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Anslow, Florence / Practical millinery

Chapter VIII: Straw working,   pp. 93-104 PDF (2.1 MB)

Page 93

                     STRAW WORKING 
 S TRAW used for millinery purposes is grown largely in Italy, 
    where the wheat is specially sown as thickly as possible, so 
that its growth may be impoverished and thin stalks be produced. 
    Many other stalks of grain are utilized for plaiting for millinery 
purposes, and in addition, rushes and grasses of many kinds, 
raffia and wood pulp, as well as nettle stalks and other vegetable 
fibres, have also been used. 
   Wool, chenille, horsehair, tinsel, leather, cotton and paper 
pulp are constantly used for fashionable plaits.  Some of the 
plaits that we bought most cheaply for many years were of wood 
shavings, which were dyed in many colours and either machined 
and blocked or hand-sewn into serviceable hats. The brilliant 
plaits made from wheat stalks, dyed and varnished, are perhaps 
the most durable ones on the market. 
    The Yedda plaits, made of Japanese and Chinese grass, are 
soft and pliable, and can be dyed in most beautiful shades, of 
which, perhaps, the mole, grey and blue are the most attractive. 
   Bass and raffia are also very pliable and form artistic plaits, 
either in their natural colour or in black and bright shades. 
Natural-coloured raffia and finely-shredded satin straw, either 
white or coloured, are most effective when plaited together. 
  Satin plaits are bright and durable; they make "dressy" 
looking hats and can be repeatedly steamed and remodelled at 
   Crinoline and tagel braids are, perhaps, the finest plaits, as 
well as the most transparent; while tuscan braids, in both plain 
and fancy plaitings, are durable and capable of frequent cleaning 
and remodelling. 
   Dunstable, pedal, canton and other forms of fine, durable 

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