The Huik - Renaissance Dutch Cloak - Fashion meets proverb

The Huik - Renaissance Dutch Cloak - Fashion meets proverb

In the midst of looking at Pieter Breugel the Elder's 16th century proverb paintings, I fell into a fashion-related detour. The huyck or heuk or huik, was a cloak worn by women of the Lowlands when they went outside the home. The huik was a large rectangular woolen cloak fixed to a felted hat or duck-bill-like visor, first appearing in records around 1520. It makes sense as a garment for warmth, sun protection, and modesty. The ultimate wearable sun hat / blanket. 

A woman from Bergen and a woman from Goes, 1520, by Albrecht Dürer

Above and below, you can see several in details of Hendrik Avercamp's A scene on the Ice, 1625

Portrait of Emerantia Beresteyn, 1634 by Pieter Claesz Soutman

It seems for more than a century, the huik was the going-out garment of choice. In this painting by, only the women working are not shown in a huik. In the back left of the Four Elements by Joachim Beuckelaer, you can see a billed - huik, showing that the style was either about region or fashion or both.

beukelar the four seasons huik

The huik moved from daily wear in the 16th century towards mourning, or Rouwdracht. Illustration below is 18-19th century mourning dress in Friesland, a region in the north of the Netherlands.

huik Friesland rouwdracht mourning clothes

The huik survived as mourning dress, or rouwdracht, into the 20th century only in remote areas of the Netherlands, such as Weirin, which was an island until after it was connected to the mainland in 1924. 

want more? read this research paper on the history of the huik

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