What is a Pumpkin Hood?

A Pumpkin hood is a style of sewn winter hood made in the first half of the nineteenth century and later eighteenth century. This type of hood is also known as a wadded hood or an “ugly.”

The pumpkin hood was commonly made with three pieces: the brim, crown, and bavolet. Rather than being quilted, the brim has parallel channels sewn across the head which were filled with wool wadding or down. Between these channels, narrower channels of cord help draw up the brim and give it light structure. Occasionally, some of these channels are cane or wire, though not as often as in quilted styles. The crown of this style tends to be small, with a row or two of additional wadding. The bavolet ranges from rather a rather short couple inches to as much as four inches.

The Pumpkin hood is one of the, if not the, warmest style hood as it hugs the head snuggly. The draw back is there is no protection for the face.

The exterior fabric is most frequently silk taffeta. The smooth, tight weave helps with moisture control. Dark solid silks out number the plaids and lighter colors, which were also used. The linings tend to be polished cotton or cotton sateen in neutral browns and creams. Most pieces have a facing of the exterior silk.

I find wool wadding to appear more frequently in originals than down. The wadding fairly evenly fills the channels, though not as firmly as some quilted hoods. These hoods are quite soft. The bavolet tends to be very lightly filled, though I suspect some loss has occurred over time for some pieces.

A bow tends to embellish the center back of the crown at the neckline. Some pieces also have a row of smaller bows or mock-bows along the top of the brim.

Additional Examples in Other Collections:

Late 18th, early 19th century example at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Mid-19th century plaid example at the McCord Museum

Plaid example at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts

1840s example at the Henry Ford Museum


Published in: on January 15, 2020 at 7:22 am  Leave a Comment  

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