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The Big Feather Hat

      Of all my garb this single hat is probably most beloved by others than is anything else I wear. Often when I'm not wearing it people ask me where it is, after ten years I even stoped wearing it for five years and still I was asked about this hat. I love this hat too and I wear it often these days, but I have several other hats too and I like to wear them as well.

This hat is modeled after those worn by Landsknect, although it is late in that period is more a civilian model of a landsknekt hat. I don't fight and so don't want to go all out that way.

Most of the feathers and plumes in the top of this hate were given to me by others, this is one of the reasons this hat is precious to me. There are 78 feathers or plumes rising up from the hat band, they form the tall mass of plumage the standsup on the top of the hat 67 are ostrich plumes Around the top of the hat are 67 ostrich plumes. Did you know that ostrich plumes are made up of feathers. This might be a good time to look at the difference between feathers and plumes. A feather has a centeral spine from which protrude several individual things (i forget the name of them) which in most cases hook together, holding the feather rigid and flat. this gives the feather an airfoil shape and helps it fly. Now a Plume has a central shaft from which protrude several individual feathers, and usually these feathers do not hook together. So a plume is more often fluffy, like those of an ostrich. The tail feathers of a peacock are mostly like a plume but at the ends, where the eyes are, it is like a feather.

Getting this hat around to events is somewhat of an ordeal but it is still easier than you may think. I don't transport it in a great big hat box, though I'd like to do that, but it'd be too big and cumbersome for that. This hat comes apart, there is the hat itself and all the long feathers and plumes are sewn into a hat-band which can be removed. The ribbon with which I tie the hat on my head is also attached to this hat-band and passes through two holes in the brim of the hat on iether side of the head. Tieing the ribbon not only secures the hat on the head but also ensures the hat band with all the long feathers and plumes stays in place. Though I find that as long as it is not too windy this hat will stay on just fine.


Here are a few pictures of The Big Feather Hat

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2006 March 28