As part of their dowry, girls in Marken, NL would embroider a linen band to be worn on the head beneath the cap and a layer of cotton batiste. The embroidery is done in cross stitch, in patterns divided into the three parts, with geometric and religious motifs, plants, and animals. Representations of love, fertility, mourning, God, the ups and downs of life, protection, and the monarchy were conveyed with flowers, fish, staircase patterns, birds, and the crown. The narrower and longer bands are older than the wider shorter ones. Each woman would design her own motif and guard it tightly, always hiding it and even washing and drying it indoors so no one would get a look! The special bands were always embroidered with black thread.
Thanks to Margreet Beemsterboer for her research and e-course specializing in embroidery projects from Marken and for information from her website.