Plain Profiles: Headcovering

If you are new to Plain life, modest dressing or headcovering, you may be looking for sources of information and products. I will profile a couple of resources each week, and God willing, I’ll try to keep you posted with changes over time.

I used to make my own prayer caps. These are the traditional pleated soft caps, easy enough to sew yourself. Then I switched to stiff caps because I like the look and because I find they stay on better. Many of us learned to sew our own caps from Shepherd’s Hill: http://pgburrell.home.mindspring.com. I just had a look over there, and they have excellent photos of their daughter Haley’s Plain wedding.

 I recommend highly, as do many others, Plain-n-Simple headcoverings: http://www.prayercoverings.com. Everything I’ve seen is well-made and designed to last. I expect my bonnet will be an heirloom piece! Their products are traditional and vintage in style, and they carry other products for traditional women besides headcoverings. The prices and shipping costs are reasonable and fair. Don’t expect things to be to you within a few days. The women who sew here have families and households that are a priority, but the quality of their work is worth a wait.  One of their most unusual and interesting products is a set of Mennonite dollhouse-sized dolls. I so want to order a set for Patience! I think we will wait for her next birthday, when we intend to give her a good wooden doll house.

For those who don’t wear traditional coverings or want something different for home or evening, I have heard only good things about Garlands of Grace: http://www.garlandsofgrace.com. Their prices are reasonable for the beautiful pieces they sell, such as snoods, kerchiefs and bands. They have pieces sized for girls, and a line of feminine fabric embellishments. I would think that their delicate lace snoods would be perfect for a modest or old-fashioned wedding. Like Plain-n-Simple, I hear that the owners are very responsive to special needs.

If you have favourite headcovering providers, let me know.

More on head covering

If thee is convicted to cover and exercise feminine modesty, thee will not be able to resist the Spirit moving within thee. As I have suggested, one can gradually lead up to full-fledged recognition as Plain, with stops on the way, and occasional backtracking. It seems many of us had to face the challenge of stepping back into the world, at least for a time.

I suggest that the Light of Christ is motivating more of us in our quiet witness, as the times grow short. Will a stranger ask thee about thy dress, and hear the name of Jesus because of thee? Let us pray so!

I believe the prayer cap, if thy leading is to this, is a good witness. It says “Christian” to many people in the world. I was surprised to find out that the Japanese became fascinated with the Amish and Plainness. Perhaps it speaks to something basically rural and simple in their collective  history; Japan was once a beautiful, pastoral island, and many places there are still quite bucolic and peaceful. Will an interest in ethnic Plain people lead to conversions of heart?

What if thee begins to cover, find it difficult or awkward, and thee wants to abandon it? First, it might be good to experiment a bit with different cap or covering styles. I found that veils and scarves just slip off my head without (and sometimes with) clippies. I found the more conservative, close to the head, over the ears pleated white cap I can make myself fits me best, after trying three different styles. The first cap had cute little Quakerly lappets over the ears, and didn’t tie. Eventually, I found it wasn’t “quiet” enough for me and I modified it. The next had a drawstring in the back and a narrow band. This was too snood-like; my hair is too light to fill out the cupped part and it looked like I put a sugar sack on my head. The style I wear now is the simplest. But that’s me. Someone else may find another style more suitable.

I’ve always been one to design my own patterns or modify a commercial pattern. Not everyone can do this. The ladies at Shepherd’s Hill (Angelina Kay and her daughters) have posted instructions and photos on how to make a prayer cap and other Plain clothing. Or thee can buy a pattern from an historic pattern source. Plainly Dressed is a commercial endeavour with an internet catalog in case thee is motivated to buy caps or other Plain attire. Their prices are reasonable, except for those of us living in holy poverty.