I have trouble making a large disc hat stay comfortably and securely on the head and wondered if anyone had any tips or advice? I've recently tried one with a head band, as an elastic wasn't strong enough to hold it in place but even the band didn't feel 100%!

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I make pronged wire headbands for saucer hats. See HAT LABELS AND LININGS discussion under MILLINERY BIZ section for pics. It sits under the hair and makes it very secure.

Hi Aoife
I know it's an old topic but I am new to millinery. Can you please show how do you attach the prongs to the hats. E.g for cocktail styles? Do you sew the wire around the edge? And use binding to hide it?

I have had this exact problem today. I have spent about 6 hours making a saucer fascinator to find that I cannot get it to sit securely. I have tried a base with comb and a hair band too. I think I might make a larger base tomorrow to try to anchor it to. I will not be defeated by the saucer!!!

Aoife's wire construction is the bomb. One thing to keep in mind is physics. The heavier the saucer gets, the harder it is to stay in one place. For very lightweight saucers and for hat wearers who have thick hair, crocheted loop tape works. You sew it to the inside of the hat and insert hairpins through it.

I made four very simple saucer hats for four very different bridesmaids. I'm an unpaid amateur, so I got the chance to poke at their heads without worrying about impressing a client. The loops and elastic band worked with three of them. The fourth had little hair and didn't like the prongs. We ended up using very unconventional methods to get that hat to stay on her head. She looked good but underneath was a hot mess. All the other girls were able to remove their hats, run a quick comb through their hair, and go to the reception. The fourth one pretty much had to have her hair redone.

The good news was the hats didn't come off and the bride didn't go into labor at the reception. :)

Cynthia, this post made me laugh.


Aoife, do you ever use your pronged wire headbands on smaller cocktail hats similar to the 30's & 40's styles? I know women who have trouble with even the tiny elastic millinery bands under the hair or who don't have enough hair to hide and hold combs and hair pins.(Some just don't have a knack for using hair pins) This seems like it would work well even for a small lightweight hat in some circumstances.

Thanks Cynthia, it does work ridiculously well!

Yes Bridget it does work well with smaller hats, I use it on sinamay saucers as well, but I wouldn't use it for a client with thinning hair as it would be too visible. Most of my work is custom orders and I work closely with my clients on a one to one basis to decide which option best suits them.

For my small lightweight cocktail hats (like this) I usually use a combination of elastic (in the client's hair colour) and a small wire comb which is hidden under the hat. I show them how to wear it securely by backcombing that section of hair at the root, inserting 2 bobby pins crossways and sitting the comb behind them. This works perfectly on clients with very fine hair.


Also if you study the construction of vintage hats, which I think is a great way to learn, you will see on some cocktail hats, mini prongs which are incorporated into the design by being trimmed in the same fabric as the hat.

Yes, I have noticed these mini-prongs on vintage.  I try to examine every vintage hat that I come across for ideas.  I am working a some designs that I want to try the mini-prong with.  Thanks for the pics!


I recently started combining these two methods as well.  Sometimes one or the other just doesn't seem to do the trick.  I am always looking for new methods or the perfect method, and have found that each hat needs its own solution, which can be maddening.  I find headbands are also helpful at times. This hat just wouldn't cooperate for me, and wearing on top of the head was not a solution.  It looks like a helmet, so I finally resorted to a metal headband and said done.  That was before I learned about your awesome 3-prong method.


I've just had this problem with a little straw pillbox and a client with very short, thin hair.  The elastic didn't do the job and hairpins just fell out.  I'll try the comb idea - thanks Aoife!


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