Feather Bonnet

  • Historical Clothing
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Decidedly a Scottish component of Military apparel, the iconic Feather Bonnet was used mostly Highland Regiments. They would be adopted in The British Army when Scotland joined The Empire. Seen around 1760, The Feather Bonnet is often confused with The British “Bearskin” Hat. These are the traditional Headgear of The Royal Guardsmen Regiments. In origin, the difference with The Bearskin (made of animal hide and fur) and The Feather Bonnet, was born out of the common Scottish Tam Bonnet. Featuring a large and flat Crown, they were made of Wool. The Hat Band was of a “checkered” pattern, traditionally of Red and White color. The practice began of placing long Feathers into these Bonnets. Ostrich became the favored plumage. These 2 to 3 foot feathers were naturally too long for wear, and hung down awkwardly. The style cane into practice, by which these plumes were bent and shaped in such a way, as to firm a type of “Feather Cage”, which formed around The Bonnet. In thus, a type of “Helmet” quality developed. Dyed Black, excess feathers were trimmed to fit the overall design, with a portion left present and “hanging” on the Left Side. Embellishments that were used to identify Regimental affiliation, were normally attached to the Right sude of The Feather Bonnet. Associated now with Scottish Bagpipe Military Band Units, some forms of Feather Bonnets were adopted by several British Infantry Units, briefly. The Bonnet was seen in use throughout The Empire, and still is for Ceremonial Units. In a related “evolutionary” development. Several Native-American Tribes also developed a type of Feather Bonnet. Although not as elaborate as their Scottish “Cousins”, The Creek and Seminoles wore a similar type. A Ceremonial Dress Feather Bonnet is still in use with The Seminole Tribe (Nation).