Monday, 23 June 2008

The Cornish Gook or Gouch

(Click on photo to enlarge)

I was absolutely fascinated by the bonnets the Cornish dancers wore, and sought them out after they had paraded, to find out more about them. I had never heard of a Gook (or Gouch) before. I had never considered, for instance, that each Parish might have a different pattern to distinguish it from others, and don't know whether this happened throughout rural areas, that these traditional bonnets (worn by agricultural and outdoor workers across the country) might have such individuality.

I had noticed them being worn in old photographs, and in period dramas (think especially Tess of the D'Urbervilles here!) and always thought I would quite like to make one - much as I would like to make a traditional smock too, but I have always been a dreamer! Anyway, here is a link to a site which explains more fully about the Gook (though it is essentially a family history site - and a very interesting one at that):

The Cornish dancers kindly posed for their photographs and told me everything they knew about the Gooks.

Side view of one pattern.

Side view of the other pattern.

View from behind.

Now which one shall I try and make during the grey miserable days of winter?


Mara said...

I love the gooks. To be truthful I'd rather wear some of the types of clothes they did 100+ years ago than modern things, they just have a nicer feel to them (sans corsets of course). I used to be in a re-enactment society; I loved the dressing up!

Kim said...

Both of course :) Although, personally my favourite is on the lady in pink and I would happily wear it at the field, although I know I would get some funny looks! But I do anyway, apparently it's expected of me to be odd!!!

Kim x

LBP said...

I have never heard of gooks or gouch.

What a pretty pattern they are. I have an old bonnet similar, without the pleating on the side that was my great aunts.



Roses and Lilacs said...

How elaborate! I've never seen such pleats and gathers. The name gook or gooch is a new one for me.

I agree, the pink is very pretty.

Bovey Belle said...

I am slightly inclined towards the other lady's hat, but it looks way more complicated to make as I presume you would have to taper the material at the back to get the shaping? Since there are no patterns, not easy. I looked at Amish patterns, but nothing like these. I would need to contact someone doing costumes for film work I guess . . .

Bovey Belle said...

Mara - I have always been drawn towards re-enactment too. Perhaps one of the my offspring will go that way instead! Probably T, who has a real flair for putting the right things together and raided the dressing up box the first term home from Uni!!!

Mam said...

Oh yes, the pleats and gathers are wonderful. These are really nice. I hope you do make one!