Hat Construction 1
I recently started working on an act that
involved hat manipulation. Many of the tricks that I wanted to do
involved catching and throwing balls from the hat as well as throwing
the hat itself. After several crashes and tears, it quickly became
apparent that the $65 hats that one can get from the normal prop
venders were not going to work, so I decided that I would have to
be able to build my own.
Now, I am not a milliner, so the way that
I built my hats are more along the lines of stage costuming techniques
rather than those for fashion. Keep in mind that this description
is how I am currently building my hats, not necessarily how it should
The process involves blocking felt onto a
form, blocking the brim onto a form, sewing the two together, coating
the hat with a latex paint, and finishing with a hat band.
I use only materials that were readily available
from the local fabric store, that I am sure that I can duplicate
the process at any time.
Some of the materials that I am using that
are sub optimal are:
- Craft felt instead of Wool felt.
- Elmer's Glue instead of blocking glue
- Home made hat block instead of a professional
The synthetic craft felt works well enough
if used in several layers. Since I coat the hats with latex, the
glue that I use as a stiffening agent isn't exposed.
The resulting hat looks just fine from stage,
is fairly durable, completely customizable, and costs about $5 in