Why Did Women’s Hats Have Netting?

why did women's hats have netting

Why Did Women’s Hats Have Netting?

Hats come in a wide range of styles, with variations in brim length, crown height, and even netting. This leads us to question why women’s hats often feature netting and what purpose it serves. Over the decades, netting hats have remained popular among women. Traditionally, it is believed that the netting on women’s hats serves a veiling purpose. In this article, we will explore the different types of veiling and their symbolism, as well as discuss the little hats with veils, known as fascinators.

For women who value class and elegance, finding the perfect summer headgear can be challenging. When shopping for a sun hat, it’s important to select one that offers proper coverage, protection from the sun’s harsh rays, and a stylish look. A hat with UV protection can provide you with the ultimate summer accessory, offering both functionality and style.

So, let’s start with the question of why did women’s hats have netting? In the past, women used to wear hats as a symbol of elegance and status, and the netting on the hats was used as a form of veiling. Veiling has been a part of women’s fashion for centuries, and it was considered a sign of modesty and decorum.

The netting on women’s hats served the purpose of partially covering the face and keeping it hidden from the public. This was particularly important for women who wanted to maintain a certain level of privacy or hide their facial expressions.

The netting on the hats also served as a protection from insects and dust, especially when women went outdoors.

Over time, the use of netting on hats evolved into different styles and designs. Women’s hats with netting became more elaborate, with different types of veiling and netting used for different occasions. For example, a birdcage veil is a type of veiling that covers the entire face and is usually worn with formal attire such as a wedding dress. It is made of a fine netting material that is attached to a small hat or headband.

Other types of veiling include French netting, which is a fine mesh material that is used for a more subtle veil. This type of veiling is often used for cocktail hats or fascinators, which are small hats that are worn at an angle on the head. These hats are usually adorned with feathers, flowers, or other decorative elements.

So, what are the little hats with veils called? These hats are commonly known as fascinators. They are small, lightweight hats that are attached to the head with a clip or headband. Fascinators often feature veiling, feathers, flowers, or other decorative elements, and they are typically worn to formal events such as weddings, cocktail parties, or horse racing events.

In conclusion, the use of netting on women’s hats has a long and rich history in fashion. The netting served both practical and aesthetic purposes, from providing protection from insects and dust to adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to an outfit.

Different types of veiling and netting were used for different occasions, and they continue to be popular accessories for women’s hats today.

Go through the list of hot collections of summer hats here. A few of them include:

  • Genuine Madagascar Raffia Hat
  • A Royal Sinamay Hat
  • A Wide Rolled Brim Hat by Solumbra

Why did women’s hats have veils?

veil with hats
Show a small black with a veil

Typically, a veil is a clothing piece that is intended to cover a few parts of your face or head. Mostly, the veil is exclusively worn by women in different events. However, there are some instances where men also wear a veil. Interestingly, the first instance of wearing a veil by a woman was recorded by Assyrian legal text in 13th Century BC.

What is the purpose of wearing a veil?

While searching history books, you might observe that the veil has been used for different purposes. These are the few circumstances where women preferred to veil.

  • Women wore veils to cover the hairs entirely, often necks till the chins.
  • Additionally, over the centuries, under exceptional circumstances, women have worn sheer veils. Specific conditions, including mourning, funerals, and the subsequent period of “high mourning,” the veil had been dressed and draped over while pinned with a hat or a bonnet.
  • The veils have been used as a substitute for a mask
  • One might use the veil as a simple method of hiding the identity where she wants to keep herself unnoticed and doesn’t want people to find out about herself.
  • More functional, the veil is also worn to keep the skin and complexion protected from sun or wind damage. Mostly this method was popular when being un-tanned was considered fashionable.
  • The veil also helps women with sensitive skin to keep their faces out from dust and pollution.

What does a veil symbolize?

Veiling has its significance. Each significance symbolized the importance of the veil. To uncover what does a veil symbolize? We will discuss a few of them here.

Veils with religious significance

In Christianity and Judaism, the perception of covering the head has been associated with compatibility. You can witness the modesty of the veil among the women as Mother of Christ. Moreover, this covering has become common for all the while going to church until the 1960s. However, there are still several traditional churches that continue to retain the custom of veiling even to this day.

These are the few religious practices of covering heads:

  • Women while going to any religious place (Church, mosque, or temple) enjoined to cover their heads,
    The head covering can either be done by wearing a hat or using any object, a scarf, a veil, or a cap.
    The practice of wearing a veil or covering the head in Holy places is more seen as a matter of tradition, courtesy, etiquette, and fashionable elegance than strictly of religion.
  • Among the religious order of nuns or sisters, veiling has become part of the headdress. Hence “to take the veil” is compulsory during ought and vows. For the nun headdress, the white veil is the “veil of probation” during novitiate, and a dark veil is the “veil of a profession” taken during first vows. However, the color scheme can be different based on the habit of the order.
  • “Epanokamelavkion,” a veil that is an eastern orthodoxy and Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church. Both monks and nuns use this veil. This veil is worn, in addition to kamelaukion, a cylindrical hat worn by nuns and monks. Moreover, complete Epanokamelavkion and kamelaukion are referred to as klobuk. And surprisingly, as a part of a full headdress, the nun wears an additional veil called apostolic. This veil covers the whole neck till the shoulder while leaving the face open.
  • A vast number of Mormon women wear a veil during their rituals and as a part of their temple clothing. This veil and entire temple clothing have been worn inside the temple only. Usually, during the prayer as the temple ritual part, this veil has been worn off the face. Keeping it lowered to cover the face. Moreover, those who have taken the temple ritually will be buried in this clothing. However, while viewing the body, the face will remain unveiled. Immediately, the veil is lowered over the face before closing and sealing of casket.

Another significance of veiling

Regardless of the religious significance of wearing the veil, there are other essential factors in wearing them. These include:

Veiling with hats

You might find people pinning their veils with hats around you. This veil with lids has been in fashion over the centuries, and even today, people on different occasions wear them. However, these veils are generally made up of netting or any other sheer material.

Mostly used for elegance and fashion, these veils are not used for covering the face. So you can still be unveiled with a veil, even if you pull the veil down or up.

Wedding veils

The uncovering or unveiling of the veil will occur in the marriage ceremonies symbolizes the tradition known as Bedeken. While taking ought and speaking of wedding vows, the two people are bound into one strong bond. These are the signs of physical oneness that eventually consummate later on. During the wedding, the lifting of the veil is considered a symbol and anticipation.

The veil in West Africa

Traditionally, women don’t wear the veil among the Tuareg of the West. However, you find many men covering their faces. Regardless of the religious belief that covering the head will protect them from the evil eye, this veil can help them to protect themselves from harsh sands. Moreover, wearing hats among men has been established at the age of 25. This veil will cover the head and entire face, excluding the eyes. Considering this traditional norm, they never remove the veil even in front of family members.

What are the little hats with veils called?

Typically the little hats with the veils are known as fascinators. Generally, this term initially surfaced in the fashion world during 17th century by Europe (History of The Bizarre Fascinators Hats).

Before that time, women used to cover their heads with a fastened lacy scarf or wrap around their heads. Rather than attracting stares, this style of wearing hats gives women an alluring mystery around the space.

Usually, the fascinators are the headpieces, and styles of millinery. These are typically the type of head coverings that are lightweight and knitted. In the 1990s, these hardcovers were referred to as an alternative substitute for hats.

Usually, fascinators contain a large decorated design that is attached to a clip or a band. Hence the hatinator is incorporating a base that resembles a miniature hat.


There is a wide variety of hat styles you can find in the market and online. Though hats are not only considered a symbol of fashion and style but to protect and adequately cover. Among different varieties, hats with the net are one of the most popular categories.

Generally, net on the hat is often taken as a symbol of a veil. It covers different events that include performing religious rituals (such as going to church, mosques, temples, etc.). Different religions make veiling a compulsory part of their headdress. Besides religious boundaries, people prefer to wear a hat during the wedding seasons and other traditional or cultural norms. With time the popularity of hats went out of style.

One of the primary reasons was the use of fascinators. Hence fascinators are stylish, light-weighted knitted headwear specially designed for millinery. These decorated hats are more fashionable and make women more graceful.

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