Felt & Straw Blocking Workshops - Ballard Millinery Studio - Seattle, WA

In this workshop you will learn to "block" millinery felt and straw materials using traditional hat blocks. The felt and straw materials are dampened and steamed and then quickly blocked – pulled-stretched-sculpted onto the wooden blocks and tightly held in place with blocking cords or elastics. The hats are then left to dry. This process conforms and molds the materials into the basic shape of the hat. Students are often surprised to discover how physical blocking a hat can be. You will learn how to maximize your physical strength and leverage to control the blocking process.


While the hats dry you will learn methods for finishing the hat brim edges: finishes such as hand-sewn or machine-sewn welts, rolled edge brims, bias binding or petersham ribbon bound edges. You will learn a variety of traditional embellishment and trim techniques to complete your millinery creations using ribbon, fabric, straw braid, veiling and millinery flowers. You will also investigate vintage inspired trims using the felt and straw remainders from the hat making process. 

Our workshop goal is to complete a minimum of 3 hats from start to finish. This work is done in stages - while one of your hats is drying on the hat block you will be finishing the brim on your second hat and sewing in a head-size ribbon and deciding on a trim style for your third hat. During the workshop we will discuss the current world of millinery and hat making and you will receive handouts of the workshop notes and information for millinery suppliers of felts, straws and other millinery goods.


Class size is limited to ensure personal attention.

Please check back for updated workshop schedule. 


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