Wet Felted Untouchables Trilby Hat

Here is my latest hat, an Untouchables Trilby.  I made this hat on a hat shaper that I purchased at George Weil in Guildford last week.  I also bought a top hat shaper too, but that will be another post.

I was originally going to make the top hat, but I had issues felting the brim and so resorted to felting the trilby instead.  I managed to take some photos of my layout.  They are not great, but here we go.

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This is the first layer.  I used the variegated superfine merino that I recently made some flower brooches with.  I was a bit disappointed with the color in the brooch as there wasn’t enough variation in the color, but I thought I could still use the roving for either a scarf or this hat.  I didn’t see the point of the wool just hanging around.

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This is the second layer.  It is scarlet merino in 23 micron.

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This is some roving I made up on the blending board.  I used a merino/glitter roving for a bit of bling.  Unfortunately bling doesn’t photograph well.  I then added some extra decoration.

I used a bit of yarn I spun to see how it would work.  We have wool locks, viscose and sari silk fibers and some silk fluff.  Once I had this at the soft felt stage I knew we had a problem.  The colors got really muddy and the dye in the black locks bled and the wool migrated into all of the fibers.  It would not do for the outside of my hat.  Luckily, the inside layer, which was the first layer, looked really good.  In fact, the inside layer of most hats or vessels look great as it is this layer that tends to migrate up into the other layers.  Usually this is not an issue and it was not one here, but when I turned the hat inside out to full it more, I realised that I was going to have to use the inside as the outside.

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Although this photo looks really good, I can assure you the inside is not great.

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Here is the finished hat.  The brim is taller than the hat shaper as I couldn’t full it down or shrink it anymore.  I quite like the taller brim as it makes the hat look more feminine.  The variation in the colors of the roving works better on a larger piece.  I decided to make a hat band with some leftover silk I had and this roving.  As I was laying it out, I realised that I already had a nuno felted neck buff/headband in these colors.  I tried it on the hat to see if it would fit, and it did.  I had one of those ‘Doh!’ moments.

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It was a bit too wide, so I cut it in two.  It is actually possible to that!  So, I have a spare hat band like the one above, and I’ve just finished making the one I started (to go on the top hat).  I am keeping this one as I am really not happy with the inside colors of this hat.  Some people might think I am too picky, but that is how it is.  In any event, it does look good on me.  I have added a flower brooch for a girly look.

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I am always amazed at how light the hats are, and this one is so soft as I used the super fine merino wool.  For a hat like this I prefer to use the 23 micron Merino, which is still soft but more sturdy. and I did use that for two of the layers.  This hat actually fits the hubs, but he wants one with the normal hat height, so that is next on the cards.

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