Hat making?? Learning Millinery..

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Hugh Beaumont, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. Hat and Rehat

    Hat and Rehat Call Me a Cab

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    I hope you don't start looking funny at the Naptha.

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  2. Hat and Rehat

    Hat and Rehat Call Me a Cab

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    You bet!

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  3. Hat and Rehat

    Hat and Rehat Call Me a Cab

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    Someone redacted "Gringo" from a post of mine 10 days ago.

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  4. Hat and Rehat

    Hat and Rehat Call Me a Cab

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    You never can have enough coasters.

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  5. addison

    addison One of the Regulars

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    That REALLY looks awesome!!!
     
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  6. T Jones

    T Jones I'll Lock Up

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    Thank you buddy. Gotta say, Rockwater does excellent work.
     
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  7. Lorenzo Casarini

    Lorenzo Casarini New in Town

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    Hi!
    I’m trying to make my first hat starting from a wool felt capeline.
    I’ve built a nice hat block which seems to work fine.
    Here comes the problem: I’ve bought a “capeline” made in wool felt. It is really, really nice BUT the crown is too short and not enough shaped. I mean: it’s more what’s called a “flare” than an actual “capeline”. The crown becomes a brim on the bottom, they are not well separated.
    But the worst part is that I’m unable to stretch it over 7-8cm on the block, even if I’ve used both steam and warm water.
    Am I doing it wrong or do I need to order a different item to shape it correctly on a 15cm-tall-hat block?
    Any advices?
    Thank you very much!
     
  8. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Wool felt capelines are really meant for the shapeless, floppy ladies' hats.
    There isn't much give in wool felt & if you expose it to any kind of heat, it shrinks.
    Even if you manage to slip it over the block & create a good brim break (the sharp angle between the bottom of the crown & the brim) it is almost certain to lose it's shape afterwards.
    If you really want to continue (& I'm presuming that both your equipement & knowledge are limited) I suggest that you soak the whole thing in cold water & then try pulling it down over the block (bear in mind you might tear the felt, especially if it's bad quality) tie a piece of string around the bottom of the crown & then find a way to keep the brim flat all around, so that you have a 90° angle with the base of the crown. (YouTube vids will it show it better than I can explain it.) The taller the crown & larger the size, the less brim width you'll have. Let it dry at room temperature,(on the block) it may take several days. Once dry & is the size & shape you want I would bombarde the thing with stiffener, truck loads of it, because that's the only way you're going to get the hat to keep any kind of shape. Remember too, that should the hat be exposed to either damp or heat, it will inevitably shrink. By all means have a go & you'll learn a few things but if you really want to create a decent hat, even with minimal tools, then a fur felt hat body would be preferable.
    That said, if you really can't get the thing over the block, even when it's dripping wet, then there's not much you can do about it. ;)
     
  9. Lorenzo Casarini

    Lorenzo Casarini New in Town

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    So, you are telling me that in order to make a fedora hat I need to change the material? I was really sure wool felt was right for me! Have you got any other tip? Because I’m getting confused about what to use to make the hat.
    Actually the material I’ve bought seems okay, it’s only short for me

    I suppose there’s something essential I’m not getting right...
     

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  10. jlee562

    jlee562 I'll Lock Up

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    Wool is not the preferred material. It's the lowest quality felt one can use for a hat.
     
  11. Lorenzo Casarini

    Lorenzo Casarini New in Town

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    What do you suggest? (thank you all for your advices)
     
  12. jlee562

    jlee562 I'll Lock Up

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    Fur felt.
     
  13. Lorenzo Casarini

    Lorenzo Casarini New in Town

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    Nice! What about beaver? Just for curiosity
     
  14. jlee562

    jlee562 I'll Lock Up

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    If you are just starting out making hats you will find access to beaver bodies is limited. There are only a few sources for bodies and they usually do not deal with individuals or individual orders, you have to be an established hatter.

    Moreover, it's probably not smart to use the most expensive material to learn on.

    Perhaps some more research is in order before you continue.
     
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  15. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    If you have not watched the YouTube video documenting Art Fawcett of VS Hats in the making of a fedora then you really must watch. It condenses the entire process down to a 30 minute video. It is brilliant.
     
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  16. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    Have you checked out Agnoulita Hats on Etsy? They sell wool and rabbit felts for hatting at what seems a reasonable price. When you purchase give the desire dimensions of the finished hat. The felts vary in size and some even in rabbit/hare are not big enough to get a full crown/full brimmed hat.
     
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  17. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    I think by attempting hat making with wool you are setting yourself up for great frustration and likely will not be satisfied with the finished product. Bite the bullet and buy rabbit felt. It really is not that expensive and if you screw it up just consider it part of the learning process.
     
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  18. deadlyhandsome

    deadlyhandsome I'll Lock Up

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    There was a time when wool, and more commonly wool blends, were used in fine hats. That type of wool felt is not available to hatters today, and it hasn’t been for many decades.

    Fur felt is the way to go. Rabbit, hare, nutria, beaver, or blends of the same can all make nice fedoras. Agnoulita on Etsy is a decent source for rabbit fur felt in a wide range of colors and finishes. You can also buy a used hat and strip it down and use it as a donor felt; ebay is a good place to find them, and they can be had cheap in the smaller sizes.

    Wool felt can be used, but you have to accept its limitations. Wool shrinks, and it’s usually much more porous and spongey and can’t be given a fine finish. It also won’t hold its shape of time and exposure to the elements.

    Here’s the link to the video mentioned earlier:

     
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  19. Hat and Rehat

    Hat and Rehat Call Me a Cab

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    I'm going a little bit against the flow here, but I think you should keep working with the capeline you bought and get the best hat you can out of it. It will be good practice while you pick up some of the techniques (like tying a hatters slipknot in a string for where the crown breaks into the brim.
    You probably will find a lot of it difficult, but when you start your second hat using a fur felt hat body it will get much easier.
     
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  20. Lorenzo Casarini

    Lorenzo Casarini New in Town

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    Thank you very much to everyone of you guys! You were really kind giving me this informations; it’s always nice to be in such particular forums about crazy interest
    I’m going to try as hard as a mad hatter!
     
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