About Mourning Bonnets

The question of mourning bonnets came up twice this week. ???????????????????????????????

In the past couple years, I have been asked to make mourning bonnets for times of real mourning, for a family member who has just passed or who is expected to pass soon. The requests were each uniquely genuine and heartfelt in their own ways. I was honored to be asked to make such a meaningful piece for such a sorrowful occasion.

Making these pieces was very important to me. I did not know the deceased at all. Nor, did I know the wearers well at all. But, I have lost many beloved family members. I have mourned in both centuries. I know what it is like to put on the external symbols of mourning so prominent in the nineteenth century and so lacking in the twenty-first.

To me, these pieces are incredibly meaningful, personal and heavy.

I have decided not to make mourning millinery for faux mourning or mourning impressions. I feel, for me, this will lessen the importance of when I make real mourning pieces. I feel I need to be able to put the full importance each of those pieces.

I will consider making “light mourning” or “half mourning” pieces as those are notably under-interpreted and I think I can approach them from the artistic and historic directions.

Thank you for understanding,




For a view on interpreted mourning, please take a moment to read Beth Connolly’s blog post. She has very good insight on the weight of such an impression.

For additional information on mourning attire, please see Garments of Mourning.

(*Note about the image. I have discovered that a post is more likely to be read if there is an image attached.)


Published in: on February 20, 2015 at 4:51 pm  Comments (1)  

One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I like and respect your position. I have been thinking about mourning in a much earlier time period, and how (indeed, whether) to interpret it. It’s a very weighty subject, and I am pleased to consider your thoughts, and others, as I think about the stories we try to tell where I am.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: