The Medieval Hooded Cowl
Are you interested in a Hooded Cowl, a Liripipe Capellus or a similar piece of clothing from the Middle Ages? In this section we have compiled woollen guilds and capes from the Middle Ages. These will dress you properly at LARP or reenactment. The woollen cape, the poncho with hood or even a cape with Thor's hammer of the Vikings as a clasp - these are all relatives of the Hooded Cowl. The Middle Ages would not be the real Middle Ages without a Hooded Cowl. Look around, all these pieces for your garb are of the best quality. They are excellent to wear in everyday life as well as at the medieval market or at the LARP.
The medieval Hooded Cowl
The Hooded Cowl in brown, black or grey is a practical piece of clothing that is indispensable in the Middle Ages. A Hooded Cowl (or Gugel or Chaperon) is supposed to keep the head, neck and shoulders warm at the same time. It was probably first worn in the Middle Ages in the 11th century and then remained in use for several centuries. Its upper tip initially arose from the need to sew the Hooded Cowl together at the top.
Until the 14th century, the Hooded Cowl in brown or black was part of the clothing of the common people. In the Middle Ages, it was made of the thickest possible wool, so that it would last for many years despite the weather. In a medieval chronicle from 1362, the Hooded Cowl or Gugel was said to have been worn for over 30 years in different generations.
Fashion in the Middle Ages - Hooded Cowls in red or with a pointed tip
In the later Middle Ages, however, the Hooded Cowl also became fashionable in the upper class and underwent all kinds of changes. As was customary for the garments of the upper classes, the Hooded Cowl was dyed and soon shone in red or blue. Later it became fashionable to add a tail to the Hooded Cowl, which sometimes reached below the waist. It could be worn on the back, on the side or even on the front of the chest. Then caddles appeared, which hung down at the sides as appendages. At times, the nobility even hung bells and other ornaments on the Hooded Cowl. Soon after, the enthusiasm for it died down again and the red or colourful Hooded Cowl became the distinctive mark of jesters and jugglers.
The Hooded Cowl in black or brown for the monks
In the church, people were not quite so open to fashionable developments or even the colour red. Nevertheless, the Hooded Cowl was of course also popular here. In the Middle Ages, monks had to work outside even in the cold spring, autumn and winter. In addition, the monks sometimes travelled great distances on their many journeys. No wonder, then, that the Hooded Cowl soon became a fixed part of the monks' garments. The Hooded Cowl, in brown, grey or black, formed a fitting upper finish to the monk's habit. The Hooded Cowl became widespread in all orders and all Christian countries of the Middle Ages.
On the other side of society, the Hooded Cowl was just as quick to catch on. Robbers and highwaymen could easily conceal their facial features with a large-cut Hooded Cowl. They were also well camouflaged in the undergrowth with the colours brown or black.
From the Middle Ages to LARP
Over time, the Hooded Cowl was fitted with buttons for easy donning and doffing. From the 15th century onwards, the Hooded Cowl was gradually divided into two different pieces of clothing. The lower part developed into the so-called goller as a high collar with shoulder covering. The upper part developed into the pointed cap, which is still partly used today as a bobble hat. The peasants, shepherds, pilgrims and generally the travelling people did not go through all these changes. In this class, the Hooded Cowl was able to survive until the 16th century, mainly as a travel garment. As already mentioned, the Hooded Cowl was usually made of wool. Later, lighter versions made of other fabrics were added. For LARP, you will find the Hooded Cowl in all variations.
The Hooded Cowl was intended more for men than for women
When travelling, the Hooded Cowl was worn by both sexes as practical clothing. In the emerging middle classes, the Hooded Cowl was more reserved for gentlemen. Ladies wearing a Hooded Cowl were considered rather dishonourable. Like many a garment, the Hooded Cowl also found its way into the outfits of knights and warrior servants in the Middle Ages. Thus the Hooded Cowl or Gugel became a kind of helmet with attached chain mail for the shoulder. Without the chain mail, the so called Dog Cowl was used as a helmet. It had a bulge at the front, reminiscent of a dog's snout.
The Gugel protects from the cold - also at LARP
Nevertheless, the Hooded Cowl is a characteristic element of the Middle Ages. Many other items of clothing developed from it and found their way into other cultures. Today, for example, a guild on a Viking seems almost inappropriate. But the Vikings were above all practical people. As soon as the Vikings were able to capture the first Hooded Cowls on their raids, it wasn't long before the Hooded Cowl could be found as a warming garment in Scandinavia. Adapted to the cold, Vikings sewed a fur coverlet with a hood from the pattern of the Hooded Cowl.
The pattern of the Hooded Cowl can also be found on continents other than Europe. The poncho worn by cowboys and farm workers in South America was either a souvenir of the first conquistadores or a completely independent development.