Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Hat Trimmings -- Feathers
For "Make a Hat Day" -- A hat is not complete unless you think about how you want to trim it. There are so many varieties of trims, from fancy bands, to flowers, to veils, to feathers. I will focus on feathers in this installment. If you go to a hobby store to find feathers for trimming your hat, chances are you will come away disappointed. They are usually packaged in cello and look much flatter than the feather trims you see on hats.
Here are some tips I discovered on how feather trims were made to look fuller on hats from the past (those terrific vintage finds):
Old feathers are thick and curled. How did they do that? The full-bodied plumes of yesteryear are actually often three plumes adhered together at the stems by milliner's glue to achieve the fullness desired.
The curve of a plume of feathers was achieved by attaching a piece of covered milliner's wire to the underpart of the lower stem with a very fine needle and matching thread. The wire was bent in the desired curve and the end of the plume was allowed to fall soft and free.
The curling of plumes was achieved by pulling the "flues" of the plume in small groups over a dull knife or scissors as though curling gift-wrap ribbon.
If a woman wearing a hat was caught in a sudden thunderstorm, she would end up with drooping plumes or feathers, but they could be easily re-curled to their former beauty.