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Anslow, Florence / Practical millinery

Chapter VIII: Straw working,   pp. 93-104 PDF (2.4 MB)

Page 94

plaiting are always to the fore, either in blocked hats and bonnets 
for children and older folks, or as uniform hats, caps, helmets, 
etc., for nurses, policemen, tram conductors, and Salvation Army 
lasses. Panama, Java, and Leghorn hats are plaited and blocked 
only by the manufacturer; they are summer favourites almost 
every year, probably on account of their light weight and 
   Plaits are usually bundled in 5, 10 or 20-yd. lengths, accord- 
ing to their width. The finer braids like horsehair, etc., are 
carded in 3, 6, 9 and 12-doz.-yd. lengths. 
   WORKING PLAIT.-There are several methods of working 
straw plait into hats, caps and bonnets. The wholesale manu- 
facturer does this by means of machine and block, while the 
retail trade milliner stitches and moulds chiefly by hand. A 
few years ago a large amount of renovating and remodelling of 
straw hats was done entirely by hand in the villages of this 
country, where the income of the family was often much aug- 
mented by the women who either " clocked " stockings or 
remodelled " straws " in their spare time. 
   At the present day the " strawing " of hat shapes is quite a
hobby for the business girls in our large towns. This method 
of making a straw hat is comparatively easy, and, providing a 
light-weight wire, soft espatra basket or stiff net shape is chosen, 
for the foundation, the technical details of " springing " and
"moulding " are easily overcome. 
   A fine lacey plait of satin and tuscan straw, or of crinoline 
should be worked over a neatly-made wire shape well covered with 
muslin or net that matches the plait in colour. Heavier plaits 
and those more closely interlaced are more satisfactory if worked 
over basket or soft espatra shapes, while stiff net is always a 
satisfactory foundation for little hats, caps and bonnets for 
children as the outlines are soft and graceful and the shape is 
light in weight and very comfortable to wear. 
   WORKING      STRAW.-Method      1.-There   are two    ways 
of working straws, viz., over a foundation, or merely in the hand. 

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