This document was originally a pamphlet that accompanied classes I taught in the East Kingdom of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.

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Italian Renaissance Hair Taping - Introduction

By Lady Faoiltighearna inghean mhic Ghuaire
Copyright © 1999 Margo Farnsworth

This is a style of wearing the hair bound to the head with ribbon or “tape”, or with a benda (a length of silk or linen veil used for covering, wrapping round or intertwining with the hair). It is a very comfortable way to wear your hair as the weight is evenly distributed over the head and the ribbons create a soft way of attachment. I have found evidence of this style from the mid-1300s through around 1600. The only evidence I have found of this style anywhere outside Italy is in France in the 16th century (I have included 2 examples of this). All my research consisted of pictorial evidence, I have not found any evidence in writing. I have also never come across anyone else’s research on this subject. I welcome any feedback on my research.

In the following pages you will find instructions on two common variations of this style I have found. These will hopefully give you enough information to try many of the other variations I have come across. I have also included some of my pictorial evidence.

“The Madonna and Child (detail)”, attributed to Piero della Francesca, 15th century.
For both styles you will need the following: