WHAT IS MILLINERY?


Millinery is the art of hand-blocking hats. Hand-blocking a hat requires a wooden hat form called a block, a felt or straw hat base, steam, ropes and pins.

 
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The Tools

Working with wooden blocks of various shapes is how a hat is made. Each hat requires different blocks in a particular shape and size.

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Blocking

Using water and steam to soften the materials, they are then stretched over hat blocks and held in place with ropes and tacks.

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Vintage Chain Stitch Machine

After the material cools and stiffens it comes off the block to get sewn. The hats are sewn together using a vintage chain stitch machine.

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Shaping

The last step of this process is to hand shape the various hats. Blocks provide the basic form, but the flair is in the personal touch.

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Trimming

After the hat is made it gets trimmed using various materials such as leather, ribbons, feathers, gems and beads. It can be as simple or as complex as you like.