Felt trims--when to glue and when to stitch?

Hello, experienced milliners. I'm working on a felt cloche on which I've applied some pointy sword-like felt pieces as trim. In general, I like to avoid using glue but now that I've stitched them on, there are about half a dozen tiny knots on the inside of the crown. My thread is an exact match so it's not a glaring problem, but I wondered if it's more acceptable to glue felt trims on in this case to avoid even tiny knots showing. I have a few vintage felt hats and the stitches securing their felt trims are large and obvious inside the crown, so perhaps it's ok to have small knots showing? Should I add a lining to hide the knots?

I'd love to hear what others do!

Tags: felt, glue, trim

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It can be but that depends on the design of the final piece! The issue with sewing is that you need to add lining to hide those little knots, but the final decision rests with the designer maker of the item.

Thanks for your reply, Edith F. I would definitely add a lining if it were a small piece where the stitches would be more noticeable, but this cloche is deep and I guess I just wonder if it's necessary or noticeable. Do you think it's standard to add a lining whenever stitches will show? I also wonder about lining felt since felt is already so warm. I own a few felt hats both modern and vintage, and none of them are lined. 

In couture it is standard but you just answered your own question when you said you could notice little knots!

The decision remains with you and thus your choice in the end!

All the best

It is acceptable to have the work showing if it is not excessive but true couture work would always have a lining.  If for you it does not matter, if you are saying you are doing couture work then it would be best to line it.  You can always use a light and airy lining if you are worried it would be too heavy. 

I own several original cloches from the 1920s and 1930s and most with good labels have a lining. But, I also have several great looking hats that do not have a lining and have some thread work showing on the inside.  Basically - it's up to you!

This is so much help, Edith F and Sharon. Thanks very much for the advice and info. I think a lining is definitely in order!

Customers always look for value for money and adding a lining gives your felt hat that extra touch and value. Imported felts are never lined so to receive top price add a liner Instructions & tips here from several milliners 


You can purchase liners from suppliers  http://www.houseofadorn.com/index.php/millinery/tools-essentials/wi...  -  Au$3.15

I hadn't thought about this from a client perspective since I'm making this for myself, Elaine, but I'm sure you're right. Thanks for pointing out the added value aspect!

I often don't bother with linings. When I'm something on, I try to use an invisible stitching technique and then tuck the finishing knot under the edge of what I've sewn on. No lining, no glue and no visible stitches.

Definitely, Kristin! In this case, though, the stitches attaching some trim had to be almost right in the middle of the crown, with no place to hide a knot. 

Do what quilters do and bury the knots. That is, make a French knot but instead of going through all layers put the needle between the felt and the appliqué. Then come out about an inch or so away. Tug the knot under the surface of the felt. Clip the thread closely to the surface of the felt. No visible knot.works great for all sorts of areas where you don't want knots to show. You can also bury beginning knots in areas with at least two layers like bindings.

As someone who also quilts, I don't know why this hadn't occurred to me, Tania. Duh! I'll try this next time and see if I can get them to be truly buried in this way. Thanks for pointing out what should have been obvious to me!


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