Traditional Guernsey bonnet

Contributed by Folk Museum Guernsey

Traditional Guernsey bonnet

The design of the caned bonnet is thought to have come from Spain in the 17th C, and travelled to England via the Netherlands.

Its simple basic design and usefulness was soon widely appreciated by women who worked outside and it is still worn by country people throughout western Europe.

The bonnet was brought to Guernsey from Dorset by 1850, as part of the general 19th C upgrading of the agricultural industry in the Channel Islands. Simple to make, it consists of a wide caned brim and tapes to tie under the chin. Minor variations on a common theme of tucks and frills soon developed.

Because the brim fits fairly closely around the face, the bonnet was sometimes known as a "kiss-me-not".

This bonnet comes from a family who lived at Cobo in the parish of the Castel and was made at the end of the 19th C.

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