It’s cold in Cape Town, South Africa, at the moment and so beanies are to be seen everywhere – including for sale in our shop (see end of post for details).
But when, a glorious post, by the The Nutter Knitters – Cape Town sharing their success of making 1,000 premie baby beanies, appeared on my Facebook news feed, we started wondering about the ORIGIN of the beanie.
Internet research tells us that the Beanie (or Knitted Cap or Balaclava or Bobble Hat or Tophue) has been around a LONG time:
“It all started in Wales almost a thousand years ago:
The first beanie-style-hats seem to date back to the 12th and 13th centuries. They were called Monmouth caps after the name of the town where they originated. The earliest versions were worn by women and made of velvet, taffeta, or satin adorned with embroidery. (Ed: sounds gorgeous!)
Between the 15th and 18th centuries, Monmouth caps evolved to look pretty close to the knitted beanie cap we know today. These hats were made of wool by hand knitters, because the Ryeland sheep in the Monmouth area, produced particularly high-quality wool.
When the wool was felted, to make it waterproof, these hats were worn by soldiers and sailors and eventually became an international export.”
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org should you be interested in purchasing a hand-made beanie. They range between R50 and R65 each.