A PLACE TO EXPLORE FELT MAKING AND OTHER CRAFT TECHNIQUES
Friday, 1 February 2013
Finishing your hat
Almost there now!
You have your hat off of the form and it is getting firmer. Now you need to shape it and make it fit.
Felt will shrink in which ever direction you rub or roll it so rinse the soap and excess water out of the hat and try it on. I know it's still wet but do it anyway. Have a good look and work out where it needs to be smaller. In the picture you can see that I am rubbing the bottom part of the hat and the top half is starting to crease up as that is now larger. The creases can be rubbed and removed intermittently Your hat is still probably much too big. The reason we make it this big is because we want the felt to be very strong and have some body to it. The more the felt is worked the more rigid it becomes. Keep checking the size and shape. Sometimes it is better to do some of the shaping whilst it is on your head. If one part is much too big wrap it up and roll it with all of your weight pushing the roll. Throwing it scrunched up in a ball will also shrink and harden the hat but you should only do this in the early stages because you do not have much control over where it shrinks. Don't be surprised if you have to rub and roll for several hours. It takes a lot of hard labour. When you are satisfied that the fit is right put it back on your head and scrutinize it. Would it look a bit better if the crown was wider? Would you like a turned up brim? Would you like it to sit on one side a little? To achieve any of these it is still possible to pull things to make them bigger or a different shape. Play around with it until you are happy. It should now be practically indestructible.
To dry your hat keep it in the shape you wish it to stay in and place somewhere warm to air dry.