Bonnets in Waiting

This week, I’ve been working on some woven bonnets in between stitching the beautiful grey straw. This is a type of bonnet I only do occasionally.

Each of these woven bonnets-to-be came as capelines, loosely shaped hat-like forms milliners buy. They were shaped on an original millinery bonnet block and dried for most of a day or night. The excess was cut away using templates I pulled from original straw bonnets. Next, they will be wired and bound around the edge.

This set of capelines fit so beautifully on the block I named Galaxy, I decided to do all of them in low brim styles. Two will be earlier 1840s bonnets, while two will be low brim “cottage style” bonnets suitable for the 1850s going into the 1860s. I have one more arriving today from a vendor new to me.

You may hear me commenting about my hands. Usually,  when working with straw plait, it is the muscles, soft tissue, and nerves in my hands and forearms that will hurt from continuous use. They like to swell up, pinch nerves and such. I soak them, massage them, do stretches, use pain patches.

Working with this woven material is a whole other story. This material has two pain inflicting aspects: It makes tiny splinters that get stuck in my skin. It also gets sharp after blocking/sizing and will cut my hands as I wire and bind it. This is one of the reasons I limit how often I make these.

Published in: on July 7, 2022 at 10:36 am  Leave a Comment  

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