A hat or a husband?

Catherinette hats

Extravagant hats made and worn by single women to attract a potential husband are the subject of the latest exhibition at Bankfield Museum in Halifax.

The elaborate ‘Catherinette hats’ were worn in annual parades on Saint Catherine’s Day. Bankfield is showcasing newly made and historic hats in their new exhibition ‘A hat or a husband’ to celebrate Saint Catherine, the Patron Saint of Milliners.

Join milliners at Bankfield Museum on Saturday 25 November, Saint Catherine’s Day, for a day of free talks and demonstrations and a ceremonial cutting of a hat cake by the Mayor of Calderdale, Cllr Ferman Ali, at 1pm. 

The exhibition, by Vendredi Millinery Group, explores the history of millinery and hat making skills and offers a chance to hear about Saint Catherine and the ‘Catherinettes’ tradition.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Communities, Cllr Susan Press, said:

“The variety of hats on display at Bankfield showcases the skill and creativity that goes into millinery.

“There are some really elaborate creations and it’s fascinating to learn about the history of the ‘Catherinettes’ and also the techniques used to make these eye-catching designs.”

The free exhibition is open until Saturday 27 January during museum opening hours.

If you visit the exhibition in the run up to Christmas there are also plenty of festive events taking place, including the Bankfield Christmas Craft Fair on Saturday 9 December from 10am.

The Fair will host a selection of stalls around the museum, with local crafts and produce on display, making Bankfield the perfect place to buy a unique present or to treat yourself.

For more information, visit

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