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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1600-1625 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Linen, embroidered with linen thread and edged with bobbin lace

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Miss C. M. Slee

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 56, The Djanogly Gallery, case 9

Like a man's nightcap, a woman's coif was informal headwear. It would have been worn by itself indoors, or underneath a hat in public. In Western Europe it was customary for both men and women to cover their heads outdoors until the 1960s. A hat was an essential part of respectable dress and, from a health perspective, head coverings were considered necessary to protect against chills and disease.

Physical description

A whitework coif; linen worked with white linen thread in chain and ladder stitch, French knots, cutwork. Edged with bobbin lace

Place of Origin

England (made)


1600-1625 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Linen, embroidered with linen thread and edged with bobbin lace

Labels and date



A woman's coif was informal headwear, but was usually elaborately decorated. This one is a fine example of whitework, a technique featuring embroidery in white thread on a white linen ground.

Linen, with cutwork and embroidered with white linen thread
Bequeathed by Miss C M Slee
Museum no. T.57-1947 [2008]

Subjects depicted

Floral patterns


Hats & headwear; Lace; Textiles; Clothing; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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