Today’s Millinery: Rustic Plait

When the citizens of the southern states began facing shortages, some women and girls taught themselves to plait and made their own hats and bonnets. They plaited wheat, rye, and even palmetto. There are a few remaining examples in museum collections*. Of those examples, many have a rustic sawtooth edge plait.


This plait is very dense and tough, making sewing it difficult. The sawtooth edge, while it doesn’t seem sharp to the touch does wear on the skin while working with it. It does seem notably stronger than much other plait. I decided not to wire this bonnet because the example I was referencing was not wired, and the straw naturally holds the curved shape of the brim and cheektabs.

This piece will not be going into my shop. Instead, it is the first piece for next year’s”make-up and shortages” display for the millinery. I will be making a hat with the other hank. I will decide later if I will make those for sale.

*Examples in Museum Collections:


Published in: on August 8, 2017 at 6:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

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