Popular Millinery and Millinery Ornament Terms for the 1870s

Millinery 1870s, Author's Collection
Millinery 1870s, Author’s Collection

aigrette—a French word used to denote the plume or feathery tuft on top of a bird’s head. “Hence the term came to…designate the long, delicate…feathers which being stuck upright in a lady’s headdress…[gave] a majestic appearance to the person.” The word also came to be associated with jeweled ornaments shaped as feathers and worn on a woman’s head during the eighteenth century, but, by the nineteenth century, almost any plume, even if flowers, were noted to be an aigrette. Additionally, during the nineteenth century, an aigrette was attached to a woman’s hat during the day and worn alone as a headdress at night.
Alsatian—refers to the Alsace region of France and was sometimes spelled Alsacian in the 1800s.
Alsatian bow—a flat, enormous bow with a loose knot.
bandeau—a narrow band worn around the head.
Bustle Hat—popular from 1867 to 1889, it was a small hat lifted forward on the head because of the high hairstyles popular at the time. It could be decorated with about anything, including ribbons, flowers, or feathers.

casquette—it was a pillbox shape or a type of hat shaped similar to the traditional Scottish glengarry cap and is a French word for “cap.”
chapeau or chapeaux—a low-crowned hat with a turned-up brim, that often depicted a representation of a crown or coronet.
Charlotte Corday bonnet—an outdoor bonnet popular between 1870 and 1890, named after Charlotte Corday, a figure of the French Revolution who assassinated Jean-Paul Marat and was executed by guillotine in 1793. The bonnet was created from soft material with a round, upstanding crown, a narrow frilled brim with the center join covered with ribbon and the strings behind. A flattened crown version was produced in 1889.
crepe de chene—also spelled crêpe de Chine, extremely thin, highly lustrous crape dress silk or a combination of silk war and hard-spun worsted distinguished by its changeable or “shadow” surface.”

fanchon—a French word for free, it was a kerchief.
Fanchon bonnet—a kerchief that often tied under the chin and was created from tulle, velvet, satin, crape, or silk. It was usually trimmed with bows, loops, ribbons, falls of lace, or flowers and sometimes had lappets.

garniture—from the old French word garnir, which means to garnish. It was decorative pieces, such as bows, buttons, cord, fabric, jet, lace, or ribbons.
gros grain ribbon—a heavy, stiff silk ribbon with a heavy weft that created distinct transverse ribs.

Lamballe bonnet—named after Maria Antoinette’s friend, the Princesse de Lamballe. This bonnet first appeared in 1865. It was a small, saucer-shaped bonnet that was worn flat on the head like a pill box. It tied either at the back of the head under the chignon or, if the sides were curved, under the chin in a large bow.
lappets—a decorative hanging at the front and on either side of a hat or bonnet that was tied or worn loose.
Leghorn—referred to Leghorn straw used for hats that was unsurpassed for its beauty and durability. It was grown in Italy, shipped from the Port of Leghorn, and an extremely slender and pearly white straw.
lustring—a variety of glossy silk fabrics used extensively in the 17th and 18th century that by the late 1800s denoted plain, solid silk that did not have a satin surface nor was it figured or corded.

Marie Stuart bonnet—a bonnet that was in fashion from the 1820s to the 1870s. It was frequently worn by widows and had a brim that dipped at the center top in the front.

ostrich tips—ostrich feather tips.

passementerie—a French word for lace that is an elaborate and ornamental trimming or edging created from braid, beading, cord, colored silk, or thread, which may include fringe, galloons, gimps, tassels, pompoms, and rosettes.

revers—the turned-back edge of a garment that reveals the fabric’s underneath.

toque—a woman’s small brimless hat made in a variety of soft close-fitting shapes that often had some decoration, such as ribbons or feathers, that gave it height.
torsade—a decorative or ornamental braid or ribbon that was twisted and often used for hat ornamentation.
Tuscan straw—a straw from the Tuscany region that was grown for plaiting.
Tuvée—one of the areas known for French milliners.

Valois Hat—high crown hat with a full brim turned up on one side.

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