Amish winter headwear, PA farm fire, and how to take a photo out the back of a buggy

A few items of interest for your Friday:

Amish winter headwear

Reader Slightly-handled-Order-man recently asked:  Could you write an article on Amish winter clothing?

Well, I don’t know about a whole article, but why don’t we start with the head?  The Amish straw hat is an icon, and comes in a wide range of styles.  But did you know that when it gets chilly many Amish wear one of these?amish winter hatWe used to call them woolies, and I know some call them toboggans or stocking caps.  Both Amish men and boys in some communities wear them.  They make good work hats, but you’d never wear one to church.

This particular hat is sold by Weaver’s Apparel of Ohio, one of the largest Plain clothing dealers.  If you go into Amish dry goods stores across the country, odds are you’ll find Weaver’s Apparel products.  I picked up this hat at the Sunny View dry goods store in the Dover, Delaware Amish community.

Weaver’s has branded its products–as you can see this is from the “Levi Miller” line, you can find women’s socks under the “Lizzie Ann” label, etc.   However the hat itself is not made by Amish, though it is made in the USA.

Amish, for that matter, do not make all their clothes.  Dresses, trousers, and mutza suits (formal suits Amish wear to church) are still typically made by Amish hands.  But store-bought apparel is common, including men’s shirts, socks, and underwear.

And just like the rest of us, some of the things Amish wear come from overseas.  Once, Weaver’s owner gave me a traditional black brimmed Amish hat.  Imagine my surprise when I flipped it over to find “Made in China”.

Pennsylvania farmhouse fire

Accidents happen every day.  Some seem particularly tragic, like the recent drowning deaths of 4 Amish children in Kentucky.  This past Tuesday, 7 children in central Pennsylvania died in a farmhouse fire.

The area is populated by Amish and Mennonites, though the family are not members of either group.  The children were apparently alone in the home while the parents were busy with dairy duties.  One child, a 3-year-old, escaped.

Reader Richard has gotten ahold of contact information if anyone would like to write or donate to this family:

Clouse Family Fund
c/o Church of the Living Christ
P.O. Box 180
Loysville, PA 17047

Win a quilt, help an adoption

Monica, aka Mennobrarian, is running a fund-raiser for a friend’s adoption.  She’s come up with a creative contest.  A $5 donation gets you a shot at winning a quilted wall hanging (a “traditional 8-point star”) she has made.

Monica writes that “even in if you are not in the market for a wall hanging, it would make a nice table topper or decorative accent piece, too.”  More on the contest and quilt here.

How to take a photo out the back of a buggy

Start with a steady horse and a trustworthy driver.  Make sure no semis are coming from the opposite direction.  And hang on tight.  The photo below was taken in Lancaster County by Bob Rosier.  Bob says the horse’s name was Star, and the driver was Lydia.

buggy photo lancaster amish

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    1. kristin jager

      Is Weaver’s the only Amish Clothing Dealer around? I never gave it much thought that they would purchase clothing. I just assumed they made all their clothing. (except for straw hats and shoes) Do any of the Amish make their own straw and /or black felt hats?

      I chuckled when you said the hat was made in China. Who would have thought?

      Blessings and have a great day, Kristin

    2. Amy Jo

      just a quick thank you for another great article Erik. I have a good stock of knee-hi socks sold through the Weaver/ Lizzie Ann label – very practical and I like that. Thank you for posting from Richard and Bob. I appreciate, Richard, having the info. Bob, I needed the aaaahhhh! effect of the pic – green is coming again, slow down because i might miss something with which God has blessed me, and, especially today, the clean neat buggy – road – and scene in general, is so much needed to sooth my scattered brain! May you see many blessings today!

    3. Richard

      Good morning everyone. Your right Erik in that i do see alot of Amish wear these hats around here in Lebanon/Lancaster area. Like everyone, we have a walmart over here and im always seeing a good amount of Amish/Mennonites shopping there. Theres a horse post outside as well. we have a weaver store in Lancaster, so im not sure if they are connected in anyway?. The store like weavers thats close to me would be a store called “good’s store”, they have locations in Lancaster and Lebanon. In fact i need to get over there this weekend because they are starting to bring out their spring items.And id say atleast half of their customers would be Amish. Rain has stopped over my way for now, will read the news later to see how much damage was done to our area. Everyone have a great day, and nice job Eric on todays post. Thank you. Richard. from Lebanons Amish community.

    4. Alice Aber


      I know there is a general merchandise type store in downtown Arthur that sells a lot of Amish clothes, especially men’s and boy’s. A few things for the women but not as much. Next time I am down that way I will have to check the labels.

      Kristin, if you do a search for “modest apparel” online you will find several web sites that sell “Amish type” clothes. Some are pretty accurate while others are not. They even have the various head-coverings.

      Bob, that was an awesome job with that photo!! Makes me want to go for a buggy ride!

      Great article Erik!!

      Blessings, Alice

      PS. This is too cool, I just discovered I have a spell checker up on my tool bar that allows me to spell check anything I type in here or anywhere on the web. Too cool for words, LOL

    5. What a fun post – a little bit o’ everything. LOL I’m heading out tonight for a couple days among the Bowling Green, MO, Amish and much needed break. I just wish they had a cute restaurant – something besides Mexican or Chinese (which I like but not in an Amish area, know what I mean?). A man my husband works with bought a weekend place there for hunting or something and it was formerly an Amish home so they had to add electricity, etc. They said their Amish neighbors there have bent over backwards to welcome them and befriend them which I thought was very sweet. I am so off track I can hardly stand myself – back to your post… WONDERFUL! 🙂

    6. Kate

      In dutch those hats are called “tzipplecopp” 🙂 Just thought that might intrest some. A regular straw hat is calling a “hoot”. Sounds funny to type it out though!

      Thanks for the address I wanted to try and find one so that’s great!

    7. Monica

      Thanks Erik, we appreciate the link! The raffle is going very well and every little bit helps to bring this child home. And (I never thought I’d play this card- *sigh*) the items are Mennonite made!

    8. wow, this was a really interesting article. You had quite a bit of everything.

      I was surprised about the Amish winter hats. Then again, why not? Everyone gets cold in winter and needs warm clothing. So why not a nice knit hat?

      I’m not sure if there any Amish in my part of Oregon. However, I sure do see Mennonite families from time to time 🙂 🙂

      Thanks for the info about the family.

      Greetings from Oregon, Heather

    9. Forest

      Hi Folks,
      The toboggens are very practical winter wear. After you chase down a broad brimmed hat on a windy winter day a few times, your start thinking a toboggen is a very handy thing to have. Keeps your ears warm too.

      My understanding is that the family who lost their children in the fire was associated through the mother with the Mennonites, not that it really matters. It was a terrible thing to have happen.


    10. Leo

      I bought a straw hat from a Swartzentruber Amish woman who makes them for her community in Oswego County NY. She invited me into her house to try on different sizes. The hat cost $10.


    11. Forest

      Gohn Brothers in Middlebury Indiana is also a source for Plain clothing. They have a website, but not much on it last time I checked. A letter or phone call will get you a catalog (no pictures in it tho’)

    12. Marcus Yoder

      If you want to see different Amish winter clothing, go to the air works auction in kidron,Ohio, in febuary. You will see Amish from all over the United States.Some wear a heavy cape like coat.

      Marcus Yoder London,Ohio

    13. Rick

      “Flying Cloud Hat” makes black felt hats in Lancaster Co, and I am confident they are Amish-made. They are labeled as such inside on the leather band, which, on the 2 I have, also has the owner’s initial punched for identification. I have seen a couple different addresses for Flying Cloud; the one is just north of Intercourse off 772. The straw hat I got at a Lancaster yard sale is not maker marked, and the owner’s initials are inside by magic marker. You can occasionally find Flying Cloud hats offered on ebay for $10-15. Ebay is a great source for cheap Amish clothing for “decorating” purposes but I’d recommend buying from someone in a legitimate Amish community. Most thrift stores in Amish communities also sell Amish clothes at a good price, as do Amish yard sales.

    14. Mona

      Another good article Erik….

      Thanks Richard for the info on the family that lost 7 children in a fire….I will post it on the Amish Living site that I belong to….if everyone would just send a card with a dollar or whatever they could spare, would definitely help the family….we did this for the Amish family that lost their kids in the drowning… lets do it for this family…..Thanks

    15. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      Erik, thanks for the piece on the winter headgear. I think in Canada the toboggan would fall under the category “tuque”, but certainly, whatever the name, it looks like it will do the job. I agree about it not being Church worthy. I like the colour of the one in the picture. Next winter I think I might buy a new knit hat in that style for the winter. I’d like to abandon my baseball cap on really blizzard-like days, and my old blue knit cap is too thick for my liking.
      You got me thinking about were hats are made. I bought a black felt wide brimmed hat from an Amish/Mennonite some time ago, and recently (this evening) I checked where it came from, it said “Made in USA”. It has served my needs well, and I wouldn’t mind buying another one day when it has lived out it’s usefulness (it’s still good).

    16. Flying Cloud Amish hats in Lancaster County

      Hi Kristin, Weaver’s is definitely not the only one, there are competitors. And they would carry Amish-made as well; this particular variety of hat–more of an Ohio style–was made overseas though. As Rick said, Flying Cloud is one that is Amish.

      I paid a visit a couple of years ago on a hat errand with Amish friends, it is near Intercourse. I have always wondered on the origin of the “Flying Cloud” name though. Maybe Rick or someone else here knows?

      If you missed it there is a photo of a Flying Cloud ad on this Lancaster business post from last week, 3rd photo down:

    17. Richard, can’t say for sure but Good’s may very well carry Weaver’s goods, they do have quite a few stores in PA.

      Kate thanks for spicing up this post with a little Dutch. I’ve got a dictionary but not too handy with it.

      Forest on the family’s background I think I recall that the mother may have been raised Mennonite?

    18. Richard

      Update on the clause family that lost 7 children in that barn fire. That barn was taken down on fri, with neighbors helping the family tear it down. They will rebuild another barn in a different location on the farm. I saw this on our local news since Perry county is covered in my area. The rain at least for now has stopped with sunny skies abounding, so it looks to be a great day to head down to Lancaster county to grab a bite to eat, and take my camera along for the ride. Enjoy your weekend folks. Richard. Pennsylvania

    19. Glad everyone enjoyed this piece and thanks for sharing the extra info on Plain clothing. Shom “tuque” I had never heard, sounds French?

    20. Richard

      I wrote this comment in the wrong section, so ill do it again here. I said that maybe i should go over to the flying cloud hat company and see if they would let me take a few pictures, and you dont know unless you ask which im not shy in doing. I have a few of these hats somewhere in a box.So you guys talking about them gave this idea, not sure when i can do it but ill try soon. Im off……. to Lancaster. Richard. Penn

    21. Have a great trip Richard. Will look forward to seeing what picture you get, be it flying clouds or flying hats.

    22. Richard

      I just hope that its not me flying out of their companys door after i ask them if i could take any pictures,lol. Richard. Penn

    23. Richard

      I caught this piece of news relating to the 7 children killed in perry countys barn fire. And thought it was important to post before i left today. These people disgust me in everyway . Richard.Penn
      …..Fresh off their Supreme Court victory allowing them to picket funerals of military soldiers, members of the Westboro Baptist Church have announced plans to picket the funerals of seven Mennonite children killed Tuesday night when their Perry County farmhouse caught fire.
      The children, ages 7 months to 11 years, were killed when a fire started in the home while their mother was milking cows and their father was on his milk delivery route.Their three-year-old daughter managed to escape and alert the mother, but the fire had already overwhelmed the wooden structure, police said.

      The group from Topeka, Kan., said the death of the children was “just punishment at the hand of an Angry God” displeased with the failure of Pennsylvania residents to heed Westboro Baptist’s call to “put away rebellion and obey the Lord your God.”

    24. Wow,Richard, I agree with you. They disgust me too. I wish there was a way to stop them!! Why can’t they just leave people alone??

      Blessings, Alice

    25. Debbie Welsh

      Thanks Eric, and Richard, for posting the address for that poor Clouse family. I can’t even begin to imagine such a horrific loss.

      And now to make matters worse that radical West Baptist Church group is planning to protest at those poor little children’s funeral? Why? These peaceful people have nothing to do with the military-far from it! Is this not considered harassment? I realize we’re entitled to free speech in this wonderful country of ours, but in this case it’s not right and I don’t even know how this group can call themselves Christians if they carry this out.

      So sorry everyone for getting carried away about that!

      On a lighter note, when we were out in Holmes county, Ohio, twice last year, almost all of the Amish men and boys were wearing those woolie caps. And then when we were in Lancaster a few weeks ago when there was still alot of snow, I saw the Amish men and boys still wearing their straw or black hats and remembered thinking, aw that’s a shame, they need to wear those woolie caps like the Ohio do!

    26. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      Erik, I would guess it probably is French in origin. The Tuque. There is apparently a mountain in Quebec with a similar name that is called so because of the fact it looks like a toque. I’ve never seen it.
      Remember to set your clocks ahead one hour between Saturday and Sunday, everyone (although I hear some Amish don’t).

    27. Richard

      I hope everyone is having a good sunday wherever they may be. While in Lancaster on sat since Erik had a post on hats, i checked out a few so called Amish hats while in a tourist store. These Amish style felt hats looked somewhat like the ones the Amish wear, and since i have a few myself i knew something was not right after i picked one up. it felt cheap and as i turned it over it said what i expected”made in China”. So im sure most of the tourist wont care, but we know better folks dont we. Richard. Penn

    28. Lindsay

      Debbie – Westboro Church are attention seekers pure and simple and it does not matter who or where it is. I know of a group of bikers who will go to veteran’s funerals that basically protest against Westboro and supports the family of the recently deceased. I hope they turn out for this one as well.

    29. Debbie Welsh

      Thanks Lindsay, for the info about the bikers. I hope they and many more show up, not only to support the family in their time of grief, but also to help protect and shield them from this radical group.