quakers society of friends amish pleated cap smoked cap heart-shaped cap patterns lancaster amish stiff caps Beachy Amish Traditional Covering, Old German Baptist Brethren, Anabaptist, Conservative Mennonite, modest dress, religious coverings

Traditional Plain Dress Women's Caps

Examples and Links to Online Sources, Patterns/Seamstresses

On This Page:

"Midwest" Amish cap in black (unmarried) Soft Amish cap (made for tourist trade) Sowers of Hope Amish-style kapp
Traditional Stiff Caps       Traditional Soft Caps       Tradition-inspired Caps

Traditional Stiff Caps

Stiff caps are associated with the Anabaptist tradition (Amish/Mennonite/Amish Mennonite and Old German Baptist Brethren). Some caps are made of a stiff net, sometimes plastic, but some groups wear stiff caps made of solid, non-see-through white or black fabric that has been starched into shape. Notice how the "Midwest" Amish coverings have pleating reminiscent of the "Nebraska" Amish soft cap above. The "Nebraska" Amish caps, the "Midwest" Amish caps, and the smoked Swartzentruber cap have decorative bows at the nape of the cap--holdovers from when they were soft caps, gathered at the nape by a ribbon. It's typical for these caps to be held on by straight pins anchored into clips on top. I own a used cap that had double-sided cellophane tape on the underside of the brim to help keep the cap in place.

Examples

Beachy Amish cap Beachy Amish cap - side view Eastern Mennonite Cap
Beachy Amish Beachy Amish - side view Eastern Mennonite
Midwest Amish Cap - black, unmarried Midwest Amish Cap, Black, unmarried - detail Midwest Amish Cap - white (married)
"Midwest" Amish covering - black, unmarried "Midwest" Amish covering - black, unmarried: detail "Midwest" Amish covering - white, married
Old German Baptist Brethren woman Traditional Covering from Katie's Mercantile Conservative Mennonite full covering
Old German Baptist Brethren Conservative Mennonite Covering from Katie's Mercantile Conservative Mennonite (I'm wearing it tied, which is not typical.)
Shipshewana white cap Shipshewana Cap 26 pleat cap
Shipshewana, IN cap in white. Photo courtesy of Valerie at Plain and Practical Shipshewana, IN Cap in black mesh, available from Mennonite Maidens 26 pleat cap (available from Mennonite Maidens).
Photos used by permission of Plainly Dressed, Katie's Mercantile, or Quaker Jane. (All Rights Reserved)

Ready-made

Patterns

  • Christian Light Publication

    For detailed instructions on making an Eastern Mennonite Covering, consider Christian Light Publication's Home Economics II unit called "Sewing a Headship Veiling."

  • Candle on the Hill

    CandleOnTheHill.net offers several stiff cap patterns: Beachy Amish, Conservative Mennonite, Pleated Covering Pattern, and Traditional Covering Patterns (scroll down).

  • Friends Patterns

    Friends Patterns offers the Traditional Head Covering pattern, which is the classic full-coverage stiff, pleated cap. These patterns are printed on blueprint paper, so be prepared to copy over the pattern onto a more workable pattern material.

Traditional Soft Caps

Soft caps have been worn by many groups, including the Quakers, Amish and Old Order River Brethren. It is important to note some differences. The Old Order River Brethren place much emphasis on a bright white cap, often starching it into shape. Among the Quakers, there is no set pattern, but I show a few of the styles that are worn. I like to wear my bun very high as it keeps my cap securely in place without straight pins or hairspray or double-sided cellophane tape, but that is not typical. (For some of the images below, thee can click on the image to get a larger image.)

Examples

Nebraska Amish Pleated Cap - side view Nebraska Amish pleated cap - angle view Nebraska Amish pleated cap - back view
"Nebraska" Amish (not geographical location), Pleated. This cap is made of a double-layer of organdy and then starched stiff. This toddler-size cap is the same as the one worn by adult women.
Swartzentruber Amish Smoked Cap Smoked Cap Swartzentruber Amish Smoked Cap Swartzentruber Amish
Amish, "Nebraska," pleated. Amish, Swartzentruber, Smoked, unmarried, in black.
(Married would be white.)
Amish, Swartzentruber, detail of back
Lancaster Amish Heart-shaped Cap Lancaster Amish Heart-shaped Cap from Plainly Dressed Lancaster Amish Heart-shaped Cap from Katie's Mercantile
Amish, Lancaster, Heart-Shaped--made of organdy (which is traditional). Amish, Lancaster, Heart-Shaped. Traditionally, the ties are made of the same fabric as the cap. But some are sold with satin ties. Heart-Shaped caps in cotton batiste are also available.
Soft Amish Cap (tourist trade) Soft Amish Cap (tourist trade) Old Order River Brethren cap
Soft Amish-style cap sold for tourist trade. Old Order River Brethren cap.
Ohio Yearly Meeting Coif Cap Ohio Yearly Meeting Soft Cap Quaker Style "Laura" Cap from Rachel's Seamstress ServicesQuaker Style "Caroline" Cap from Rachel's Seamstress Services
Coif-style Cap worn by some women of Ohio Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quaker) Soft Cap worn by some women of Ohio Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quaker) The caps I wear, the Laura Cap and the Caroline Cap from Rachel's Seamstress Services. The Laura Cap in particular was inspired by traditional Quaker caps.
Photos used by permission of Plainly Dressed, Katie's Mercantile and Quaker Jane. All Rights Reserved.

Ready-made

Patterns

  • CandleOnTheHill.net

    Candle on the Hill offers a number of unique soft cap patterns, including an interesting "Vintage Covering" pattern.

  • Friends Patterns

    Friends Patterns offers several soft cap patterns, including: #510 Heart Shaped Head Covering and #505 "Nebraska" Head Covering. This "Nebraska" covering is not a pattern for the "Nebraska" cap shown in the photo above. It is more like the "Caroline" cap I wear. These patterns are printed on blueprint paper, so be prepared to copy over the pattern onto a more workable pattern material.

  • Miller's Millinery

    Miller's Millinery has historically accurate patterns for caps (and bonnets). Her plain cap is as useful today as it ever was. Patterns designed to fit a 22" (circumference) head.

  • Wm. Booth, Draper

    Wm. Booth, Draper, offers an extensive array of historical cap patterns quite useful to the modern plain-dressing woman, most of which would be soft caps.

  • Kannik's Korner

    Kannik's Korner has some nifty period cap and bonnet patterns.

Tradition-inspired Caps and Veilings

With a growing number of women outside of traditional covering communities feeling the call to wear a headcovering, seamstresses have stepped forward with tradition-inspired caps. The long, flowing veiling is becoming more and more popular among plain women and is now an acceptable public alternative with some Plain groups.

Examples

Christian Coverings' 26 inch veil Christian Coverings Tabitha veil Christian Coverings Tabitha veil
26 inch veiling from Christian Coverings 22 inch veiling from Prayercoverings.com. Christian Coverings veils.
Christian Coverings Adah with bun Christian Coverings Adah cap (no bun) Christian Coverings Tabitha veil
Christian Coverings offers original-design caps and coverings that are well-made and easy to wear. See the Cap Style Coverings and Veils.
Sowers of Hope Amish-style kapp Sowers of Hope Amish-style kapp Sowers of Hope Amish-style kapp
Sowers of Hope offer traditionally-inspired Amish-style kapps with lovely distinctive detailing like ribbon banding.
Sowers of Hope brown veil Sowers of Hope black veil Garlands of Grace kerchief
Sowers of Hope also offers veils in non-traditional colors. Another fine maker of classic veils in non-traditional colors and fabrics is Garlands of Grace.
Quaker cap from Rachel's Seamstress Services Quaker cap from Rachel's Seamstress Services Quaker cap from Rachel's Seamstress Services
Rachel's Seamstress Services offers some beautiful and unique caps. The Laura in natural linen is one of my favorites.

List of Resources (in alphabetical order)

  • CandleOnTheHill.net
  • ChristianCoverings.com
  • Katie's Mercantile
  • The King's Daughters, Modest Apparel
  • Mennonite Maidens
  • Miller's Millinery
  • PrayerCoverings.com
  • Rachel's Seamstress Services
  • Sowers of Hope

Also see

quakers society of friends amish pleated cap smoked cap heart-shaped cap patterns lancaster amish stiff caps Beachy Amish Traditional Covering, Old German Baptist Brethren, Anabaptist, Conservative Mennonite, modest dress, religious coverings
quakers society of friends amish pleated cap smoked cap heart-shaped cap patterns lancaster amish stiff caps Beachy Amish Traditional Covering, Old German Baptist Brethren, Anabaptist, Conservative Mennonite, modest dress, religious coverings
quakers society of friends amish pleated cap smoked cap heart-shaped cap patterns lancaster amish stiff caps Beachy Amish Traditional Covering, Old German Baptist Brethren, Anabaptist, Conservative Mennonite, modest dress, religious coverings
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Quaker spirituality Spiritual mentor Plain dress
daily george fox quote

Epistle 252
1667

"Single to God and single-hearted to Man"

For Friends in the Ministry, scattered abroad in Virginia, Maryland, New-England, Barbadoes, and other Plantations beyond the Sea

To all you that minister abroad in those Parts, this is the Word of the Lord to you all, Live in Lowliness of Mind, and Meekness of Spirit, and Pureness of Heart, and be Examples in your Lives, and Chaste in your Conversations, in Holiness of Minds, that you may be a good Savour amongst the People where you come. Let all ungracious, ...

... view full quote



Quaker Jane's
Recommended Reading


Why Do They Dress That Way?

The guide to the practice of plain dress in the United States.


The Quaker: A Study in Costume

Amelia Gummere's classic study of the history of Quaker plain dress, first published around 1900.

(More Recommended Reading on Plain Dress . . .)