Posts Tagged saxon

German Tellerbarett for Landsknecht and Saxon

6 November 2011

16th century Germans wore many hats, one of which we call a Tellerbarett (platter hat). You can see versions of this large, round, flat hat in many paintings and woodcuts of the era. I could find no reference to surviving hats from this era, so I have only images to go by. It seems clear to me that the hats were constructed in different ways — each of the three images below shows a slightly different construction — but they all share the large, round shape and feathers are common.

Doppelsoldner and Campfrau

Magdelena of Saxony


So I set out to create my own. I wanted one in red wool, with the top slashed to show black wool underneath, and white ostrich feathers. Here’s my result:

My Red Tellerbarett

Top of Tellerbarett

Tellerbarett Underside

This is a big hat, and I may need a shot of courage to wear it, but I really like it. The feathers are wispy and fun. And I like the pattern I slashed into the top (they are winged hearts) — it’s not traditional, sure, but it makes it unique and personal.

Here’s how I made my Tellerbarett:

  1. Cut out two pieces of wool (one in main color, one in constrasting color) in 20 inch diameters.
  2. (Optional) “Slash” (cut with good, sharp fabric shears) a pattern in the circle of your main color wool. If your wool is likely to fray, either hem the edges of the slashings or use something like FrayBlock on the edges.
  3. Baste the two circles together along the edge.
  4. Cut out a strip of wool in your main color 8″ wide by 63″ long (63″ is the circumference of the 22 in-circle you cut in step 1).
  5. Sew a casing with a narrow ribbon along one edge of your wool strip. You will later use this  ribbon to pull in the strip to the circumference of your head in step 8.
  6. Sew the raw edge of the wool strip to the edge of the wool circle, right sides together. Sew the narrow ends of the wool strip where they meet.
  7. Take two wire clothes hangers, cut each to form a long wire, secure the ends of the two wires together (I used duct tape because it was handy), and bend the now one long wire into a circle. Sew this circle to seam edge of your wool circle, trying to stay as close to the seam you created in step 5.
  8. Turn your hat right side out, pull your ribbon in the casing tight until it fits your head, and try it on. If you need help keeping the hat on, as I do, you can sew ribbons to either side of the casing to tie under your chin.
  9. (Optional) Embellish with feathers!

This project took me about 4 hours.