Thursday, September 30, 2010

Leather and Wool Hat

I have been working on Fall/Winter hats for about 6 weeks now. Mostly wool felts, with a few fur felts thrown in. Also a few pattern hats, which I don't usually do. I'm just no good with patterns. Although they did turn out better than expected.

Below you see a hat that more or less just 'happened' in the studio this week. I had a very supple leather, laminated in tiny, tiny shiny circles. Can you see them in the picture below?

I have been wanting to work in some leather for awhile. I've got a couple of ideas in the works, but this was my first attempt. I used a vintage buckram frame, one I've had for several years and have loved. It probably was a bridal frame at one time, but no bride of mine wears this style anymore.

So. I cut a piece of the leather in the shape of the tip of this frame and glued (yes, my munchkins) it to the buckram frame with a gem-tack glue. I very carefully did this because a lot of moisture would ruin the buckram frame, causing it to collapse or a least misshape. After that bit dried I used wool coating to cover the sides. This is a heavy woolen, almost felt, but not quite. I got it in Chicago on one of my teaching trips. I love the colors!

Above you see the inside of the buckram form after I've added the leather and woolen parts.

I've created a lining to place inside the form. You can see it to the right of the hat. See the leather tip?

Here's the hat after it has been completed. I tried numerous embellishments on its tiny frame, but all looked too overpowering or like I was trying too hard to put something on the hat. I have a hard time with too frilly or too much embellishment on hats. I like for the form of the hat to be front and foremost. I think I've mentioned that in a previous post. Anyway I decided on NO embellishment at all.

Here's the hat on a poupee. I love the almost 1940's military influence of the style. Looks like something a WAC would have worn. I may keep this one for myself.
What are your leather experiences in making hats?


  1. Very nice. I agree that it does not need additional trim. Leahter is one of my favorite fabrics to work with. I usually block it on a hat block. If I use buckram, I use rubber cement so that the buckram does not buckle.

  2. it is beautiful! definitely perfect for Fall! The wool almost looks like self-made felt. I very mich like the association of both textiles. It wouldn't have come to my mind. Comfortable, reptilian, yet classic!

  3. Thanks for the blocking rubber cement suggestions, Lee. I'll try that as I want to do more with leather. I love it!

    Mon Bibi, thanks for your comments as well. I like mixing textiles as it adds so much visually and in a tactile sense.