Forest Flame Millinery

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Eve Before MAAD

Speedpost delivered the straw that I ordered from New York 2 weeks ago.
 These are not hats. In millinery, they are called capelines and milliners need to steam, block, wire them using wooden hat blocks.

I don't know why these are known as Peanut Straw but I call them my practice straw. Being relatively inexpensive (if I buy a dozen), I reckon that I won't cry if I make mistakes. But wait, the shipping cost more than the sum of 12 straw, so if I cost in the shipping, then it's not so cheap. This means, I cannot make too many mistakes. They are still much much cheaper than parasisal straw!

In case you are wondering what's parasisal straw. Here's a pink parasisal straw hat worn by Kate Middleton recently.

Parasisal straw is getting more and more expensive because there are fewer young people who want to learn the craft. I used to buy them at about US$12 each but recent price increase has resulted in one costing between US$20 to US$30. The tighter weave e g. parabuntal and panama straw can easily cost US$40 and above. So now you understand why I dare not work on my parasisal yet.

Seems like all my supplies arrive today. The postie also delivered these to my mailbox.

 These butterflies are for my mini saucer hats and I have planned to finish them today...but looks like I may not.
I had to order these black wire tooth combs from China. I could not find them in all the shops in Arab St, South Bridge Road and even Chinatown. Everyone tells me that they only stock the big ones. The smaller tooth combs fits better in my cocktail hats and they grip the hair more securely too.

I may have got carried away as I prepare a batch of floral lace appliques headband. There were so many color combination and I have spent too much time thinking how to match the colours. The bands are sewn and I just have to stitch them to the appliques.

The one in the headband is a simpler version I made for a bridal party. My new ones have double flowers and I've added 2 beaded leaves.

Got to finish them quickly as I have to work on a bridal piece. The Russian veiling is really a pain, being made of synthetic, the veil is difficult to shape.

But I have done it before, I am sure I can do it again.

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