Getting started in millinery can be an expensive business. Naturally you’ve stocked up on all your materials in the boutique or at our Etsy shop. You’ve been inspired by our Pinterest feed now you need some tools and equipment for all the hats you are going to make.
There are lots of useful objects around the house that you can use to get started without the use of specialist millinery tools. The kettle will always be number one in our list but here’s 5 other non-millinery kit hacks from the kitchen.
1. Old cotton tea towels—make great pressing cloths or you can cut into strips to aid blocking a concave block
2.Glass Jars—we use them for storing everything from blocking pins to pens. They are great for mixing dyes (and storing them for a few days if you feel you might have to return to the same dye bath). Also handy for decanting stiffener for use.
3.Team Atelier love a curly quill or two. Boil them up in an old saucepan (best to use a natural one or do a colour fastness test if they have been dyed) and wrap them round a rolling pin or a broom handle (secure with masking tape) and leave to dry. For a range of sizes to work around save the inside cardboard roll of cling film or aluminium foil. They tend to be fairly firm and if you cover them with plastic will take a bit of moisture.
4. Tea time—not just for soothing the soul when you are at your wits end with a hat! Use old teabags to age fabrics for a vintage feel or dye white wire to a “light blonde” shade for to match a clients or your own hair
5. Wooden bowls—can make inexpensive hat blocks. Our personal favourite is 1970s teak bowls often found in charity shops and on Ebay as they make ideal pillbox shapes.
You can stock up on some more traditional tools of the trade at our online shop or pop in to see us at the boutique. For more tips keep an eye on the blog or why not book a course and ask us in person? If there isn’t a course that covers what you want to learn drop us a line and ask about 121 sessions.