Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hat Block Alternatives

You would think that if I started a blog that I would have projects lined up for posting; not so.  Sure I had a few ideas, but as always I'm more creative at the last hour.  As I looked around my room I studied felt, straw, and buckram material tied to traditional hat blocks that had been neglected for months, even a year or more, but the most exciting thing in the room was the the the ceramic hourglass vase covered with buckram foundation material. You see not only do I collect traditional hat blocks I also collect wooden bowls, metal bowls, ceramic vases, and just about anything I think would yield a beautiful hat.

Thrift shops, and most recently, HomeGoods--a discount store, are the places to shop!  My makeshift blocks cost anywhere from under a dollar to around $15 dollars.   A block the size of the large dark bowl above would cost anywhere between $120 and $250 or more dollars.  Additionally, I do not pin into my traditional blocks unless I absolutely have to.   These are my sculptures, my works of art..., but I will push pins into these bowls, etc., without a second thought.

My hat making material of choice is buckram (the material covering the vase).  Buckram is a heavily sized cotton material, that when dampened and stretched over a block, conforms to the shape of the block.  Of course it's also used dry for flat patterns that will be covered with various materials, as is the dampened, blocked, and dried buckram.  Knowing how to work with buckram will allow a milliner to create any shape she desires.

Sooooo, stay toned. I can't wait until I post again.  Now which one of those bowls, etc., will I use to create my next hat.


  1. Congratulations for your site! It's amazing!
    We make hat blocks (only "Vintage"). I invite you to see the blog: http://hormasombrerosytocados.blogspot.com/
    Good luck!

  2. Thanks. This may also be of help to my readers.

  3. Her site might have been of help if it had been in English. Sadly I don't speak Spanish.

  4. Hi Anonymous,

    My site is in English. You probably were looking at it in another reader.

  5. So you use Buckram instead of sinamay?

    1. Buckram is a foundation material used in the making of covered hats. The buckram frames are covered with various materials. This is totally different from the straw-like material, sinamay.