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Hat Making & Millinery: How to Get Started

Are you interested in getting involved in the world of hat making?

You’re not alone!

The popularity of personal fashion projects like millinery, crocheting and others has been on the rise in recent years, propelled by demand for new and relaxing hobbies that help people unwind while also exploring their creativity.

While hat making might sound complicated, it doesn’t have to be. In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about starting your millinery journey.

How to Make a Hat: What Tools Will You Need for Your DIY Hat Project?

Getting started with millinery is not difficult with a little bit of inside information. The tools you need for crafts and stitching are all widely available, more so than ever, thanks to the availability of products on the web.


Before you get into actually putting your hat together, you’ll need to collect the equipment required to make a hat in the first place. Just as a mechanic needs tools to work, and a baker needs an oven, every milliner needs more than just fabric and an idea for a hat. Below is a list that will get you started.

You’ll need:

Your Own Head Block or Poupee
A head block is simply a stand shaped like a head that you place your hat on, allowing you to work out the finer details while looking at how it sits on a head, like a fashion designer using a mannequin. There are a few styles you can buy, some are quite expensive, but you can start with a foam head available from most craft shops. They have the advantage of being ‘pinnable’.

A Pair of Fabric Scissors
Sturdy scissors are essential for hat making. They will become your best friend. As you continue in millinery, you will most likely need a few pairs. Many materials we use are tough on scissors, so it’s wise to have a pair for these types of materials and one for cutting your beautiful silks and satins. Make sure you do your research and grab yourself a quality pair. Here at Millinery Hub, we have a range of quality scissors for any project.

A Sewing Kit
Sewing is arguably the most integral part of hat making. From the time you create a base to adding the finishing touches, you’ll be stitching. A sewing kit with a range of needles will be necessary for the many tasks involved in putting together your final design, from the hat brim to those finishing touches. Millinery needles are called ‘straws’ and are longer than sewing needles you would use in dressmaking. They come in a range of sizes, but size 5 and size 8 is an excellent place to start. If you have a sewing machine, they can be used for some millinery tasks or making hats from patterns, but aren’t necessary.

Other than needles, we also frequently use the following in our hat making.

  • Pins
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Beeswax for thread
  • Small embroidery scissors or thread snips
  • A dressmaker’s tape measure with inches and centimetres
  • A thimble and blocking pins (for blocked hats; we’ll cover that later)

Something to Steam Your Hat Materials
Steam is an essential tool for millinery and hat making. From blocking the perfect hat shape to reviving a battered silk flower steam is used in every hat. Too much water can hinder your progress, but a bit of steam gives you moisture and heat whilst drying quickly, allowing the hat to set in place perfectly. You can use anything that generates steam. It doesn’t have to be a millinery steamer. Travel steamers are a good option, as are steam irons. You can even use the steam from a kettle!

Learn How to Make Your Own Custom Hats with Workshops

Anyone can learn hat making.

It’s a fantastic and fun crafting hobby that can also turn into a genuine career for some people. While you may have lots of ideas for hat making, it’s recommended that you get some lessons before you jump in.

As with learning a musical instrument, martial arts or playing a sport, you can self-teach, but there is no substitute for instructions, tutorials and lessons from a source of prior knowledge. Hat-making workshops open up a world of millinery possibilities and get you well on your way to bringing your ideas for headpieces to life.

Through lessons, you’ll learn proper technique, how to use tools correctly and the best supplies for your hat-making goals. If you’re interested in hat-making workshops then get in touch with the team at Millinery Hub today to learn about our opportunities.

Find Your Millinery Supplies

A hat maker is nothing without their hat-making supplies.

If your head is brimming with hat making ideas, then you’ll need to find somewhere to pick up all your fabric and trim to create a unique piece.

At Millinery Hub, we’ve got everything you could ever need for making your own hats. Our supplies include:

  • Feathers
  • Flowers
  • Ribbon and Lace
  • Pins
  • Stamens
  • Veiling
  • Leather
  • Headbands
  • Broaches
  • Motifs
  • Crinoline
  • And much more!

Whatever you need to achieve your hat-making goals, we’ve got it here at Millinery Hub. Finding a great provider of millinery supplies is essential, as it means you’re not only always able to source the design elements you need, but you’re also discovering new opportunities for custom hats all the time.

Browse our extensive range of hat-making supplies and start your journey to becoming a true milliner today!

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