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Benares House Gallery
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Hair Net
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Title: Hair Net
Identifier: 995.2.15
Item Date: 1915-1925
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: An orange envelope with a hair net inside, made from real human hair. The envelope has a picture of a young lady framed in a decorative oval, with branches forming an arch above. In the top left hand corner is text, that reads 'CAP SHAPE'. To the right of the photo reads 'SALLY HAIR NET, MADE OF REAL HUMAN HAIR, SANITARY, DURABLE'. The back of the envelope reads 'GUARANTEED PERFECT'. The hair net is inside. The hair is dark brown, very fine, and is wrapped in white tissue paper.

Hair nets date back to the 11th century. Originally made by knotting loops of single ply silk threads they were used for aesthetic reasons and to maintain a hairstyle. Original hair nets were quite basic and made in shades of brown but could also be made with gold thread and gem stones. In the 14th century hair nets were made of thicker materials and were decorated with ribbons and accessories. Hairnets made specifically to hold buns or chignons without completely covering the hair are called snoods. Hairnets came back into style in the 20th century for use in securing curlers in the hair overnight and for setting curls during the day. Hair nets came in various shades and sizes to fit various hairstyles. They also began being used for reasons of safety and hygiene in work places. The introduction of laws requiring the use of hair nets were often spearheaded by hair net manufacturers. Encyclopaedia of Hair : A Cultural History by Victoria Sherrow
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Related Links:
   Museums of Mississauga Home Page
   Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)
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