I have used a variety of modern materials in my hats:plastic canvas, modern
wedding 'juliet' caps, decorative metal screening, once I even made a crown
out of a metal basket with golden leaves.
I used the plastic canvas for a heart-shaped headress and it worked well, it
takes a smushing and bounces right back.
I made a 'mailbox' hat out of the decorative metal screening I found at
Menard's with the sheet metal. That hat bends and does not bounce back easily.
Most of my crushable hats I keep in the decorative hat boxes that Hobby Lobby
I made a second mailbox hat with a wire frame and covered it with batting
and sewed hand cast pewter sequins/dots/small medallions. This was for an A&S
project and I was trying to fasten the frame together by winding thread
around the joints but they kept failing aand I used electrical tape to hold
Hope this helps some.
Baroness White Waters
South Bend, Indiana
In a message dated 10/31/2008 11:12:21 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
I am working on my first period style hat. I found an article online,
and used that information to start constructing my hat. It's a small
hennin. I'm using a small wicker basket as a base, kind of like a
miniature trash can shape. I've steamed it and squeezed it so it's a
little more oblong, instead of round and covered it with quilt
battings, so when I put fabric over it, the wicker weaver isn't
I know I'm probably opening a can of worms by asking this, but how
important is it to use historically accurate materials to make some of
these hats that require a framework, as hennins do? I guess where I'm
going with this is, I would like to make some hennin or other
framework based hats to sell. To me, I'd be more interested in it
having the right "look" as rather then what it was made with
underneath. I'd also be more interested in a hat that travels well
and wouldn't loose it's shape if it got wet. I think, and this is
only my personal opinion, that probably back in the middle ages when
these hats were worn, chances are many ladies seldom traveled and they
didn't have to worry about how to pack their steeple hennin! I would
like to try and use plastic cross-stitch canvas, pillowform foam and
other similar types of modern materials. I just loved the "nerf ball"
horned headdress I found in the message archives.
So, I'm not trying to start a big debate over historical accurancy
using period materials versus modern. What I'm looking for, is
hearing from people as to what they have found to be the pros and cons
of the materials they personally have used to construct framework hats
out of. Like I said earlier, I think modern materials would be
preferable to me as I live in an isolated area and would have to
travel at least 5 hours one way to get to a semi-major event and
packability and hardiness wins out over waxed linen or other fragile
materials. I'm sure others have reasons why they wouldn't use foam or
plastic canvas and I would love to hear what problems they experienced
working with those materials.
So I guess my first question is whether people would wear a hat that
looked accurate, but was made out of modern materials. My second
question is more of a census of what materials people have tried to
build a hennin with, and what they felt the pros and cons were.
Yours in Service,
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