Monday, January 11, 2021

Monmouth Cap

Monmouth Cap 

The Monmouth cap was an item of woollen headgear fashionable between the 15th and 18th centuries, and associated with the town of Monmouth in south east Wales. The knitted round caps were used by both soldiers and sailors, and they were widely exported.

In the early 14th century, the area immediately north of Monmouth, known as Archenfield, became known for the high quality of its wool, produced from Ryeland sheep. The wool was ideal for the production of high quality felt, and the location of Monmouth, on the River Wye some 18 miles inland from the Severn estuary, allowed the produce of the area ready access to wider markets. The industry of cap manufacture by hand knitters in and around Monmouth was well established by the 15th century, when court records show Capper as a common surname in the town. The cappers or knitters, generally men, were attached to the Weaver's Guild and may have been governed by a Council of Master Craftsmen. The trade is thought to have flourished particularly in the Overmonnow area, known at one time as "Cappers' town"However, antiquarian sources state that much of the trade moved from Monmouth to Bewdley in Worcestershire at some point, following an outbreak of plague at Monmouth.


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