November 20, 2007

Making a brim block out of cork – The shape

Filed under: Making a cork block,millinery techniques and cheats — Cristina de Prada @ 11:05 pm

As Jill says, the plot thickens…

Because the brim for the homburg hat curls up, the brim block will curl down (with the crown disappearing through the middle hole). So I’ve been looking at pictures of homburg hats, upside down, to get a good idea of how the brim has to be carved.

What about this…


Upside down... to get an idea


Feels silly doesn’t it, but it’s what I’ve been doing these couple of days, looking at my hat books upside down.

But before getting to the fun (yet terrifying) part of shaping the brim, one needs to file down the opening until it’s slightly larger than the crown block size. The reason it has to be slightly bigger is because the crown block, with the felt already blocked on it, has to fit through, so the thickness of the felt has to be taken into account… This is an annoying and lengthy process, with constant checking and re-checking, and I suspect I’ve over done it and the hole is now too large… Ah well, if it turns out to be too big it can be fixed by glueing a thin layer of sheet cork around the brim headsize. So I will worry when I get there, because at this moment so many other things can go wrong that it might be premature to get upset about just one…

Is the gap too big? The Grand Canyon? I might have left too much space...

Once you have the central hole of the brim done, it’s time for the shaping, this is where I am at the moment:

Front view… Frontal view of the brim block



side view… Side view of the brim block


The curves at this moment are pretty subtle, but I think I will leave them like that. The most important part which is the brim edge still has to be done (check the picture above and see how the brim edge curves towards the inside), and that’s not going to be easy! But hey, I’ve gotten this far…


  1. (Brow wrinkling) I am watching this closely…is it or isn’t enough curve?
    And edging cork: that has to be challenging.
    Go Girl go!

    Comment by jill — November 21, 2007 @ 11:31 pm

  2. I decided that it’s better not enough curve than too much, so I left that as it was. Soon we will know!

    Comment by cristinadeprada — November 22, 2007 @ 7:53 pm

  3. Where did you get the cork?

    Comment by shannon — November 3, 2009 @ 2:45 am

  4. Shannon, please read this post, all the info is there:

    Comment by cristinadeprada — November 4, 2009 @ 12:34 am

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