Headgear in the Middle Ages: How to tie a headscarf

Protection against parasites, dirt and weather: In the Middle Ages it was common to cover the head. In addition, it was considered inappropriate for married women to wear no headgear in public. No wonder that over the centuries countless variants and trends have emerged, from the coif, to the wimple, to the veil. Today we will show you a way to get a headscarf tied quite quickly and nicely.

What you need

To tie the headscarf in this form, you will only need, and it’s hard to believe, a headscarf. If it is properly bound, it fits perfectly, even when on the move, which is why no hairpins or the like are needed. Ours has the dimensions 180 x 50 cm, which is optimal for this winding technique.

How to tie the headscarf step by step

Step 1

Anleitung Mittelalter Kopftuch (headscarf) binden - Schritt 1

Drape the headscarf over your head as in the picture. The two ends should be about the same length. The long side of the headscarf is slightly inward on the height of your forehead.

Step 2

Tutorial Mittelalter Kopfbedeckung - Schritt 2

Now twist the two ends in until the twisted part reaches your chin.

Step 3

Anleitung Mittelalter Kopftuch binden - Schritt 3

Swap the two ends of the headscarf behind your head.

Step 4

Tutorial Mittelalter Kopfbedeckung (medieval headscarf) - Schritt 4

Place the two ends along the ear forward and crosswise back on the forehead. Now you are pushing them under the already laid twisted strand. Finally, you fix the cloth at the back of the head by placing the tips in the neck at the hairline under the entire headscarf.


Fertig ist die Mittelalter Kopfbedeckung

Other options for medieval headgear

A headscarf is great because it allows you to tie many types of different medieval headgear, such as the binding presented here, or a veil. We have also already shown another technique in the blog post about how to tie wimple.

In addition, you can also cover your head with a coif (or Coiffe), which were worn by both men and women. Most have two bands with which they can be tied under the chin. In this case, this would also be the historically correct variant. If one wears such a medieval headgear at events, however, it is usually worn openly, even by reenactors. How you handle this, of course, you can decide for yourself.

Last but not least, you still have the possibility to wear a gugel, which is a kind of hood that reaches over the shoulders. It keeps both head and shoulders warm and to some extent also protects against rain and wind. In the Middle Ages, however, women probably only wore them when they traveled.