappet cap the shape of this less dramatic lappet is one I could tolerate--and even be excited about.
If you have any thoughts on an era for this cap and / or ideas about lappet research, please let me know!