There are a lot of talented milliners posting photos of the exteriors of their wonderful creations, which are very inspiring. But, I'd also like to see the insides of the hats and undersides of the fascinators.

I'm curious as to how many modern milliners are putting full linings in their hats and what kinds of linings.  And I'd love to see what your labels - which are basically your artist signatures, and will be how people will know the hats were made by you - look like.

So in short....I'd love to see your labels and linings. Please post photos!

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Global Financial Crisis?

Sorry Cynthia - common topic here - Global Financial Crisis. It had a huge impact on pocket money of wealthy who buy hats @ $440-$660 each so my business slowed so I had to look at means to keep price down as some components feathers and straws took a price rise.

We have some of that GFC going on in the states also.  I haven't learned anything about feathers yet - but I hear they're pricey.  I was watching your bow video (which was wonderful!), and I really want to make that silk organza bow - but I'm almost afraid to price the fabric.  :)  

Oh, by the way, what's an "op shop"?  

Yes Cynthia, Feathers are pricey and you can see in my hats not a lot of Feathers for that reason. They can be sourced in bundles on ebay but then you may not have colour range you want. We have had a decade of feather & spikes but there is a real return to softer florals and even Millinery classes on feather flowers. Filming hand made flowers once Melbourne Cup is over in November. Feathers are an effective way to add texture and height to a design so feathers are here to stay.

I am very fabric based to make $$ out of millinery and new lessons will focus on that. There is more variety in fabric than straw or felt and allows individuality. The bows are all about soft fabrics Glad you picked up some tips. Do samples of as many types as you can.

Co-ordinating hats with clients outfit is secret to making client very happy especially if you use fabric scraps left over from dressmaker/designer. I have had their garment designer/manufacturer from interstate send an extra metre of their  expensive fabric to make a matching hat and send it at no cost =  great customer service on their part.

Check out secondhand clothing using yesteryear fabrics- as long as you can cut long bias pieces. Use a polyester organza for a start but I favour silk so much but it is expensive.

In Australia charities run clothing collection bins in shopping centres and then recycle such after washing & repair so Opportunity /Op Shop is a second hand shop for clothing . What do you call such there??

Ah, we call them thrift stores!  Oh my, I was thinking op as in ophthalmology.  I really wasn't making the connection.  :)

I love working with feathers. Here's a link to a great video showing Philip Treacy making a feather hat.

Aoife, thanks for sharing this video, very interesting. Do you know what is the green-ish trim he put over the white moulded hat that the feathers were positioned on? It seems like a sticky kind of surface. Also, have you got any idea where to find spartra? I have looked on the internet for it but can't seem to find it. Or is it the same as buckram?

Hi Anel, Aiofe maybe able to give some light on esparterie/spartra availability. In 1960s that is all we used for fabric covered hats.

I sourced some recently from a retired milliner. I use somic sometimes spelt semac ?? I have been using it for 20+ yrs for all fabric covered pillboxes & crowns. It comes prestiffened.

New lessons I am filming this week Cocktails,  pillboxes and Headpices are based on Somic/semac. It is easier & quicker to use than esparterie. We will sell this product through Hat Academy store. In Store suppliers sell leno which is similar to buckram. I will be using all these in next lessons. If you love combining fabric with straw you will enjoy. 

Re what Phillip uses ??? The world of millinery tries to figure it out. Maybe Resin based??? - Elaine

I'll be one of your first students, Elaine!

Thanks Elaine, will be looking out for your next lesson!

Anel, the green trim he used is a stretch silk satin cut on the bias which he glues in place. You can see the stitched seam if you look hard enough.

Spartre/Sparterie/Espartre/Willow (known by so many names) was the most widely used foundation material used in millinery at one time. It is now like gold dust! Incredibly hard to come by the real thing and extremely expensive as it is not being produced anymore. It is an amazing material, extremely pliable that is used to make the most intricate shapes and blocks.

It is a 2ply material made from open weave fine straw (esparto grass) backed with a layer of cotton/muslin crinoline. Golden in colour.

The spartre you get nowadays (if you can get it!) comes from Japan. It has been considered an inferior product when compared to the original which used to come from Spain, as Japan's climate produced a more brittle crop but it is much bettter than buckram.

It was tiffened with spartalac also not made anymore!

The spartra Mr. Treacy is using, he gets made in Japan and I'm sure it is a sublime quality.


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