German hats – first attempts

Tellerbarret - German platter hat

Tellerbarret – German platter hat

On May 17 I published my entry for the Historical Sew Monthly May 2016 challenge – a pair of German hats (worn together). I’ve been pretty busy with a few different things so I didn’t get to the longer post about these hats until now.

Goldhaube and Tellerbarret worn with a mundane sweater (iphone photo)

Goldhaube and Tellerbarret worn with a mundane sweater (iphone photo)

I was inspired to work on these hats because the the (SCA) Royal Progress is Cologne for Silverwolf 2016. With this in mind, I wanted to attempt to make my first German costume. While I’m strongly attracted to the Cranach-style gowns, I thought that they might be too fitted for me to accomplish right now on short notice (since I would need a hand with the fitting). Instead I opted for the Landsknecht style, which nicely worked with the “holes” theme of the May Historical Sew Monthly challenge.

Like my Byzantine costume, which also had a short deadline and my Istanbul costume (likewise, short deadline) I didn’t do in-depth research for this costume; instead starting with Pinterest.

Cross-functional hat?

Although for this event I want to make the Landsknecht-style outfit, I noted that the style of hat I wanted to make – the Tellerbarret (platter hat) appeared in both Landsknecht woodcuts and the Cranach-style portraits.

Cranach-style portraits

Direct link from Pinterest

This painting shows the Tellerbarret (platter hat) with the Goldhaube (gold hat), including how the two were worn together. The Tellerbarret is worn sort of beret-style, actually fitting on the head, and not just strapped TO the head. There’s no strap going under the chin or under the hair to hold it on.

The Tellerbarret is red (a common colour from what I’ve seen in other portraits) trimmed with white feather pom-poms around the outside of the brim… it’s wider than her shoulders – possibly 18-20″? The red fabric could be the same as her dress, though it looks a little bit darker to me. (I’m interested in this because in some costumes, the hats seem to be made of similar fabric to the dresses, while in others they are distinctly different.)

The Goldhaube is thoroughly beaded – possibly pearls? and is very full at the back/bottom. The colour seems slightly more red than the golden jewellery she’s wearing.

Direct link from Pinterest

The hats in the painting above is very similar to the previous one.

Again the Tellerbarret is red, and very wide. (I’d guess at least 20″). It’s trimmed with (at least) four white feathers – likely ostrich. It too is worn beret-style, with the hat actually fitting on the head quite clearly. This is the style I opted for ultimately for my own hat. There are no under-the-chin straps, and because the Goldhaube is as visible as it is, it’s clear there is no strap from the platter hat down behind the hair either. The red fabric of the hat seems to match the red fabric in her dress.

The Goldhaube is again richly decorated with beads – much more clearly small pearls. This Goldhaube is full at the bottom and sides, and is about the same tone of gold as the jewellery she’s wearing.

Direct link from Pinterest

On the other hand…. this smaller platter-hat DOES appear to be tied on under the chin… It’s much smaller, only slightly wider than her head, black (not red) and is decorated with four white feather pom-poms on one side. The black hat matches her outfit. The Goldhaube looks quite different in structure as well, though seems very similar. The Goldhaube is the same tone as her jewellery, and the fullness seems to be more on the bottom than sides.

There is another black hat shown in this image, which shows a woman wearing a black hat and a black/green/white/gold/red-orange dress.

Landsknecht-style images

The next image is of men, but the wide-brimmed hat is shown from the back – this case a crown with a wide brim, rather than a beret-style hat, and clearly tied on under the chin,through the brim, and tied off on top of the hat. It seems kind of impractical….  Both hats are trimmed with a single huge feather – a white-to-brown feather that looks like ostrich. One hat is red, while the other white and blue.. but again, these are men’s hats… Notably both match their outfits…such as it is.

Direct link from Pinterest

The woodcut below is also a man’s  hat – but shows the same platter-style width, but with deep slashes along the brim. This might be a beret-style hat, or could be one with a crown and a brim. The hat is also worn beret-style, worn actually on the head, and is not obviously tied on under the chin or behind the head. It’s also adorned with a single feather. Colour is unknown.

Direct link from Pinterest

So now.. finally a woodcut of a woman! This isn’t quite the same as the platter hat – it’s a two-piece brim hat with two overlapping C-shapes to make up the brim. Like the other woodcut, colour isn’t evident, but this doesn’t appear to have a Goldhaube (perhaps her hair has some kind of twisted braid thing), nor any straps. It seems to have a single feather (a small one, not fluffy).

Direct link from Pinterest

Saxon portraits

The next two portraits aren’t Landsknecht or Cranach-style paintings, but still show similar style of hats for me to work with.

Direct link from Pinterest

In this portrait she’s wearing a black platter-style hat over a golden cap. The black hat matches her dress, and the gold appears to be the same colour as the gold fabric of her dress, but not all of her jewellery.

The gold cap has a narrower band than the Goldhaube caps seen above, appears to be a striped fabric (or self-fabric/ribbon appliquéd stripes), and the shape seems to focus more fullness to the sides than the bottom. The hat does not appear to have any beading/pearls.

The platter hat has ornaments on the underside of the hat, doesn’t appear to have any straps, and seems to be sitting on the head beret-style. This hat doesn’t have any feathers.

Direct link from Pinterest

This image is less useful because it’s so blurry/small… but it also seems to be a platter-style hat (or perhaps the “two overlapping C-shapes” one as the woodcut above) with a golden cap under it.

The platter hat is red, like many of the other platter hats, which appears to be white, perhaps the same fabric as her dress (or perhaps a bit lighter). It’s decorated with a few white feathers.

The golden cap is pretty indistinct, but appears to be the same golden colour as the fabric in her dress, and the shape seems to focus the fullness at the sides rather than the bottom.

Direct link from Pinterest

This one I’m mostly including because it shows a hat that isn’t red or black. In this case the upper hat appears to match the dress fabric.

The top hat seems to be a beret-style of hat, but much smaller than the others. There appears to be decoration on the top of the hat. There are no feathers.

The golden cap has a narrower band than the Goldhaube caps seen above, appears to be a striped fabric with beads (pearls?) between the stripes, and the shape seems to focus fullness equally around the back of the cap.


Looking at all of the examples (rather than just from one style) I note some of the possible options:


  • Fabric can be red, or match the dress (much less common).
  • Jewelled decoration on the underside of the brim seems limited. The Saxon hats have decoration on the brims, but very few of the others show decoration on the underside of the brim.
  • Feathers appear to be single feathers, multiple feathers, or no feathers.
  • Although most of the re-enactors have slashing and fabric manipulation on the crown/top of the hat, there aren’t enough images showing the top of the hat to support/deny this. However the slashed-brim hat seems to support this technique on this hat, and certainly the other Landsknecht-style outfits include lots of fabric manipulation.

It appears that red hats were more important than having the red hat match the dress, as seen below: (though the hat below is not a Tellerbarret.)

Direct link from Pinterest


  • Fabric always seems to be gold, however the colour doesn’t indicate if this is golden fabric, or cloth-of-gold.
  • Fabric can be plain or striped. (Stripes seen in Saxon paintings.)
  • Fullness seems to be focused at either the bottom, sides, or both.
  • The hat seems to be most commonly decorated with beads (pearls) all-over, with a lattice pattern being the most common, though not exclusively.  Not all Goldhaubes are beaded though.

The Goldhaube seems to be acceptable to be worn alone, without the platter hat, as seen below:

Direct link from Pinterest

This image also supports wearing just the golden cap without a top hat above it.

Making my hats



I started off trying to think of how to make this pattern. I made one mock-up with my suspected pattern, and found it wasn’t nearly full enough. I turned instead to Genoveva von Lubeck’s Goldhaube pattern, which worked quite well.

I made up my first and second mock-up from red-copper and gold stripped polyester taffeta that I picked up at the Grandmother’s Fabric sale, and sewed them entirely by machine. For the final version though, I used white-shot-gold silk (also from the Grandmother’s sale) and hand-sewed the entire hat. I pulled thread from the fabric to sew with for a perfect match.

Hemming the rounded edge (iPhone photo)

Hemming the rounded edge (iPhone photo)

The first step was pressing the long rounded edge of the silk and hand-sewing the hem down.

Adding the front binding

Adding the front binding

Next I pressed the band. I didn’t have any canvas to stiffen this band, so I ended up using (non-historically informed) fusible interfacing. This was sewn on by hand, and finished by hand.

Sewing pearls on

Sewing pearls on

Next I hand-sewed on the faux pearls using more of the silk thread pulled from the fabric. These are sewn on basically using a backstitch, so each pearl is sewn down individually. Then I used more thread to go through the hemmed channel, pulling the threads out slightly above the band, leaving a small hemmed gap. The channel was gathered and secured, and I sewed on a hand-made wire hook-and-eye set. I should have used golden wire for this, but I already had some copper ones already made.

Completed Goldhaube from the back

Completed Goldhaube from the back

Finished Goldhaube

The finished Goldhaube (iphone photo)

The finished Goldhaube (iphone photo)

This is not “stuffed” at all- Genoveva von Lubeck indicates that this will have to be stuffed to get the right shape – as it stands right now the fullness is at the bottom and not the sides and bottom. I don’t mind this once the Tellerbarret is on top of it, though I should try stuffing it as well. (My short hair doesn’t fill it up enough!)

If I wanted to make another of these, I might consider doing something more beaded, but I don’t really have the time right now to do a lot of beading on this, so I am happy with the way it is right now. A striped fabric might also be fun to work with.


I really wanted to make a blue-and-brown German outfit, so opted to make my first hat of blue. I thought that wool would hold it’s shape well. If I were to do this again, I’d likely opt for red instead, but I didn’t have any red wool.

I really dislike having hats that tie on – they always feel like they’re choking me, plus I find them unattractive on me, so although there is evidence for tie-on hats, I wanted to make mine beret-style instead. I drafted the pattern accordingly. I wanted it large, but didn’t think it would self-support if it were TOO large, so opted for a 14″ diameter.

However, in my search for how-to instructions, I did see the following which are other examples:

  • Katafalk’s tie-on flat “huge hat”
  • Whilja’s Tellerbarret which very nicely ties behind the head rather than under the chin
  • Genoveva von Lübeck’s Tellerbarret has a head opening, but also ties under the chin.
  • Heather Clark has a square-topped barret-style hat which looked interesting; I’d love to try this if I could find some portraits or other examples.

Many of the examples of how-to make the Tellerbarret also involved a pleated brim/underside, which I didn’t see any support for in the portraits or woodcuts. It’s possible that there are other historical examples that would support this, but in my very limited search I wanted a smooth underside.

I wanted a very transportable hat (to be able to shove in a bag to take to events) so opted NOT to put feathers on my hat.

Marking the slashes on the wool

Marking the slashes on the wool

After cutting out the wool and matching linen lining, I marked the top of the hat for slashing.

Using chalk and a template to mark the diamonds for slashing

Using chalk and a template to mark the diamonds for slashing

I used a small paper template to mark the diamond-shaped slashes. All of the slashes I hemmed by hand, which was quite time-consuming (since I’m not a huge fan of hand-sewing), but I was able to do almost all of it at Myrgan Wood’s Spring Champions event.

Once the slashes were hemmed, I pinned the wool to the linen, and tacked the slashes at their corners to the linen. I just didn’t want the lining to shift too much inside the hat, and thought that this might support the slashes more and help them avoid stretching and warping.

Sewing the brim to it's lining, before cutting out the inner circle

Sewing the brim to it’s lining, before cutting out the inner circle

Since the majority of the stress on the hat would be at the opening, I opted to sew this by machine instead of by hand. I pinned the wool to the linen, sewed the circle, and then cut out the linen.

As it was the hat was going to be a bit plain, and I had a bit of scrap wool leftover, so I made strips, bound with linen, which I pinned in place folded over to make taps between the top and bottom of the hat. These are kind of like the slashed brim woodcut above… as a big stretch…  I really have NO period example to back this up – I just wanted to do something to jazz it up a little.

From there I sewed the top and bottom of the hat together. Next I auditioned a few different colours of silk (scraps from other projects) including silver, white, pink, and two shades of blue. I liked the dark blue the best, and made a long narrow tube, piecing together a number of scraps of silk. I fed it through the tabs, and finished the short ends.

Completed Tellerbarret

Completed Tellerbarret

If I were to do this again, I’d likely either use a more firm wool, so that the hat would support it’s shape a bit better, interface/interline the hat brim, or wire it.

Finished Tellerbarret

As I write this.. I haven’t even started to THINK of the outfit that will go with this hat, but later on… click the German Late Period category tag to see what else I have made!

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5 comments on “German hats – first attempts

  1. Interesting! I’d always assumed, looking at those paintings, that the Goldhaube was just a very ornamental snood. The ensemble is very ornamental – almost seems like a precursor of the Gainsborough/picture hat.

  2. […] – it too came from leftover scraps. I wore this with the faux pearl-embellished gold silk Goldhaube I made last year to go with my blue […]

  3. […] have two hats for this period already – a blue-on-blue Tellerbarret, and a teal tweed Dockenbaret with ostrich feathers. (Which I referred to as a split-brim hat.) […]

  4. […] have three hats for this period already – a blue-on-blue Tellerbarret, a teal tweed Dockenbaret with ostrich feathers, and a black wool Dockenbaret which I shared for my […]

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