By the last years of the War, everyone had experienced some loss- in their family, neighbors, classmates, and friends. Mourning their memory became an important ritual to the Victorians.
One way this loss and devotion was shown was by the art of hairwork. Hairwork used samples of a loved one's cut hair treated with chemicals, and then woven and arranged to form beautiful designs in functional ways- watch fobs, earbobs (earrings), bracelets, pins, broaches, etc. Hair mementos started before the Civil War and also continued after the Civil War.
Today we may think these articles are made of wire, but close examination shows the fine hair. Memorial wreaths were made from the hair of several members of a family, female or male.
Hair wreath of Lockwood family hair.
Detail of one part of the wreath, showing gray hair.
Hair necklace - note some of the hair coming undone from the loop.
Hair Earing Memento
Treated hair designs not used in the wreath.
The hanging branches of the willow are formed by hair in this broach.
Black fabric, often crepe, was saved for draping and armbands.
Black silk ribbon was used to trim dresses, bonnets, hats, etc.
Even fans were black in mourning, as were dresses, hats, gloves, etc.