Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Snood-along part one: Fabrics and inspiration

Are you ready for the snood-along? Join me in making a 1940s style fabric snood. It's really quick and easy!

This is the snood we'll be making. Today we're going to talk about fabrics, so that you can find something suitable, and look at some period inspiration images too. As you can see, I've made this from velvet, but there are lots of fabric options.


Your fabric snood is all about drape and gathering. So look for a nice drape in your fabric. It can be light and flowing, like chiffon, or heavier, like a jersey or velvet. You will obviously make your choice based on the season and the outfits you plan to pair it with, and the occasions you will wear it to. If you have any clothing you have made yourself, making a snood out of the leftover fabric was common and popular in the 1940s.

Some vintage examples that I found mentioned include a chiffon snood to match a swimsuit, corduroy to match a winter suit of the same, fine silk for 'afternoon wear' in summer, and wool jersey with a chenille pillbox and winter dress.

You will need a 30 inch by 18 inch rectangle, but a little less in either dimension is fine, it will only alter the fullness of the snood (and it is pretty darn full). You will also need matching thread, and about 10-15 inches of elastic (preferably round, but any fairly thin elastic should be fine). There ends up being only about 8 inches of elastic in the snood, but having more makes threading it in a lot easier, and you can then adjust it to a point that you like.

I've based my fabric snoods, and the patterns and instructions I'll be sharing with you, on the instructions from How to Make and Trim Your Own Hats by Vee Powell. I have changed it since then, since I didn't find it to be quite right for me. It was too voluminous, attached to a hat foundation, and didn't gather enough to actually keep my hair in, as well as more-or-less requiring the trim they suggested.

My version is closer to being a fabric version of a crocheted snood, designed to be worn by itself, to hold your hair in, and to be trimmed by you however you want.


A lot of the fabric snoods I found in vintage images were worn with hats, and I've included some of those here, but I tried to focus on those where the snood is the main player.

From Vogue Nov 1 1939

The text for the bottom left image above describes the snood as "capacious as a knitting bag", but it's the top left that is most like my snood in the end. I might have to add that bow!

From the Library of Congress (Flickr)
These two images look to me like they might be scarves tied as snoods although the one below I'm not as sure of, especially because of the bow.

From the Library of Congress (Flickr)

For instructions on how to tie a scarf as a snood, see Casey's tutorial.

I couldn't discover the actual origin of this photo, from Flickr here, found via Chronically Vintage

I fell in love with this snood the moment I saw it, and her whole outfit is fabulous. The snood interests me as it isn't completely closed over the head, but almost so. I wish I could see more angles!

From Vogue Sep 1 1941
One of the noticeable features of some fabric snoods is that they have gathered details at the back, like this Lilly Dache turban snood. Rather than letting the fabric keep it's fullness around the back of the head, it is gathered and tucked to give more shape. Something to try, perhaps.

From the Toodyay Herald 11 Oct 1946

While I can't see exactly what is happening with this snood, this is the matching corduroy number I mentioned above. The photo appearing in a few country newspapers but the quality was pretty similar. It looks glam though!

From a Pond's advertisement in Vogue, Mar 1 1943

Not so glam, but still too cute to leave out. The more functional factory girl snood. Also, what the heck is a lunch-box inspection?

Next week we'll go through the making process, so find your fabrics and get ready! And let me know what you're planning!


  1. Ooh, must have a search through my stash for suitable fabric.
    Would a basic cotton work for a trial version or would it not be drapey enough do you think?

    1. I haven't tried but I would suggest not. I did consider it and decided against it myself.

  2. Such wonderfully awesome ideas! Thank you for shining the spotlight not only on crochet and knit snoods, but on fabric versions as well here this month. They're something that we need more of, IMO, in the vintage fashion world these days (hopefully this post will help inspire the creation of some more).

    xoxo ♥ Jessica

    1. I hope so Jessica! I think they have a lot of potential.

  3. You don't see fabric snoods very often. . . those vintage pictures are really inspiring! I can see that they would be fairly easy to make.
    The Artyologist

    1. I know, but now I am noticing them more and more! Super easy to make :)

  4. This is really interesting! I've always thought of snoods as being knit, so I never really thought that they could work with my fine, straight hair, which would just poke out the holes. I'll have to give a scarf snood a try, that's a great suggestion.

    1. I have that problem with my hair! It is infuriating. I did hear suggestions to wear a hair net underneath but isn't that what the snood is for? The scarf snood tutorial is really good!

  5. Must go and raid my fabric stash and see what I have that is suitable. I love the sound of a corduroy one. Lots of fabulous pictures for inspiration here.

    1. Yes a nice fine corduroy would look so great. I hope you find something fun!


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