One of the things I am asked most by friends and customers is ‘so how do you actually make a hat’?
Well, I am going to let you into my world and show you!
Firstly, every hat’s shape is determined by the ‘block’. A hat block is essentially a wooden mould. I get my Fedora blocks from hat block makers Guy Morse Brown in Wiltshire, who are masters of their craft.
Next stop, to Luton, the home of British Millinery, to source the felts for my Fedoras. I work with a supplier who import a luxurious Peachbloom fur felt, which is supplied as a ‘hood’, which has to be stiffened before blocking.
Once the stiffener has dried, the blocking process can begin. Using a LOT of steam (no need for facials in my studio!), the felt is stretched over the block, and pinned into place.
Once dry, the felt is taken off the block, the brim of the blocked hat is cut and neatened, and the head fitting is sewn in. Getting the head measurement is crucial, so that the hat fits snugly on the head. I make my Fedoras in 3 sizes, Small, Medium and Large. If you need help measuring your head, just call us!
Finally whatever trim I am using is sewn onto the hat,and the label is sewn in.
And there you have it - a handmade felt Fedora!