Veil & Wimple, 14/15th C

The wearing of veils stretches back to the roots of Christianity, when women were enjoined to cover their hair as a symbol of a woman’s submission to God and -by extension- men. The spread of Christianity and Christian custom made it de rigueur for married women to cover their hair in public. 

Although Coptic, Romanesque, Byzantine and Lombardic art shows women with veils covering their heads, the throat is not yet covered by a wimple. As Christianity spread throughout Europe, Scandinavian Christian women adopted caps and ‘hoods’ such as those found in Jorvik and Dublin, while English and European women followed the Roman tradition of veils as head covering. 

The throat covering known as the wimple seems to have been based on the head scarf called the khimār worn by women in the Holy Land. It was brought to Europe in the early 12th century by returning Crusaders and was adopted by married women, widows and members of religious orders. Alone or together with a veil the wimple remained a staple of the adult woman’s wardrobe from the 12th century thru the end of the 15th C.  In the 14th C, the wimple was arranged to expose the hair, which had been dressed in ‘buns’ over the temple, with the veil over top. (See product photo) In the 15th C. the hair is completely covered by the wimple. 

Our 14th/15th C. veil and wimple set is based on the headwear seen on the tomb brass of Margaret De Camoys, Trotton, (1315); Joanna de Bohun in Hereford Cathedral,(1327); The Descent from the Cross (1435/38) and Seven Sacraments altarpiece (1445/50) by Rogier van der Weyden; and the Merode altarpiece by Robert Campin (1425/28))

The funnel-shaped wimple slips on over the head and adjusts to frame the face without pins or ties. 

Set includes:

  • Linen wimple
  • Rectangular  veil (50 cm x 100 cm  /  20” x 40”)
  • 2 hand made veil pins

BONUS - FREE set of 2 veil pins can be used to secure and arrange veil. 


Add to Cart:

  • Model: BSD-WHW-07
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8lbs

This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 25 April, 2013.