One way to ensure your hats stands out in the crowd is to make them very wide or very high. This layered feather hat by Canberra Milliner, Cynthia Bryson-Jones caught the eye of the judges at the recent Black Opal Stakes.

The largest hat I have ever made was for the catwalk with the brim one metre in circumference and was made stable by using several layers of wire on the outer edge.

What are some of the challenges you have had making a higher or wider hat or headpiece?

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I really don't have any trouble making them, I have trouble shipping them!   :)

The problem for me is not the making but suitable packaging is the issue of concern!  You just have to use carboad boxes meant for large household items and its not cool when you are a milliner with a brand!  Otherwise the cost of having special boxes made has to be retrieved from the price of the hat!!!!

Exactly Edith. In the case of the 1metre circumference hat we drove an hour to the Designers studio to hand deliver but I did staple a large cardboard brim to sit under it as it was for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week catwalk. There was no box @ Hardware store to fit it so it is a huge issue.

I agree, the packaging is more problematic. I made large  piece last year with over 400 feathers in it, and had to search for a box big enough, finally I managed to recycle a paper towel carton, which I then covered in coloured paper, with a special "hanger" inside it to hold it in place whilst it was transported to the wedding.  I think that search took longer than making the piece.

I once made a hat with the entire story of the "Wizard of Oz" on it.  The yellow brick road wound around the hat up to the top and along the way were the characters in different situations.  I got lucky in that the hat was picked up and did not need to be delivered. Phew!

I agree with the others.  The mailing/packaging is the problem.  I also have a very delicate brimmed hat that I now ship in plastic tubs.  While you are stuck with the basic brown shipping boxes, I have found that there is a very large size variety available at Uline.com.  You need to buy a minimum number, but if you expect to make several large brimmed/high brimmed hats, it may be worth it.  

I currently use a triple wall 20x20x12 Uline brown box.  I buy them by the pack and they keep my pieces safe (so far).  Uline does a line of white, cardboard boxes with an attached lid that looks like it could work nicely if it was sized up.  I have been thinking about contacting Uline and asking them how to get it added to their line.  It is a double wall, white box that would be great for storing hats and with a string or ribbon would work for travelling.  What would the perfect "working" hatbox look like?

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