Bulge cap
Diary started Feb 26, 2010.
Progress: Finished May 28, 2010.


Headgear -makes- an outfit. It’s the line between right and “can’t put my finger on something wrong”. The Wulsthaube is a particularly German late 15th/16th century headcovering.

Research and Background

From Textiler Hausrat, Kleidung und Haustextilien in Nurnberg von
1500-1650 pages 106-110, by Jutta Zander-Seidel, translated by
Katherine Barich. Permission to cross post given as long as
indentifying information is copied with it. (Translation found in the files section of the GermanRenCostume yahoo group)

The connection between the “Wulst/Wulsthaube” and “Steuchlein”
listed in Maria Sitzinger’s inventory allow the determination that
a complete headdress consisted of an under coif/cap (Unterhaube)
and a veil (Schleiertuch), which was likely known as
the “Steuchlein”, and it is the most frequently mentioned
headdress in the clothing inventories through all the social
classes within the period of study.

The fashionable development of the “Steuchleins” in the 16th
century saw a clear reduction in the original size. The
circumference of the “Wulst” was reduced to a small padding at the
back of the head, while the patterned borders around the face
increased width and decoration. This particular development is
plainly seen in a woman’s portrait of 1518 attributed to Hans von
Kulmbach, where already the newer fashion requirements of the
common traditional coif/cap (Haube) were depicted in paintings.
(Illustration 93-95) (254)

“12 overbound Steuchlein with gold borders (Pleiden)” [i]nventoried
by Dorothea Kress (259) refers to the construction of the head
covering as being a supporting “Wulsthaube” a separate decorated
border over which is a binding veil (schleiertuch). All three
components are listed singly in the inventories and sometimes the
veil is referred to as unworked yardage…

Unterhauben – Literally the undercap
Wulste – the “bulge” part
Haube – cap
Steuchlein – veil covering

Details to include:

  • White linen
  • Visible bulge
  • Head covering consistent with Trossfrau headgear from woodcuts from ~1530

Looking at pictures there seems to be a style of Wulsthaube from the late 15th/early 16th century that has many pleats along the face edge of the headgear. The pleated look seems to always accompany the dress style often referred to as the “housebook” style. Since I’m not recreating that style of dress I want to be very careful to use inspiration images that are wearing the type of dress I want to wear.

Inspirational Pictures

1546 Detail of camp scene of Charles V
Edhard Schoen G.1235-1238. Detail – Army Train 1532 The German single-leaf woodcut, 1500-1550, Max Geisberg ; rev. and edited by Walter L. Strauss, New York : Hacker Art Books, 1974.
Detail Woman and Knaves
Detail 'Woman and Knaves' The German single-leaf woodcut, 1500-1550, Max Geisberg ; rev. and edited by Walter L. Strauss, New York : Hacker Art Books, 1974.
1526-1528 Hans the Younger Holbein, Darmstadt Madonna, Schlossmuseum, Darmstadt. Detail.

Pleated(lots of examples here)

Detail of Aristotle and Phyllis, ca 1485 (LL cat 54)

From the Back

Edhard Schoen G.1235-1238. Army Train 1532



Pictures of Mmcnealy’s Wulsthaube
1 2 3 “Its a wicker hoop, covered with cotton batting, and basted into a linen rectangle.”(link)
An Easy and Simple 15th Century Wulsthaube by Herrin Emeludt Hansler.


Cut an “eye” shaped piece of linen. Sew it along the edge and stuff that with some wool roving. This will form a horse-shoe shaped linen “bulge” ie, the Wulste. Add ties to the end so that it can be tied to my head (possibly with hair holding it in place). Drape this with another piece of plain linen and fidget with it until it looks right.

2 thoughts on “Wulsthaube”

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