https://vassallohistory.wordpress.com/maltese-crafts/the-maltese-faldetta-l-ghonnella/

The Maltese Faldetta – Ghonella

FaldettaThe għonnella (pl. għonnielen), sometimes referred to as a Faldetta, was a form of women’s head dress and shawl, or hooded cloak, unique to the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Gozo. It was generally made of cotton or silk, and usually black or some other dark colour, although from the sixteenth century onwards, noble women and women from wealthier households frequently wore white or brightly coloured għonnielen. The għonnella covered the head, and framed but did not cover the face. The upper part of the għonnella was starched quite stiffly, and given a broad, rounded frame, formed by means of a board, cane, or whalebone. This gave the għonnella a mysterious but alluring, sail-like appearance. From a practical perspective, this broad bonnet captured much needed cooling breezes during the hot and humid Maltese summer. On cooler days, the wearer could wrap the għonnella around her face more tightly, by making a slight adjustment. The lower part of the għonnella could be worn loosely draped around the wearer’s bodice and hips, or more tightly wrapped in the case of inclement weather. It would typically fall to mid-calf length. While walking, the wearer would hold one or both sides of the għonnella clasped in her right hand.

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