[HNW] help with Carew Pole Men's Nightcap (in color) for Julie

Chris Laning claning at igc.org
Mon Feb 12 19:46:06 PST 2007

I think the term "nightcap" in the 16th century might be somewhat 
misleading to modern people, as I know the term "nightgown" is. IIRC, 
in the 16th century a "nightgown" was more like what we would call a 
bathrobe -- not necessarily something you wore IN bed, but for 
lounging around the house in "undressed" casual mode. (I know this 
because it's what a servant would bring for her mistress to put on 
when she gets out of bed in the morning.)

Clearly some "nightcaps" were worn in bed, because one contemporary 
writer cautions his readers not to wear quilted ones because they 
keep the head too warm, which he thinks is unhealthy. But my guess 
would be that the elaborately embroidered and spangled ones might be 
more likely worn as "lounging caps".

O    Chris Laning <claning at igc.org> - Davis, California
+     http://paternoster-row.org - http://paternosters.blogspot.com

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