Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions2020-01-25T15:32:37-05:00

Here you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions. You’re welcome to read through the entire list, or choose a single category to review questions on a specific topic. Click the + sign to see answers to questions.

How can I contact you?2019-11-18T13:52:49-05:00

Judith M Inc – A Millinery Supply House
104 South Detroit Street
LaGrange IN 46761
phone: 260-499-4407
fax: 260-499-3477
Email

Our address, e-mail, and phone are also listed on our “Contact Info” page.

Is there an order minimum?2020-09-30T13:17:34-04:00

We do not require a minimum purchase. However, we do have a minimum shipping charge of $8.15, regardless of the invoice amount ordered.

Which forms of payment are accepted?2020-02-03T17:20:41-05:00

For on-line, order-form, and over-the-phone purchases we accept Paypal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover credit cards, along with Visa and Mastercard debit cards.

Our site is secure but if you prefer not placing payment information online, you may call or fax your order. Tel. 877-499-4407 or 260-499-4407 and Fax. 260-499-3477. Our website is easy to navigate, our staff is knowledgeable, and shipping is usually the same day. Orders placed on weekends or US holidays will not ship until next business day.

Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and Paypal
Do you accept checks?2019-11-18T14:33:35-05:00

We will accept personal or business checks if written on a U.S. bank account. You may create an order by placing the items in the shopping cart. Then, instead of going to check-out, send us an email and provide your username. We will create an invoice and email a copy of your total, including the shipping.

How do I update my billing or shipping address?2019-11-18T14:38:25-05:00

Go to My Account -> Addresses

How do I change my password?2019-12-02T17:03:47-05:00

You will need to login using your old password and then click on change my password to enter a new one. Or, click on the option to reset password when clicking to login. Go to My Account -> Account Details

How do I update or change my email address?2019-12-02T17:02:35-05:00

You will need to login using your old email address. Then you can update your account to the new email address. Then go to My Account -> Account Details

What if I forget my username or password?2019-12-02T17:01:23-05:00

Contact us to get your username. To change your password, visit the My Account page., then click the “Lost your password?” link.

Can I buy your products other than online?2019-11-18T15:46:09-05:00

If you prefer not to make any purchases online you can easily buy our products by any of the following methods:

  • Print off the order form and fax or mail it to us with your billing and shipping addresses and payment details. Also, please provide your contact details (phone or email) so we can confirm receiving your order and respond to any questions.
  • You can call us with your order and payment information. Toll free in U.S. (877) 499-4407 or 260-499-4407.
  • If you have ordered with us before and the payment information has not changed, you may email your order to us. Please DO NOT send any credit card details via e-mail. While online shopping on this site is safe and secure, e-mail is generally not encrypted for security.
What is your return policy?2020-01-25T16:09:06-05:00

We want you to be pleased with your Judith M purchase and service. If for any reason you are not satisfied, you may return the merchandise for credit, refund, replacement or an exchange (excluding freight). Merchandise returned later than 30 days will be charged a 15% restocking fee. Cut yardage will incur a 20% restocking fee. Special Order items will be charged a 15% restocking fee.

As a courtesy to us, please call or email to let us know the product is being returned at 260-499-4407 or info@judithm.com.

You can find more information on the Refunds & Return Policies page.

How do I return items to you?2019-12-02T16:59:03-05:00

Please inform us immediately should any of our products arrive damaged or incorrect. We will, of course, replace any items damaged during the delivery process.

  • The purchaser will be reimbursed postage costs when returning goods that arrived damaged, faulty, or incorrect orders. We cannot be held responsible for goods lost in transit to us. For peace of mind, we recommend you send the goods via UPS or Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation. Please insure the package for the value shown on the invoice receipt. NOTE: Do not use newsprint to package a product for return.
  • We are unable to accept any returns that have been customer damaged or used. Returned items must be in originally received condition. We will not accept items for return which have been exposed to cigarette or any other kind of smoke or heavy odors.
  • Any refund due will be sent via the payment method used for the original purchase. Allow 1-2 billing cycles for the credit to appear on your statement. If the original payment was made by check you will receive a refund check or money order in the mail. Please refer to our refund policy for details.

*Special orders, schools, bookstores and organizations – please inquire about returns/refunds policy specific to your account.

How do I know shopping on this site is safe and secure?2019-11-18T16:07:14-05:00

Privacy Policy

Judith M is committed to protecting your privacy because we base our business on the trust you place in us. The information we collect is gathered to ensure secure ordering and to provide a more personalized shopping experience. You can help us ensure your privacy by not sharing your e-account user name or password with anyone. Visit our Privacy Policy page for more information.

How much information must I share?
The amount of information we collect depends on you. We only collect the information needed for secure ordering and customizing your shopping experience. Your basic account information can be updated by you at any time.

Is my information shared with 3rd parties?
We understand that consumers have increasing concerns about protecting their privacy on the internet. Judith M’s policy is that personally identifiable information will not be sold or otherwise made available to third parties, unless such disclosure is required by law or specifically authorized by the user.

What about e-mail?
When you purchase online from Judith M we may contact you by e-mail to confirm your order, or to update you on its status. Judith M, as a company, does not send unsolicited e-mail. If you have requested information or purchased from our website, we assume you have an interest in our products and we will occasionally send you promotional or product information. If you do not wish to receive such e-mails, simply let us know. If someone has signed you up without your permission, forward it to info@judithm.com and we will happily unsubscribe you.

How do you protect my information?
Judith M stays on the leading edge of today’s technology regarding protection of your personal information. We employ powerful 128-bit encryption technology and Secure Socket Layers (SSL) in all areas where your personal identity is required. All transaction information is processed under encrypted channels. In addition, access to your personal information is restricted within our company to provide maximum security. In addition, access to your personal information is restricted within our company to provide maximum security. To be sure you have the most protection available, be sure to download the latest version of any browsers you use, on all your devices.

What about cookies?
We use cookies as a handy way to give you better service. They personalize your shopping experience and they help identify you. You will need to set your browser to accept cookies if you wish to add items to a shopping cart. Information collected or stored via cookies includes purchases, log in data, and pricing level. This information is kept in a secure area within JudithM.com.

How can I contact you?
Click here to contact us.

What happens to my personal information or details?2019-11-18T15:59:08-05:00

This information is included in our privacy policy.

How do I know if you have received my online order?2019-11-18T17:06:09-05:00

A confirmation is automatically sent to your mailbox when an order is received. Please review it and contact us if there are any changes or corrections. If you do not receive an email confirmation of your order, please contact us about the problem.

How do I cancel an order or purchase I’ve just made online?2019-11-18T17:07:41-05:00

If you have just made an online purchase and your payment details have been accepted, but now you wish to cancel that order, then please contact us by phone or email. We will need the order reference number that was given to you when your payment was accepted. If your card has already been charged a refund will be placed on the card used for the original purchase (see refund policy statement) on the next business day.

When can I expect delivery of my order?2019-11-18T17:09:33-05:00

An effort is made to process and ship orders, received before 1 pm EST, on the same business day. If an item is out of stock, we will notify you promptly for back order approval and approximate shipping date (see general delivery times note in next answer). Orders placed on weekends or US Holidays will not ship until the next business day.

Shipping Policy for Continental US2020-01-25T15:15:44-05:00

To learn more about our US shipping policies, please visit our Shipping Policies page.

International Shipping Policy2020-01-25T15:01:48-05:00

To learn more about our international shipping policies, please visit our Shipping Policies page.

Will I receive a tracking number when my order is shipped?2020-01-25T15:17:15-05:00

Yes. You will automatically be sent an email, showing your tracking number and method of shipping. Please track your box immediately to make sure we have the correct ship to address. If you do not receive an email showing tracking, please check your Spam folder in case it was sent there instead of to your Inbox. If you still cannot find it, please contact us.

Do you add sales tax?2019-12-02T16:56:59-05:00

We are required to collect sales tax for orders that are billed from the states of Indiana and Illinois.

Are there up-charges or hidden charges?2019-11-22T14:08:52-05:00

Other than a small one to two dollar handling fee, there are none.

Our pricing and about price changes2019-11-22T14:10:30-05:00

As you can see, we do our best to keep prices low. And we add further discounts as the quantities in your order increase. These are our prices for everyone – big, small, tall, short – this is it. No secret agenda, no magic words which cause other price lists to pop up.

The prices which we pay can change without notice, and therefore our prices also have to change without notice. Not that often, and not by that much, but when we pay more, we have to charge more. We do our very best to keep the website prices accurate and up to date, but sometimes we make mistakes. Occasionally an item may be priced on the website incorrectly high or incorrectly low, but it will be corrected when we download and review your order. It doesn’t happen that often and you can always choose to return an item if there is any issue about a price inconsistency. Thanks for your understanding. We’re not trying to trick anyone!

Do you have a print catalog?2019-11-22T14:11:18-05:00

Our website is our catalog. You do not have to order online, but the website is the only place to see our products.

Do I have to buy 12 of the same color in straws, felts, etc. to get the dozen discount?2019-12-02T16:56:16-05:00

No. You can mix the colors and styles to reach the 12 needed for the discount. The 15% discount applies to bodies within only straw or only felt.

How can I give you feedback?2019-11-22T14:15:28-05:00

Send us feedback via the contact form on our Contact Info page. Feedback given in this manner becomes the property of Judith M and may be used for promotional purposes.

What are your shop hours?2019-11-22T14:17:21-05:00

We do not have a shop, just our warehouse. You may schedule an appointment for a visit between 10am and 3pm Tuesday through Friday.

Workshop General Supply List2019-11-22T14:18:41-05:00

If flying, you can skip bringing pointy things, metal things, or bulky things. You may borrow from our classroom supply stock.

  • Felt or straw hood or capeline or yardage fabrics
  • Thread in the color palette you are working in ( we carry thread for handsewing)
  • Fabric and regular scissors
  • Seam ripper
  • 18″ Clear ruler
  • Wonder clips or clothes pins
  • Straight pins with ball heads
  • Measuring tape
  • Tailors chalk
  • #7 Millinery handsewing needles
  • #5 or #9 width petersham in colors you are working with
  • Spray bottle
  • Stainless steel push pins
  • #19 millinery wire and joiners
  • Blocking ties
  • Felt brush
  • Smaller lightweight hammer
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Wire cutters (this may be part of your needlenose pliers)
  • Any flowers, feathers, fabrics, trims and treasures you are interested in incorporating into your pieces.
Do I need to bring a sewing machine to workshops?2020-02-05T12:25:11-05:00

Totally up to you. The Judith M studio has several machines available for use in the classroom. However, if you prefer your own machine and it is easy to travel with you are welcome to bring your own. Please feel free to contact us with any specific questions about what to bring!

Workshop Policy2019-11-22T14:20:41-05:00

You must pre-register for the workshop and payment in full is due with your registration. Cancellations made up to two weeks prior receive a full refund; cancellations made after deadline receive 50% refund. No refund if cancelling the starting day of class.

Nearby Lodging When Attending Workshops2020-01-31T16:49:04-05:00

These are listed mostly by our student rating of preferred places to stay. None are more than 20 minutes from our studio. For additional information visit the Shipshewana/LaGrange County Visitors Center’s website.  Most of the chains are north of LaGrange and our studio, roughly 7-8 miles. Those listed as being in or near Shipshewana are 11 miles northwest of our location.

Highfield Manor B&B

Newly opened. Highfield Manor features five bedrooms with private baths. Scenic view of Amish farm country from the wraparound porch. It is a bit over four miles from our studio.

2265 W 175 N
LaGrange, Indiana 46761

(260) 585-0235 E-mail: hmanorbnb@gmail.com Web: HighFieldManor.com

Schönbrook Farm & Inn

Lovely 1885 farmhouse located in Howe, located about five miles north of our location in downtown LaGrange.

0560 East State Road 120
Howe, IN  46746

260-220-6652 Email: info@schonbrookfarm.com Web: Schonbrook.com

Hampton Inn

Located off Exit 121 of I-80/90 (Indiana Toll Road) at the Indiana/Michigan state …. Less than 7 miles from LaGrange Indiana. Pleasant rooms, continental breakfast, WiFi, fitness center.

71451 S. Centerville Road
Sturgis, MI 49091

(269) 651-4210 Web: HamptonInn.com

Holiday Inn Express

Less than 7 miles from LaGrange, just off Exit 121 of I-80/90. Spacious guest rooms, WiFi, indoor pool and fitness facility, continental breakfast, and more.

0045 W 750
N Howe, IN 46746

(260) 562-3660
E-mail: howe@hieusa.com Web: IHG.com

Best Western Plus

Rooms & suites, indoor pool, fitness facilities, complimentary hot breakfast, guest laundry, conference room, Gold Crown Club. Less than 7 miles from LaGrange, just off Exit 121 of I-80/90

50 W 850 N
Howe, IN 46746

(260) 562-2880 Web: GuestReservations.com

Der Ruhe Blatz Motel

Built by 16 Amish families, now under new management. Warm hospitality. Free continental breakfast. Hairdryer, refrigerator, cable TV, HBO, wireless internet. Close to Flea Market, restaurants, and shops.

This is the lowest priced motel in the area.

1195 S. Van Buren Street
Shipshewana, IN 46565

260.768.7750 or book online: theRestPlace.com

Farmstead Inn and Conference Center
Trading Place of America

Comfort and hospitality await you across the street from the Flea Market. Spacious rooms & suites, continental breakfast, indoor pool, Wi-Fi. Conference Center for meetings, banquets & receptions.

345 S Van Buren St (SR 5)
Shipshewana, IN 46565

260.768.4595 Web: FarmsteadInn.com

Blue Gate Garden Inn

The Blue Gate Garden Inn in Shipshewana, a family oriented resort-type hotel in the Shipshewana countryside. Scrumptious full breakfast. Rooms and Suites. Pool, WiFi and other amenities.

800 S Van Buren St
Shipshewana, IN 46565

800-545-4725 Web: bluegategardeninn.com

Van Buren Hotel

Just north of Shipshewana, the Van Buren Hotel has comfortable, quiet rooms and country decor. Pool, exercise room, WiFi, continental breakfast.

1175 N VanBuren Street (SR5north)
Shipshewana IN 46565

260-768-7780 Web: VanBurenHotel.com

Morton Street Bed & Breakfast

Historic Morton Street. Four rooms in a beautiful Victorian home. Walk to all shops and Flea Market. Queen beds, private baths, full breakfast, A/C, gazebo, etc.

100 N Morton Street
Shipshewana, IN 46565

800.447.6475 Web: ShipshewanaLodging.com

Amish Log Cabin Lodging and Campground

Beautiful cabins nestled in the pines, featuring handcrafted furniture, private bath, A/C, heating, romantic setting, modern RV sites.

Corner of State Road 5 and State Road 120

260.768.7770, 260.768.4669 Email: lodging@Amish.org Web: ShipshewanaCampgroundNorth.com

Super 8
Howe and Shipshewana locations

Clean, comfortable, newly remodeled rooms. Cable, HBO. Non-smoking and smoking rooms. Competitive rates. AARP, AAA discount. Close to Flea Market, shops. Super start hot breakfast. (Howe- 260.562.2828) (Shipshewana- 260.768.4004), 800.800.8000

Howe address:
7333 North State Route 9
Howe, IN, 46746

Shipshewana address:
740 South VanBuren Street
Shipshewana, IN, 46565

Workshops: Traveling to LaGrange2019-12-02T16:54:26-05:00

Directions for Driving
The city of LaGrange is at the junction of US20 and SR9, with easy access from I-80/90. Take exit 121, then go south on SR9 to LaGrange, about 6 miles (SR9 becomes Detroit Street). The shop is on the corner of the first block south of the historic courthouse on the same side.

Driving time from nearest major cities:

  • Chicago – 3 hours
  • Detroit – 3 hours
  • Cleveland – 4 hours
  • Cincinnati – 5 hours
  • Indianapolis – 4 hours

Flying Information
The closest main airports are Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and Midway (MDW) and Detroit Metropolitan.(DTW) One can get connecting flights to the smaller airports listed below.

South Bend International Airport (SBN) and Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA).

Train/Bus Information
There also is a bus service from both Chicago airports to South Bend, COACH USA.

If comfortable moving about a city using public transportation, one can catch the South Shore Train commuter line in downtown Chicago. It will bring you out to the South Bend airport terminal where you can rent a car for the final leg.

Amtrak Station (CHI) will bring you to Elkhart (EKH).

SouthShore Line

Car Rental
All of the plane, train, and bus options require a car rental at the end. Sadly, there is nothing that will land you directly in the LaGrange area.

What is millinery belting? What is petersham ribbon? What is grosgrain ribbon?2020-02-05T17:12:47-05:00

Millinery belting, or millinery grosgrain ribbon are interchangeable terms (also called petersham ribbon in England). It differs from regular grosgrain because it has an open, saw-tooth edge. This open edge allows it to form a curve, which allows it to lay flat, rather than create puckers or gaps when laid against the inside or outside of a hat crown.

millinery-belting-measurement-table
How do I form a curve with the millinery belting?2020-02-03T16:13:46-05:00

To form a curve: press belting with steam iron on medium low, pulling on upper edge while running over strip with iron. The wider curved edge rests at the bottom of hat crown. This is also called swirling the ribbon. For inner sweatband, pin wider curve of band into crown of hat, 1/8 inch from lower edge. Use stab stitch to attach. For outer band trim, again, place wider curve of band at lower edge of crown. Tack to hat at 2, 4, 8, and 10 o’clock (with center front being 12 o’clock).

Why is ribbon sold in funny numbers for the width?2020-02-03T16:14:33-05:00

Width of belting: Ribbon width is measured in French Lignes, thus one sees #9, for example, listed as the width on a ribbon or belting. To help in understanding this measurement we have provided the following standard millinery belting width chart.Your Content Goes Here

How to use PVA (Alcohol) Stiffener2020-02-05T09:37:15-05:00

Mix this powdered sizing with water to make an ideal solution for stiffening straw, felt, leather , fabric and many other items, including silk flowers. Experimenting is going to be your best teacher. What ratio you will use for your stiffener mix all depends on the fiber, the saturation, and your stiffness preference.

Instructions for use:

MIX-SHAKE-USE

  • Presoak powder in cold or hot tap water (several hours). Stir enough to moisten and then allow it to set. Shake the jar now and then. Use a Mason jar. Soaking overnight works best.
  • Store in air-tight container. It can be stored at room temperature for up to one year.
  • Sizing solution can be sponged on to hat surface, dipped, or sprayed (ratio of water to powder varies for how it is used and your preference of stiffening).
  • Sponge off excess sizing, steam* and block. *Steaming the hatbody while sizing is still wet forces the sizing from the surface allowing it into the hat fibers.

Suggested Ratio:

  • Straw or Leather – 1 cup water to 1 Tbl powder
  • Felt – 1/2 cup water to 1 Tbl powder

It is always best to apply multiple light layers of stiffener, rather than one glumpy, thick layer. Allow to dry between applications. Best practice is to wear a mask when working with powders.

TIP: Pour enough for use into a separate container, do not use directly from your main batch. Otherwise you will contaminate your main batch.
To speed up process:

  • Once the PVA powder has absorbed water (1-2 hours) it is ready to heat over low heat. Place a pan of water under bowl of solution and slowly heat. Stir often. The solution needs to dissolve completely.
  • PAY ATTENTION to this step. This is an alcohol based product, do not walk away while heating.
  • Stirring frequently helps make a smooth mixture. When ready, you may want to strain mixture through a sieve or cheesecloth to remove any remaining lumps. Allow to cool at room temperature.
How do I search your website?2020-02-03T17:19:23-05:00

When using the “search” tool, if your search does not bring up the product, try entering a slightly different wording, or partial word for better results.  If there is something you are interested in which does not show a price for quantity, please contact us. We would love to be your stockist.

How to use Gelatin #1157 Stiffener2020-02-05T09:34:40-05:00
  • Mix with hot water, stir or shake well until dissolved.
  • May be used to dip, brush, or spray onto hat body. For use as a spray – dilute one part gelatin into 15 parts water. For dipping – we suggest 1 part sizing to 100 parts water. We have found in general, using the 15/1 ratio makes the body too stiff when dipped.
  • For use on straw, felt or other fabrics. Do a test patch first before applying to the entire hat surface. On felt, apply to inside of hat only. Mix only as much as you will use in one session. It does not store well.

TIPS: Experimenting is going to be your best teacher. It all depends on the fiber, the saturation, and your stiffness preference. Best practice is to wear a mask when working with powders.

  • It is always best to apply multiple light layers of stiffener, rather than one glumpy, thick layer. Allow to dry between applications.
  • Presoak gelatin crystals in small amount of tap water (enough to cover) for 5 minutes.
  • Add very hot (NOT boiling) water and stir until crystals are dissolved. Allow to cool a bit, before using, but still warm.
  • Sizing solution can be sponged onto hat surface, dipped, or sprayed (note ratio varies for each use form).
  • Sponge off excess sizing, steam* and block. (*Steaming the hatbody while sizing is still wet forces the sizing from the surface allowing it to penetrate the hat material.)
Working with Millinery Wire2020-09-28T15:23:50-04:00

Millinery wire is used for providing shape and definition to a hat brim edge or crown, to reinforce wide brims or to construct skeleton hat frames. Our millinery wire is rayon covered in black or white and available in five gauges – #16, #18, #19, #21 and #23 – the lower number is the heavier gauge. We sell the wire in 20 yard or 60 yard coils (#16 is in 30yd coils). Gauge #19 and #21 can also be purchased by-the-yard. Wire comes in a coiled roll and tied together with small wires or twisties. Because of being stored in the tight coil, millinery wire has a natural curve and will spring open if given half a chance. Don’t let your wire get away from you. Handle it firmly and gently to avoid a jumbled mass of tangled and kinked wire.

TIP: Covered wire comes only in black and white and hats are many colors. The fastest way to change the white wire to another color is: a piece of sponge and small jar of acrylic paint. Put a dab of paint on the sponge and run it along the wire. Presto! The color has changed quickly and permanently. Magic markers or water color pencils can also be used to obtain a color that will blend with your hat material.

WIRE, WIRE, EVERYWHERE! That is what you will have if not careful when opening a coil of wire. To open a coil of millinery wire and begin using it first, hold the coil firmly in one hand. Keep in mind that it is wound like a spring and you need to release the tension in the coil before you use it. With a needle-nose pliers, open and remove the small ties that keep the coil bundled together. Continue to keep hold of the wire coil with one hand while you do this so it won’t spring apart into a twisted mess. Once you have removed the restraining ties, slowly and gently ease up on your grip (but do NOT let go) and allow the wire to relax and open in a controlled manner in your hands becoming a looser circle of wire.

Always begin using the wire from the outside end of the coil, never from the inside end. When not using the wire, hang the coil on a peg. You may want to gently retie the wire in it’s looser coil to help it hold together and not tangle. Storing the coil of wire safely will make your task easier the next time you want to find and use it.

Wire will not stretch, so care must be taken to measure accurately. There are a couple of ways to join the ends of your wire. My favorite method is wrapping the ends with thread. Allow 2 inches overlap for this method. Using strong millinery thread, begin at one end of the overlapped wires and wrap tightly towards the other end of overlap. Add a dab of clear glue to each open end of wire at the overlaps. The most common stitches for securing wire to the edge of a brim are a buttonhole stitch for hand sewing and a wide zig-zag stitch when using a sewing machine. It is important to sew the wire to the edge, not on top or under the brim edge. The stitch width should be only the depth of the wire. If the stitch is too deep, the wire will slip away from the edge and can cause an uneven looking finish to the brim. See our FAQ section for more in depth instruction.

Some milliners prefer straightening the wire length they plan to use as it can twist inside the hat if not handled properly, creating a distorted shape. There will be places on a hat where you will need straight pieces of wire, but as a general rule, do not straighten out the wire. Since wire already has a gentle curve it is ready for use. It is advantageous to avoid working against the natural curve in the wire whenever possible. If you need a larger arc than you find in the wire naturally or wish to straighten a section, use your hand to relax the curve in the wire by running the wire through your fingers while your thumb gently presses it into a broader arc. Do this slowly, applying firm even pressure, because doing this too fast will heat the rayon cover causing minor burns to your finger tips and kinks in the wire. Make sure your hands are clean before you begin to manipulate wire. Even though it will eventually be covered, you want to keep the wire as clean as possible.

Joining wire ends

Wire will not stretch, so care must be taken to measure accurately. There are a couple of ways to join the ends of your wire. My favorite method is wrapping the ends with thread. Using strong millinery thread, begin at one end of the overlapped wires and wrap tightly. Allow 2 inches overlap if you plan to bind with the thread method. Add a dab of clear glue to each open end of wire at the overlaps.

A second popular means of securing the ends of a wire is with a joiner. Joiners are also called ferrules, connectors or clasps and nowadays they are hard to find. Hat wire connectors are tiny tubes into which you can slide the cut ends of the wire to create a circle.

If using a galvanized steel joiner when connecting the two ends of millinery wire together, place a wire end into the joiner from either side and pinch joiner closed using a crimping tool or needle-nose pliers. For either the thread wrap or metal joiner techniques we suggest a dab of clear glue to give additional security. Brass joiners will not rust but are a softer metal which can snap over time.

To use the plastic joiner, insert wire ends into the joiner and overlap one inch. Apply heat from heat gun or flame, joiner will shrink to grip wire. Do not place directly into flame. Allow to cool before handling.

Spring Wire

Spring wire is strong, uncovered tempered stainless steel wire and is used for the edge wire of very large hats and also for making medium-sized and large hats with brims in which no brace wires are used. It comes in a one pound coil (approximately 60yds.) and has a silicone coating to help prevent or slow down the process of rusting.

Spring wire is used in packable hats that make a twisted figure eight folding shape for storage because it has memory and will spring back into shape when opened. TIP: wipe excess silicone coating from wire when ready to use and coat with clear nail polish instead.

Nylon Wire

Another type of support wire is the clear nylon monofilament, much like a heavier fishing line. It has a memory, is washable, and will not rust. It is also known as Brimlock or Brimreed. It will retain its shape if set under heat. Because of its memory aspect and being washable the nylon wire is perfect for cloth hats, or anywhere you want a slight definition to the shape. The clear nylon monofilament that has memory and acts like spring wire in that respect. Most manufactured straws and felts use it now. It works great for soft hats and flat pattern hats by giving definition to the brim or crown. The same for crochet or knit hats. Brimlock can be twisted in a figure eight and can be used in packable hats. The ends can be overlapped and wrapped with thread to hold, or use one of the joiner methods.

For best results, setting should be done in the final blocking, with a temperature of approximately 275 degrees Fahrenheit (135 degrees Celsius). The hat should be kept at this temperature for 60 seconds. The 1.35mm is comparable to the #21 gauge and the 1.50mm would be comparable to #19 gauge wire. A heat gun can be used for this purpose.

Attaching Wire to the Hat

The most common stitches for securing wire to the edge of a brim are a buttonhole stitch for hand sewing and a wide zig-zag stitch when using a sewing machine. It is important to sew the wire to the edge, not on top or under the brim edge. The stitch width should be only the depth of the wire. If the stitch is too deep, the wire will slip away from the edge and can cause an uneven looking finish to the brim.

RESOURCES

Book titles with excellent information on millinery wire uses:

  • Basic Millinery For The Stage by Tim Dial
  • From The Neck Up by Denise Dreher
  • Hats: Design and Construction by Stella V Remiasz
What is a Hatbody2020-02-05T11:14:25-05:00

Any unblocked hat shape.

What is a Hood?2020-02-05T11:16:23-05:00

An unblocked hat shape looking like an upside down bucket, used for deeper crown and narrow brim styles. Also called a cone. This shape is used for narrow brim fedoras and cloche styles.

What is a Capeline?2020-02-05T11:15:25-05:00

An unblocked hat shape looking like a circle with a bump in the middle, used for wider and deeper brimmed styles.

What is a Flare?2020-02-05T11:16:03-05:00

An unblocked hat shape looking like a scarecrow hat, used for medium size brim styles.

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