Mortar Boards & Bonnets

What is a mortar board?

Mortar boards, also called trenchers, graduation hats, or graduation caps, have a sculpted crown which goes over the head, topped by a square shaped board and tassel attached to the top of the cap.

What is a bonnet?

Graduation bonnets, also called Tudor bonnets or PhD hats, are generally made using velvet and lined with satin. They feature a broad rim surrounding the soft body of the crown. A coloured cord with two tassel ends is attached to the rim of the crown.

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Everything Else You Need To Know About Graduation Caps

With mortar boards and trenchers, the tassel will fall over the cap, and depending on the university, the tassel should be placed on either side of the front face of the board. The brim of the crown should be bordered by a grosgrain or ribbed trim. Our graduation caps are made using wool.

More about PhD Bonnets

Note that few universities prescribe mortar boards rather than bonnets for PhD graduates. The colour of the bonnet cord and tassels will differ according to university academic dress specifications. In some cases such as Chancellor bonnets, the tassels may be made using gold or silver bullion. While most PhD bonnets are black, some Australian universities prescribe navy or other colours for bonnets.

Who should wear a mortar board?

The graduation cap is typically worn by bachelor and masters graduates, however, some university academic dress rules may only prescribe graduation caps for masters graduates. In fact, some universities will prescribe a mortar board for PhD graduates also (as opposed to a bonnet).

What is the difference between a hard crown mortar board and a soft crown collapsing mortar board?

A hard-crown graduation cap is made so that the crown is rigid. The wool of the crown is processed so it keeps its shape when not worn. These are made in specific sizes, ranging from 51 to 62 cm diameter. So sizing of hard-cap mortars is more specific to the individual. Our hard-crown mortar boards are black and made using quality wool.

A soft-crown graduation cap means the wool of the crown is less processed so it may collapse flat for easy storage and portability. Our soft-cap mortar boards feature an inner crown elasticized rim so the hat will have some grip, although the crown still features the same grosgrain or ribbed trim on the outside of the cap. When the crown is open, our soft-crown graduation caps look just like a hard crown graduation cap.

How do I choose my size of mortar board or bonnet?

For assistance with selecting the size of your academic headwear, refer to the mortar board and bonnet sizing information tab at the bottom of each product detail page.

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Mortar Boards & Bonnets
Minimal Price: A$40.00