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Hand felted hat “Dante” is an extraordinary medieval piece of headwear. A felted hat of this type is a perfect choice for any reenactor who aims to stand out in a crowd. This hat will work both as an interesting medieval headdress for women and practical, fancy headwear for men.
Our hand felted hat “Dante” is fully handmade. Medieval headdresses of this type have a characteristic long beak. This makes it really eye-catching. Upper part of “Dante” hat has a conical shape and it covers the whole head along with the upper parts of ears.
We use sheep fleece in the process of making of this medieval headwear. Wool ensures a high level of hygroscopy which lets it absorb a lot of moisture without the feeling of wetness. Felt also ensures a natural thermoregulation of the body.
Historical sources prove that “Dante” hand felted hat was worn by both men and women. We can easily recommend it to any fan of reenactment looking for unusual medieval headwear.
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A range of colors to choose from in this medieval hand felted hat is very wide. You can find the list of available colors here!
As this model of medieval headwear has a curled edge, we can make this part in a different color.
NOTE - colors on pictures may slightly differ from those on the final product.
Inspiration for the “Dante” hand felted hat
Camposanto Monumentale cemetery is a part of Piazza del Duomo in Pisa. Inside we can find frescoes by Bonamica Buffalmacca. One of the works there presents a scene from Divine Comedy by Dante. Among the presented characters, we can easily notice men and women wearing this type of hand felted hat.
Hand felted hat Dante - why does it stand out?
↪ made of ecological, natural woolen fleece
↪ hand felted hat based on historical sources
↪ wide range of colors to choose from
↪ unisex medieval headwear
↪ unique, interesting design
Felting and fulling - how to make a hand felted hat?
Fulling is a process of joining natural animal (wool of sheep, animal hair) or plant fibers. This method can give dozens of adornments, accessories, or parts of clothing, characteristic for both former and modern fashion.
While making the felt, joined fibers are strengthened by hot water or chemicals, by pressing or rubbing. One can do it manually or with the use of a machine. The process is called fulling or felting.
Among others, there are two methods of felting used in making hand felted hats:
• full wet method – with the use of water and joining material, like soap
• dry method – with dedicated needle or tracer (cutting wheel), layers of fibers are joined and pressed
In past, a person making felt products was called a fuller.
Dante Alighieri - the writer, the poet, and the exile
Dante Alighieri is a renowned author and poet of the turn of 13th and 14th centuries. He is the author of Divine Comedy which is perceived as one of the masterpieces of world-wide literature. It presents a vision of hell, purgatory, and paradise. This piece of art is written in Italian and it makes a synthesis of medieval philosophy, theology, and a vision of the world.
Dante was also dedicated to politics as a follower of Guelphs who stood against the imperial rules in Italy. As a result, he was banished from the hometown Florence and died in exile.
Divine Comedy had a large influence on European culture and philosophical thought. For centuries, till this day, it has remained an inspiration for world’s literature, music, or painting.
What is felt used in medieval hand felted hats?
Woolen felt is one of the oldest human made textile materials. First marks of felt are dated on 6500 BC and come from area of modern Turkey, where Neolithic wall painting were found. A collection of felt products found in Altai are dated 7th-6th century BC.
Felt was used for centuries in making hand felted hat like caps, hats or berets, but also in making footwear. It is an all-purpose material, used not only in clothing. It is used in insulating and soundproofing materials, and as a veneer for keys in keyboards and pianos.
There are legends on the creation of felt fibre. One of them says that it reaches the time of Noah’s Ark where sheep lost their wool on wet floor. It was trampled and later found by surprised Noah in a form of a carpet!
Another story says about Mondolian horse riders who put sheep fur under their saddles. It was rubbed during a journey and later found in a hardened form.
The most interesting story is connected with the patron of fullers – St. Clement. A pope during his pilgrimage in the 1st century scraped his legs. To relieve his feet, he put wool pieces into his sandals. Rubbing and sweat formed it into felt.