Elaine,

I was looking at your introductory video.  I have the exact steamer you have, but it looks like you have a hose that connects to your steamer.  Did you purchase a length of hose and adapt your steamer yourself, or is that an attachment that you can purchase to go with the steamer?

Cindy 

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Yes Cynthia my husband added this. He is the engineer in this team and I am the creative.

I will ask him the "how to" but it was added as I use a turntable similar to a cake icing turntable to sit my blocks on when steaming felt or straw. I focus the jet on the extension onto the felt and I am not lifting block up to the steamer. Some of blocks are very heavy and I have aimed @ avoiding any shoulder strain in my old age. I have been making 200-250 pieces a year as a full time milliner.It is not essential but works for me.

The down side is it can drip on felt especially when steam first starts up. For start I used an old tin kettle with fine spout and heated on stove, until I could afford the steamer.Once you have a steamer it makes process so time efficient.  Check out trailer on brim lesson. -Elaine

I use a cake icing turntable also for pinning.  You're a step ahead of me with the hose.  Not only is the block really heavy to lift towards the steamer, it seems very awkward to me.  

What would be really cool is a foot pedal powered turntable, which would allow your hands to be free while you turn the turntable.  

I can't wait to start watching your videos!  I've been looking for a mentor.  :)  How long is each video?

Cindy 

I'm still using the same sort of kettle!  

I started out with a stove top kettle but since I got my jiffy j1 steamer I can't be without it. It's much easier to lift the lightweight balsa blocks but the harder wood blocks give your arms a good workout!

Found this steamer on ebay, Jiffy steamer in Melbourne, pre-loved

I love the Jiffy steamer.  You can also purchase an attachment that will clean bathroom tile and grout.  :)

Love this pre-loved. My jiffy steamer was "pre-loved" and came all the way from Texas, unfortunately it wasn't packaged very well (just placed into a cardboard box, no padding) and by the time it got here the box was torn up and hanging on for dear life! Yet it still works like a dream! My kind of machine, very hard to kill it!

I am not to the place where I feel I have the funds for a steamer, but just tested an idea and it worked!  Having a large garden has me at the height of canning season here in Ohio.  While canning green beans the other day, it suddenly clicked. I was watching my pressure canner let off that first 10 minutes of steam, and thought, "Wow! This would work for hat making!"  Sure enough it did.  Please be sure to fill your steamer/canner with clean water and not multi-task by steaming your hats while canning, it could produce hats that smell like beans, tomatoes etc. After my round of canning for the day, I steamed and blocked a trilby for my husband. I have pretty strong arms (farm girl all my life), so I have no problem holding even heavy blocks above the canner, but if you aren't used to lifting, start with a lighter weight block.  I am also vertically challenged, so I do have to hold the block or hat fairly high, but beggers can't be choosers!  Canners will steam for hours and you can adjust the steam by how much water you put in the canner.

Now THAT is innovative!!

Brilliant Bridget. I was trained in canning in 1960's had no idea people still do it @ home.

The importance with steam for millinery is the force of the steam and the heat of continuous steam. I was teaching felt hats this weekend and now on monday morning I am exhausted. The steamer @ the Qld Museum died so had to use steam irons and a clothing steamer. It just is hard work as you do not get concentration of high temperature steam but students results were great they just had to work harder than usual.

The canner would work well - thanks for sharing. Yes Milliners are very strong in shoulders and upper arms - daily weightlifting!!

I dunno'.  Maybe Green Bean Hats could be the name of your line!  I can't wait to see the Trilby.  

Elaine, yes, there are a few of us around that still preserve our own produce, but I have to admit we are a dying breed. It makes me rather sad to realize that so many have given up the art of home canning. Especially with the state of the economy.  Had I not raised my own food and canned, I can say with most certainty that our children would have had much less in quantity and nutritional value to eat.

 I have to say, the canner seems to be the most successful tool that I have tried for steaming millinery.  My steam iron just does not have the umph it needs to successfully do the job.  I tried a pot of boiling water with a rack over the pot and the felt over the rack, but it didn't seem to produce enough force to really work well. The canner does shoot straight up rather than at an angle like most of the millinery steamers, but with close supervision and care a hood will sit right over the steam spout, and I achieved a very nice moistness that leant well to blocking.

  LOL, Cynthia that is an Idea!

Greer, innovative is my middle name, although many people who know me claim it is more insanity. :)

 

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