Kilmarnock – Balmoral Bonnet – A short history
Kilmarnock - Balmoral Bonnet - A short history of these classic Scottish hats. The Balmoral - Kilmarnock bonnet dates back to at least the 16th century when it was a knitted soft wool beret style bonnet, most commonly worn in blue. The knitted bonnet was then felted to form a Balmoral style hat that could be adjusted with a ribbon, tape back tie. The toorie ( pom pom ) was often added to the centre of the flat crown. The diced bands were also added as a later addition and were originally made from strips of cloth interwoven. However, today they are made as a all in one knitted band as part of the hat.
The bonnets were often made in an around the Kilmarnock area, hence the name. Today our bonnets are still made in the area by a hatters that have been hand crafting the finest Scottish headwear since 1845. The Balmoral name appears to be a later version from the 19th century when the slightly smaller style became popular and Queen Victoria made the Highlands so fashionable. The dark blue ( indigo ) Balmoral bonnet was the most popular style in the 19th century and the left hand side had the addition of a rosette to take a clan or regimental badge.
The original tie tapes at the back of the Kilmarnock - Balmoral bonnet developed in to ribbons that would either be tied at the back or worn hanging down.
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