HSF Challenge #7: Tops and Toes

The huik (also spelt heuk, heuke, hoik or hoyke) is a cloak-like garment with a distinctive “duck-bill” which appears in the artistic and written records of the Netherlands from around 1520, gaining in popularity (or perhaps gaining in evidence as interest in documenting foreign clothing increased [Rublack 2011]) through to the late 1500s.

This garment was worn by women in the Low Countries in the 16th century. It is primarily pictured in outdoor scenes, although there is also one image of a room full of women in this garment in a church.

In general it seems to have been worn for warmth and modesty, with a possible benefit of protecting against the elements. Notes on a pattern sketched by Durer also seems to indicate that this item was worn in church as he names it a kirkliche (church cloak).

I’ve been wanting to have an attempt at this pattern and this item since I first found it, and 2014 was the year to give it a go.

Huik montage

3 views of me in my huik

Just the Facts

What is it?: A huik (also spelt heuke, heuk, hoik, hoike, hoyke), a cloak worn by Dutch and Flemish women in the 1500s.
The Challenge: Tops and Toes
Fabric: Wool
Pattern: Based on a pattern sketched in Albrecht Durer’s journal of his visit to the Netherlands in 1521
Year: 1521-1530s
Notions: Boning
How historically accurate is it? Short of having an extant example I’m quite happy
Hours to complete: 6
First worn: unofficially for this photo, officially it will be worn this weekend at Rowany festival, where it will help keep me warm
Total cost: $25 AUD

Want to know more about this strange item?

I’ve produced a research paper on the huik pulling together all the evidence I currently have, as well as a more detailed description of how I made this item.

I also have a pinterest board of images of the huik and images of women outside the Low Countries to chart the uniqueness of this item.