Ladies Handwarmers (Muff)

Ladies Handwarmers -19th Century


Definition of a muff:  A thick tubular case for the hands, covered with fur or other material, used by women and girls for warmth and as a handbag.  This article of clothing was originally brought into fashion in the 16th century and by the 20th century was only used by women in England. In the 17th and 18th  centuries both men and women used muffs, but this lost popularity by the 19th century and had a brief return in the late 1940’s and 1950’s.

Fur muffs

Muffs were made mostly of fur, lined with silks or satin, and had a ribbon for around the wrist. Some furs were beaver, rabbit, mink, and other materials.   Some of these also had a small pocket in the lining to carry small personal items, or to act as a small purse.

The two I made were actually made out of a rabbit coat.  I did have a pattern from Butterick B5265 that I used to make mine, although there isn’t much to making one.  Cut out the rectangular shape pattern from fur, lining, and batting. Sew together, add a ribbon to make it easier to carry.  You have a fur muff for re-enacting.

Additional Information:

I also found this pattern instruction on-line.  It shows you can make a fur muff in about an hour.  I didn’t follow this pattern, but it really isn’t hard to make.

Here is the link I found on-line:

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