MY FAVOURITE HAT BLOCK

Dear friends, Welcome to the first in a series of blogs in which I intend to open my millinery to the world and speak about my methods for making hats.  Now I want to speak about the hat blocks that I use.

Essential hat designs require milliners to work with a large number of hat blocks that come in a variety of sizes and shapes.  The beauty of working with hats is that there are so many different and creative shapes to choose from, and for each shape there is also a hat block.

Basically, I would divide the different types of hat blocks into two categories; classic hats and social hats.  Classic hats consist of a head and a brim, that combine artfully.  On the other hand social hats usually only have one body.

The hat blocks that I use are made from wood, as is the tradition in the Czech Republic where I learned to make hats.  The wood that is used is usually Linden wood, because it can withstand the moisture and high temperature that arises in the processing of making hats by hand. An important feature of wood is also its softness, because when tightening the hat material, whether it is felt, straw or sinamay, it is necessary to use pins, which are inserted into the wooden block to fix the material.

I usually have new forms to meet the demands of modern design. But I also have very old hat forms.  Today I want to introduce you all to my favourite hat block (see photo).  I inherited this hat block from my grandmother, who made fine hats for much of her working life.  When I took over "her" craft, she referred some of her hat blocks to me. Some of these hat blocks are up to 80 years old and often marked from years of careful hand work and experience.

The hat block you see in the photo, my favourite, is not actually a classic shape in the modern sense. While at her greatest glory she was used for everyday wear, now she is more suitable for social hats. I use it for its upper shape.

I call it the ocean wave.

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