Three-Cornered Hat Pattern

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In the eighteenth century, men wore "cocked hats," also known as three-cornered hats, whenever they were outside, and sometimes wore them indoors as well.

Why is the hat folded? Towards the end of the 17th century the vast wigs then worn by some men made it impractical for them to wear the fashionable broad-brimmed hat unless necessary. Custom dictated, however, that hats should then be carried beneath the arm. Rapidly, the hat began to be folded to make it easier to carry. In the 18th century this habit and changing fashions led to many sorts of folded (called “cocked”) hats - cocked on one, two, or three sides. It was the hat with three sides cocked that dominated fashion and was seen in many variations of adornment and proportion. While beaver felt was the preferred material, others, including wool and camel's down, were available.

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Colonial Williamsburg for Teachers