This post will be the first in an ongoing series about hair coverings around the world and throughout history.  If there are any styles you’re particularly curious about, let me know!  I randomly decided to start with snoods, because they go pretty far back.

Basically, a snood is a loose bag that covers some or all of the hair; they can be both functional (ever seen a chef wearing a hairnet?) and decorative.  The style goes back to medieval Europe, although they became really popular around the 1500’s.

The first snoods were made of hand-knotted lace and pinned or tied on; they were a pretty, practical way to cover some or all of a person’s hair.  Wealthy people decorated theirs with beads or even precious stones.  The term “caul” referred to snoods made of solid cloth like linen or silk, rather than net.  Crocheting became popular in the 1600’s.  Sometimes snoods were worn with other pieces of headgear, such as hats.

A woman wearing a Civil War-era snood

Hairnet-type snood were worn around the era of the Civil War, and they became popular again duringWorld War II, both to keep factory workers’ hair safe, and as a fashion statement!  They were

usually netted or crocheted, and sometimes trimmed with ribbons, feathers, beads, bows, fringe, or silk flowers.  Whether they were worn partway back on the head or covered all of the hair, snoods were a great way to cover lightly without having to style the hair too elaborately – or to protect an elaborate hairstyle!

Snood or beret? Either way!

Nowadays, snoods are most often worn by Renaissance or Civil War reenactors, or by many Jewish women, who generally prefer a style that provides full coverage.  We sell some beautiful modern snoods at, in colors that will coordinate with just about anything!


Encyclopedia of Hair: A Cultural History by Victoria Sherrow

Wikipedia: Snood (headgear)

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