Wednesday 27 May 2015

Swirling Hats and A Dash Of Pink

Some ladies need no encouragement when it comes to choosing a statement hat.
In fact they can't wait to buy a hat that stands out from the crowd and turns a few heads, and there will be plenty of hats doing just that at Ascot next month.
The latest selection in the shop ranges form a zingy lime and hot pink to a swirling black with ruby crystals.
It really doesn't matter what your style is there are no limits when it comes to the races and ladies day is the one place you can really show your style.
So if you are thinking of going to the races this year get in touch and we will design the hat of your dreams.
There's still time for me to be making hats to wear to Ascot but you need to be quick, but don't worry if you are very last minute as there's always plenty to choose from in the shop and on line.
Where ever you are off to have a fabulous time in your hat.


Wednesday 13 May 2015

The wonders of sinamay

Sinamay is one of the most popular hat making material used around the world. It is made from fibers from an Abaca tree that is found in the Philippines. Abaca fibers are much stronger than silk or cotton and are woven together to make sinamay. As it is a natural material it is firm, can hold its shape well and can when dyed hold colour too.
Making it available in a huge variety of bright colours.

It has been in demand since it started to be exported from the Philippines in 1850 and throughout the 19th century. Abaca fibers were one of the highest exports in demand at the time along with tobacco and sugar.

Abaca fibers were originally used to make rope, but now is commonly used in carpets and furniture, bags and clothing and of course millinery. 
Abaca tree
Abaca fibers
Sinamay is so popular with milliners and here at Hat Therapy we use it as it can be molded into almost any shape. We commonly block ours on to various hat blocks and also other interesting and unique shapes we can find such as bowls, dishes and vases. We block a shape by steaming the sinamay with a Jiffy Steamer and stretching the fibers over the block then pining it down. Once the fibers have been left to dry and the sinamay is taken off the block it keeps its new shape and is ready to be made into a hat and or trim.

We also love experimenting with colour combinations by layering up sheets of sinamay and ironing them to trap the fibers together, the sinamay fibers have on thema stiffener that reacts with the heat of the iron so that the layered sheets will stick together, ultimately creating the most beautiful multi-tone pieces. 

Jiffy Steamer

Sinamay can also be used to trim hats by sculpting ribbons, flowers, swirls and curves etc. and is a great material to experiment with. We also often embellish our sinamay with beads, buttons, lace, embroidery and fabrics as it is easy to stitch onto either by machine or by hand.


Saturday 9 May 2015

This Weeks Round Up Of Hats

This week has been about finishing off hats that had been blocked and are now ready to put together.
In other words ready for the hand sewing to begin.
Choosing the trims that bring the hat to life and give it a presence.
I always design the shape and materials but sometimes I do change my mind about the trim as the hat just seems to dictate what it needs.
You can't do this for a bespoke order so making for the shop gives us a little poetic licence.
I also sometimes like to collect a selection of interesting fabrics and textures and then make something completely without an outright plan, the results are often very pleasing.

I have roll up 100% ladies panamas from Ecuador in stock now, £58 each in lovely neutral shades perfect for holidays as you roll them up pop them in a wide tube and pack them in your suitcase.
Easy to post so get in touch at the shop if you'd like one or pop in and try on.

In other news my lovely Acer at my back door has just flourished in the rain and a little sunshine and is an absolute treat.!


Sunday 3 May 2015

May The Month Of Flowers And Many Weddings

This month I was going to move my blog to another platform and would have needed to redirect readers to my new location.
After thinking about it for a while I think that moving is not only unnecessary and a whole heap of work but it seems that some people regularly visit to see whats being made [thanks for that] and although I don't get many comments I do see that lots of you return very often.

So I shall stay here in good old blogger blog land even if it's considered a bit old school but freshen up the layout and look to create someting a bit different. Do you like it.?
Let me know if there' something you'd like to know about or see here on the blog.

This week has been hectic from a personal level, two children's parties,a funeral and a cub camp to pack for.
The shop has also been a hive of activity with blocking, and making of smaller hats with crin, the black fabric you see in the mini hat and on the sewing machine.
It can be twisted into fabulous shapes in all sizes and creates a dramatic piece.
The weather however has been a drama story all of it's own.! In typical British style.
Makes for a great colour pallet thought. 

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