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  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1600-1625 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Linen, silk thread; hand-sewn, hand-embroidered, with hand-made bobbin lace

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This hood is an example of blackwork, a style of needlework popular in England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. It was worked with a single colour of silk, usually black, as on this hood, but also blue, red or green on linen. Like other examples of blackwork in black silk, the embroidery threads are disintegrating. This is because iron was used as a mordant or fixative for the black dye. It eventually oxidises, causing the silk thread to crumble.

Although a few finely worked linen hoods survive in museum collections, they are very rarely seen in portraits of the late 16th and early 17th century. It is possible that they were outdoor and/or middle-class accessories and so seldom appear in Tudor and Jacobean portraiture which emphasises the formal dress of the aristocracy. So far, only one surviving brass memorial and a rubbing of a lost brass showing women wearing hoods, have been found.

Physical description

A linen hood embroidered with black silk thread in outline and running stitches, in a pattern of scrolling stems bearing leaves, and simple flowers. The hood is cut from two pieces of linen with three additional triangles inserted at each side and at the back. It is edged with linen bobbin lace. A modern cotton lining has been added later.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1600-1625 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Linen, silk thread; hand-sewn, hand-embroidered, with hand-made bobbin lace


Length: 45.0 cm approx., Width: 47.0 cm approx.

Descriptive line

A woman's hood of linen, 1600-25, English; blackwork in floral design, bobbin lace edging

Subjects depicted

Flowers; Leaves


Clothing; Fashion; Hats & headwear; Embroidery; Lace


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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