Forehead Cloth

Forehead Cloth, 2009

Forehead-cloth 10x10

My forehead cloth is based on a forehead cloth found in a Christie’s auction catalog. The original is dated circa late 16th century. The image is found at:

“Lot 10/ Sale 5572 Description
Two forehead cloths and another panel, probably a stomacher or partlet, all embroidered in blackwork, one forehead cloth with fish and crescents, the other with pomegranates and pears, the third panel with scrolling flowers, traces of gold thread remain on the second two panels – English, late 16th century (3.)”

I based the strings on the strings attached to the Marching forehead cloth from the Middleton Collection, c. 1600-1610. Museum of Costume and Textiles, Nottingham. The photograph is found in two books by Janet Arnold: Patterns of Fashion 4, Macmillan, London, 2008 and Queen Elizabeth’s Wardrobe, Unlocked, Quite Specific Media Group Ltd, 2001.

Original Materials
Linen with silk embroidery.

Reproduction Materials
– 100% Linen
– DMC embroidery floss

In the sixteenth century, embroidered forehead cloths were often matched with an embroidered coif, the coif being the more important of the matched pair.

According to Janet Arnold (Patterns of Fashion 4, 2008), “Closely associated with coifs were cross-cloths and forehead cloths which were worn to protect the forehead, then seen as a vulnerable area, especially in times of sickness.”

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