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Official Hats of the Qing Dynasty

Updated: 2014-12-11 15:08:56

( Chinaculture.org )

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Components of an official's winter hat
Official's winter hat: The knob indicates that the wearer was a sixth-rank official. Black silk satin with fur brim, made in China in the late 1800s.A single-eye plume was conferred upon nobles and officials down to the sixth-rank.
The official hats of the Qing Dynasty(1644-1911) were completely different from those of the previous dynasties. All Qing political and military personnel above the rank of bailiff had to wear a kind of weft hat.


The official hats of the Qing Dynasty generally fall into two types: caps and top hats, and the latter, also called "big hats", include hats that were specially designed for the weather conditions of winter or summer.

Winter hats, round and black, were generally comprised of a black skullcap with an upturned brim and were made of fur, satin or woolen cloth, depending on the weather conditions. Summer hats, on the other hand, were simpler. Cone-shaped and brimless, they were usually woven from strips of bamboo or vines, and laced with with silk brocade. There were white, light green and yellow summer hats, all capped with red tassel.

Both the winter and summer hats were topped with knobs of different materials, signifying officials' ranks. In addition, peacock feathers were also attached to the hats' rear., There were single-eyed ("eye" referring to the round spot on the feather), double eyed and triple-eyed feathers . The more the eyes, the higher the rank. But only the noble men and those who had done "immortal" feats were entitled to wear feathers.

Caps, also called "small hats", were made of six parts stitched together. This kind of hat came into being during the Hongwu years of Ming Taizu (the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty(1368-1644)), and was meant to indicate "unity of the country". There were various caps, such as flat-topped and spire-topped ones.

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