Friday, April 27, 2012

Haaf hats

After a challenging week of little or no access to email due to an 'upgrade' gone very wrong from our local island service provider, I thought I would cheer myself up and visit the Shetland Museum photo archive in search of historical versions of those wonderful hats Martha photographed on her visit to Fair Isle last summer.  Sure enough, they have several of these hats in their photo archive.  Not all had information with them, but this wonderful pair had a wealth of information!

Haaf hats  

This photo - #01383 in their collection, was taken by the museum in 2002.  Here is the description that accompanies it:
"Haaf hats were the type of hats worn by the crew of a sixareen (a type of boat) at the haaf fishing. The haaf fishing was deep-sea fishing for ling, done mostly at the north end of Shetland. It is Shetland's native commercial fishery lasting from the 1730s to the 1890s.

These examples were knitted around 1950 by an old woman who remembered such hats being worn by, and knitted for, the men in her family when she was young. Therefore the designs, and colours are representative of hats worn around 1880.

Haaf hats were typically patterned with small geometric designs. The skipper of the boat wore a bright red cap while the rest of the crew wore darker ones. This differentiated him from the rest of the crew."

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