Mary of Burgundy – a padded roll-model

Mary of Burgundy was in her time a fashion icon, because her parents had a lot of money and they were very interested in the latest fashion. Nowadays Paris and Milan are the places to be for fashion victims, but in the 15th century Burgundy was the place to be when it came to fashion. One typical Burgundian head coverage from the 15th century was the hennin.

There were several types of hennins but I like the padded roll a lot. The padded roll is the one that kinda looks like a turban for women. The padded roll or bourrelet as it was sometimes known, was worn during the late 14th and 15th centuries. It consisted if a padded circlet, constructed either of hair or plaited hair held in a net or from a textile covering which was artificially stuffed. It looked like this:

Mary of Burgundy 29
Mary of Burgundy wears a headdress comprising a truncated-cone hennin, a jewelled padded roll, and a sheer veil.

Detail padded roll Mary of Burgundy.

Detail padded roll Mary of Burgundy.

I think it looks really luxurious especially for that time. The materials look really expensive and then the pearls and gems on the dress, the jewels on the padded roll. In the second picture you can see even better how delicate the pattern of her clothes were and all the pearls and how elegant it all looks. The women sometimes shaved the hair on their forehead as well so that their foreheads would seem longer and that way they would look smarter!


Apparently Mary was seen by others as a fashion icon because the lady on the right is Mary of Burgundy, but the girl on the right is her daughter-in-law Joanne of Castile!

Here you can see a very similar portrait of Joan of Castille in the same dress or a very similar dress and what appears to be her necklace as well. This is not impossible at all since Juana married Mary’s son and was gifted jewellery for her wedding.

The necklace of Mary of Burgundy in the picture with a replica of her necklace today.

The necklace of Mary of Burgundy in the picture with a replica of her necklace today.

Here you can also see the necklace in detail.

Here you can read more about the marriage between Joanna and Philip

Ciao, amici miei! Hilde


4 thoughts on “Mary of Burgundy – a padded roll-model

  1. Pingback: Mary of Burgundy / Hot in a Hennin | hemmahoshilde

  2. The center portrait is Juana I of Castile, her daughter in law, the next is Bianaca María sforza, the second wife of her husband, wearing german clothes and the last is not her either.
    Thank you for your good photographs


    • edited my post basrd on your information 🙂 it sometimes is confusing when some of the royals look sooo alike and they wear similar clothes and many of them are related to each other either by blood or marriage.


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