I'm looking for anyone who could help me with the construction of Satin Ribbon Hats.  I have a straw braid machine, I'm familiar with how to use it to make polypropylene hats but the same technique I use on   the polypropylene braid does not work for the satin ribbon hats.  I've tried different techniques with my straw braid machine but to no avail.  ANY help, teacher, tutorial, book, video would help.  Attached is a pic of what I want my finished product to resemble. 



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That's a beautiful hat, Rose.  

I've been shopping for a straw braid machine and spoke to a fellow named Charlie at gladhatter.com.  He sells all sorts of machines and is familiar with all sorts of processes.  Sad for me, he had some really nice refurbished straw braid machines for sale but they cost about $3K USA.  I was very naive.  I thought you could pick one up for about $500 or $600.  His number is 276-926-6423.

He is very generous with his knowledge and time.  He's a fun fellow who has been making men's hats for many years and seems to have his hands in a number of things, including machine distribution and selling.  What makes me think he may be able to give you some insight into your project is he was saying you can put "guides" on these little pony machines to get them to do specific jobs.  

I've only spoken to him once, so I can't really say this is a recommendation.  It's probably a long shot that he can help you, but it may be worth a shot.  

Hi Cynthia and thank you for your refreshing email.


I think I can help you but wish you to call me if you will.


Please dial 276-926-6423.  Would be much easier to talk at first by phone and then follow up by email.


Thank you so very much.



Hat Forum:




Trying to type this one again, I had it all typed and don't know what happened, the pic came without my message.

First of all THANK YOU for your quick response.  The pic is of my straw braid machines, they were made around 1884.  On occasion, e-bay has them and I wouldn't pay over $400.00 for one. My machines are in good working condition, they require a lot of oiling, every time you use it, they have to be oiled.  Be sure if you find one, ask them for a demonstration of how it works, check out the stitches, one of my e-mail pals didn't do this and hers only zig zagged, there is a mechanism for this too however she didn't know that the zig zag machine can be converted into a straight stitching straw braid machine.  The 2 bottom pics are for stitching, polypropylene (my hat is made from this braid), straw and ribbon braid.

I have a FACEBOOK pal that gave me instructions on how to work the machine, not many are willing to give you any advice on how its done, she is the only person that I know of that posted any info. on them.  She has a website and after I read her tutorial, I made a straw braid hat and she pictured it in one of her postings "http://hatstruck.blogspot.com/2011/01/how-to-sew-millinery-straw-braid-by.html" 

I will see if Charlie can help me.  THANK you and I'll let you know.



Hi again Cynthia,

I know Charlie.  After I checked his site out, I remembered.  He has a website that allows you to post questions on it but they couldn't help me.  In fact, he was asking me for help after he saw how this lady made her hats (:~D).

Those are beauties, Rose.  There sure aren't a lot of folks with an Internet presence who are using these machines.  I've been on the lookout for one for a while.  I was thinking I found one that was in good condition, but the price was just too steep.  Good luck on your ribbon hat.  I'm sure it's going to be beautiful!

If you use e-bay, you can also have them to notify you when they get satin braid machines in.  There is a person selling some on e-bay now, he's selling 40 of them for $9,600.00.  I don't know anything about him or the machines and maybe you could inquire about what you are looking for.  BE sure it is in working order and that it has the needed guides you want and ask for a demonstration pic. of how the machines stitches, you need one that stitches straight.  If I can help you with questions before you buy one, I don't mind.  This is his e-bay posting if you are interested, READ everything and don't commit to anything without knowing what you are buying.  If you decide to buy one of his, don't know if he will split them up but it won't hurt you asking, I'll give you the information of what you need for the motor and how to convert it to an electric model and the table you will need too.  http://www.ebay.com/itm/SIXTY-Pony-machines-Set-up-Wire-brim-Straw-...

Its me again, THIS listing I sent you is from the same person "CHARLIE."  I recognized his phone number. 

Yup, that's how I "met" Charlie.  He was willing to split them up and he was willing to vouch that they were in top notch working order.  But, he wanted about $2500 a pop.  He lives fairly close to me (two days away), so I would have actually gone out there to pick it up - get the demo in person.  But alas, that's just way too much money.  

I guess he's giving a deep discount if you're willing to buy all of them.  

Maybe six months from now he'll bring his price down, and he'll give me a call!  :)


2 years ago, e-bay had some for $125.00 each, then people started buying them and they sky rocketed.  I found one that I have for $85.00 and another one I had to pay $300.00 for.  Honestly, and its your money but I'd not pay over $300.00 for one.  I remember when he was selling those same machines in 2010 for $1,500.00, I still have his e-mail he sent me.  If you do purchase one in the future, be sure its in good working condition because half of the ones he selling on e-bay are not working and what can you do with an already broke machine?

Hi I am in South Africa trying to make satin ribbon hats. Can anyone provide me with the name of the sewing machine used to make them

Hi Rose I have someone selling a Victoria zigzag straw braid machine for 900€ in Italy.  His Facebook account is “Industrial Sewing Machines”. Do you think the price is fair?

Greetings Mohlolo,

if you're wanting to make satin ribbon hats, you need a "Millinery Straw Braid Machine." I need to see the machine, if they're saying "Industrial" I don't know if they're describing the machine correct. Straw braid machines are not industrials.  And if its a zig zag, you can't use that to make straw braid hats with.  They're several different type of millinery sewing machines, I have 3 type and can't share them because something is wrong with attaching the pics to hat academy.  If their machine only zig zags, you'll be wasting your money, you can use a regular domestic sewing machine to do that because most likely, that is all a zig zag millinery sewing does unless you can find an adapter to make it sew straight.

There are those who use a regular domestic sewing machine to make hats on but I don't use one.  I tried to send you pics of the machines but for whatever reason, hat academy site will not let me attach a pic. If you can, there is a pic. of what they look like in "RECOMMENDED."  Its labeled TYPES OF MILLINERY STRAW BRAID MACHINES on Hat Academy's' page that should be under the postings,

You can buy a brand new one from China, I bought mine back in 2011 from e-bay (They were all used) and they were made around 1883 or 84, my husband turned them into electric machines. This may interest you. You mentioned that you are on Facebook.  I saw a straw braid machine on the "Industrial Sewing Machine" site. I sent you a friend request. my name is "Frances Rose" and I can share pics with you. 

THIS is the vendor from China that sells brand new straw braid machine and they're cheaper than the one you were asking about. https://www.amazon.com/AXIS-Machine-Baskets-Products-included/dp/B0...


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