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Anslow, Florence / Practical millinery

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

Page 98

neatly-finished centre, and this is the deciding point between a 
well-worked and a badly-worked crown. The last row of straw 
on the side of the crown overlaps and hides neatly all the odd 
ends left from the covering of the brim. If the under-brim is 
strawed, the head opening of the shape is held towards the worker 
and the plait again fixed 1 in. to the right of the centre-back, 
and pinned round the outline of shape. The two rows of plait, 
i.e. the upper and under edges, are slip-stitched together and the 
remainder of the brim is worked just as the upper one is, except 
that the long stitches are taken between straw and shape, so as 
to be quite invisible, and the tiny slanting ones come through 
to the upper and under surfaces. The half-width of the last 
row of plait is sewn inside the head of the shape, where the lining 
will make all quite neat. 
   The outer edge of the brim is sometimes bound with plait, 
velvet, or silk before the shape is strawed, and if this method is 
chosen, the edges of the plait are arranged so as to leave the 
binding exposed. 
   A straw hat should never weigh more than 8 oz. to 4 oz., so 
care must be taken to choose a light-weight plait. 
   Method 2.-The method of working and moulding a hat of 
plait, either in the hand, guided by measurements, or from a paper 
pattern of the shape desired, is much more difficult than the one 
just explained. The heavier plaits, e.g. wheat, rush, bass, etc., 
are the most suitable for this method, as they are firmer than 
plaits of satin-straw and do not lose either gloss or crinkle when 
damped or steamed. 
   Glazed cotton is quite the best to choose for sewing these 
plaits as it is strong and does not ravel during the processes ; a 
piece of wax, constantly used, keeps the thread smooth and 
toughens the fibres ; a strong straw needle is essential. 
   The plait chosen should be rolled in a damp cloth for a short 
time to make it pliable, or else be frequently steamed while being 
worked. Accurate measurements, a strong paper pattern, or a 
block of the shape being made, should be used as a guide. The 

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