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why do amish women wear bonnets

Why Do Amish Women Wear Bonnets?

The Amish have a fascinating culture, and there are many things to learn about them, like why Amish women wear bonnets. 

These bonnets are significant both for modesty and for cultural and religious reasons, and we’ll look at exactly why the Amish wear bonnets. 

What this article covers:

What Do Bonnets Signify? 

why do amish wear bonnets

Firstly, it’s important to know that there are two different kinds of head coverings that Amish women wear. There’s the prayer cover, known as the kapp. This is generally made of a light material like silk or muslin.

Then there’s the bonnet which is worn over the kapp. The bonnet worn by Amish women is larger than the kapp. The bonnet can also be made of muslin, and it’s sometimes made of cotton. In many Amish communities, the bonnet is starched to help it maintain its shape.

The Amish are very skilled at working with a variety of materials, with Amish women often making their own clothes particularly Old Order Amish clothing, or weaving things like harvest baskets or storage baskets for shelves

why do amish wear hats

Wearing a bonnet is an important way for Amish women to signify that they are Amish. For Amish people, it’s important that they are easily recognizable and distinct from non-Amish people. This is connected to the separation of the Amish community from the rest of the world. 

You’ll see a variety of different styles of bonnets amongst different regions, communities, and orders of Amish people. However, one thing that’s fairly consistent is the coloring system.

Black bonnets are worn by unmarried women and young girls. Once a woman gets married, she then changes to wearing a white bonnet.

This creates a clear visual distinction between married and unmarried women, which is helpful because Amish people do not wear jewelry, including wedding rings. 

There are also different styles for married and unmarried men. Before marriage, men must be clean-shaven, but after marriage, they must grow out their beard and not trim it. They’re also craft, making some beautiful wooden bread boxes

why do amish ladies wear bonnets

Another key reason behind wearing the bonnet is for Amish women to be modest. They want to focus on inner purity rather than outwards appearance and put effort into covering up their bodies.

Why Do Amish Women Wear Head Coverings?

Part of the Amish religion and culture is following scripture as closely as possible. This is the reason for their simple lifestyle and is also connected to the wearing of bonnets.

1st Corinthians 11 states “But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman is not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it is a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.”

why amish wear hats

For the Amish, this is taken very literally as women’s heads must be covered every time that they pray. However, in addition to the modesty aspect, women must keep their heads covered at all times so that they can pray at any time.

Both modesty and prayer are central to the daily lives of Amish people and for women, wearing head coverings and bonnets is an important part of that. It’s also why we have the iconic Amish blue dress.

Do Amish Girls Cover Their Heads?

In most Amish communities, young girls start wearing a head covering very early, sometimes around age 4. By 12, almost all Amish girls will be wearing a prayer covering. It’s also at this age that they start to dress in the very traditional Amish dress code. 

As Amish girls grow up, they are taught about the culture they live in, which includes a variety of crafting. One very important skill that Amish girls are taught is the art of basket weaving. 

 why do the amish wear bonnets

This tradition has been passed down for generations, and we seek to ensure that it can continue to be passed down and not lost. That’s why we stock a range of exquisite handmade items, like Easter baskets, wicker bicycle baskets, and under-bed baskets

why do amish wear head coverings

These Amish crafts are so versatile and work in so many different situations, with even unusual things like wicker dog beds being available. 

what do amish wear on their heads

What Clothes Do Amish Women Wear?

Not all Amish communities dress exactly the same, but there are some common things worn by women in most orders. There is a focus on separation from the modern world. 

This is also part of the reason that they have some strange customs, like some Amish people not using buttons in their clothes, and some unique Amish birthing practices

The unique nature of the Amish also raises questions like “do Amish women wear panties?”, and “do Amish people wear shoes?”. 

Long, Modest Dress

The first is their distinctive long dresses, even in the heat of summer. For the Amish, a women’s body must be kept concealed to preserve her modesty. 

Amish women’s skills with the needle are not limited to just making clothes. There is a very long tradition of exquisite Amish hand quilting, with historical sewing methods being used to create pieces that are both beautiful and an important part of Amish history and culture.

For the Amish, and for us, it’s important that these skills aren’t lost in the chaos of the current days. Our partnership with the Amish community allows for things like hanging file baskets to be bought by the general public, thereby expanding the reach of these products. 

why do amish wear white bonnets

Prayer Covering

Then there’s the kapp, which is worn at all times so that women’s hair is kept covered. This allows her to be ready to pray at any point. Prayer coverings are worn both in and out of the home. Because the Amish are against external adornment, keeping your hair in a bun under a prayer covering is considered the most appropriate thing to do. 


Going over the kapp is the larger bonnet, which is primarily worn when going out and about. It’s used to increase the amount of covering a women has, and to signify certain things. It signifies that this person comes from an Amish community, and the color signifies whether the woman is married or unmarried. 

amish bonnets meaning


Amish culture is complicated and very unique. This makes it even more important to preserve and learn about it, through education and engaging with their artisanal products. 

You’ll find no better craftsmanship than that of the Amish, passed down through generations and relying on tried and tested historical methods. 

When buying from us, you’ll also know that you’re helping to preserve the special aspects of Amish culture in a way that also brightens up your home.

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