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Coiffes - standard equipment in the Middle Ages

Headgear with the name Coif or Coiffe was worn throughout the medieval era by all classes. It is a hood-shaped fabric that covers the hair and is extended with ribbons, which are tied under the chin.

What kind of material were these hoods made of?

A Coif was often combined with further headdress above it. For example, it was worn under felt hats, caps made of wool or the like. Therefore, it was probably made mainly of linen. Linen because it was a lighter material than wool and cotton was not yet available. This also agrees with the findings of science and the many illustrations from the Middle Ages. Higher classes may also have owned waistband hoods made of silk. It is not possible to say exactly, because to our knowledge there are no found objects.

Were there also colored Coiffes?

As a rule, waistband hoods were natural colored or white. We do not know of any pictures of colored Coiffes. Nevertheless, they have their justification, because they bring a nice color accent into costumes and larp representations.

Did women wear Coiffes?

We do not know about the wearing of a classical Coif with ribbons for women. However, this does not mean that women did not wear headdresses. These merely differed in their workmanship and form from the Coiffes. In the High Middle Ages, for example, there was the "Gebende" for married women, but also otherwise there were headscarves and hood-like headgear also for women.

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