How to make a Stuchlein – a looooong post!

NOTE: This is a 4 page post due to editing problems in WordPress…

First of all: this is my version of how to make the German 16:th century hat called stuchlein.
There are no extant examples – the only thing we can do is guess how it was made and this is my take on how to recreate this headwear to make it look as in the woodcuts and paintings.

There are many varieties of this hat – different regions had different fashions and the decorations varried depending on how wealthy the womans family was and if the stuchlein was ment for every day use or for special occasions.
The stuchlein was the headwear of married women. And it also stated that the woman was no longer a virgin. If a woman lost her virginity – the norm was that sje has to cover her hair. This way the stuchlein and the schleier (veil) could become a stigma if the woman had lost her virginity ouside of marrige. ( The article ”Haubendämmerung” by Jutta Zander-Seidel, 2010).

The stuchlein was made of at least 3 parts – sometimes even 4.
First you wore a linnen cap. This way you protected the wulsthaube – the second part of this headwear – from getting dirty from your hairs oils and dirt. The wulsthaube was a cap with a stuffed roll attatched to it to get the volume at the vack of the head that is typical for the stuchlein. The stuffed roll was either sewn to a cap or laced to it – there are different takes on this and it is quite possible that both ways of construction existed.
After that you wore a cover that could either be just a schleier (veil) or a decorated or richely decorated cap. The veil often had a long tail that was either wrapped under the chin and then fastened at the side of the headwear with a pin, or the long tail could be wrapped around the wearers arm.
The decorated caps could be decorated with different trims making up a pattern of stripes and they could also be embellished with jewels. If the ouer cap was decorated with jewels and expensive embroideries – the women often wore a very thin veil on top of it so that the decorations could be seen through the light fabric but at the same time the valuable decoratoons were protected.

Here are some pictures that shows some stuchleins that have inspired me to this project.

8 thoughts on “How to make a Stuchlein – a looooong post!

  1. Susan Mason

    Hello Katheryn,
    My name is Susan Mason (SCA- Katherine von Aachen). I was just looking at your documentation for your Stuchlein and was so excited to find the picture of the rear view. I think the it is the third row down and second in. Do you have the documentation for that picture?

    This past weekend I entered my Wulsthauben and Schleier (the one in the portrait of Katerina von Bora in her museum in Torgau. ) One of the judges was sure I had it wrong when I only had one binding strip hanging down and attached to the back. This is the picture I need to put in my documentation before the Kingdom Arts and Sciences competition.

    Thanks if you can help. And would you like a copy of my research?


    1. Hello! I would love a copy of your research!
      And I am sorry, I seem to have lost the name of the painter in all the months it took me to get around to do this post, but I do have a bigger portion of the painting that the picture in my post is croped from. Would you like that picture?
      I will do my best to find you more information!


  2. Wonderful article, thank you for posting it.

    Do you think, that a Stuchlein would be stable enough with short hair under it or does it require long hair for stability?


    1. As long as the first cap is done in a way so that you can tie it pretty hard on your head it shouldn’t matter is you have long or short hair. Make it so that it goes a bit lower down on your forehead for extra stability. The head wear should go low enough to cover your hairline anyway. 🙂

      1. Nice. I’ve been studying the paintings by Cranach (d.Ä) and almost every one of his paintings show the hairline under the (usually elaborate) headgear. Is that only because of the lack of the outermost layer of cloth or just another type of head cover?

      2. The Cranach paintings usually show a different headwear called goldhaube. The shape is different and they are golden/brown and sometimes have netting on top of the whole haube. The stuchlein makes the head look higher in the back – the goldhaube is usually rather flat at the top/back but has volume to the sides. Ofcourse there are goldhaubes that look like they have a wulst underneath and there are cranach paintings with stuchleins, but the typical cranach dress with the brustfleck and lacing in front is mostly seen with a goldhaube.

      3. Shows how much I know about 16th C Germany. 😉 The Stuchlein is prettier but the Goldhaube would be nice to embroider. I’ve never done 16th C before, and now I’ve been seeing so many beautiful paintings in Germanisches National Museum, that I’d like to give it a try. But research first! I’ve made the mistake of doing first and researching later too many times already.


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