October 28, 2008

KOPKA – A little piece of (hat) heaven

Filed under: Millinery material,Millinery suppliers — Cristina de Prada @ 5:56 pm

Pigeon holes with wonderful felt cones A short while ago my friend Nina and I took off to Germany  in order to be there for Kopka‘s special Sunday sale (I believe they do this twice a year).

Kopka is a wonderful supplier of straw and felt hat bodies. They have a wide range of felt and straw finishes and what I love the most, they have a huge array of luscious colours available.

Their special sale day was the perfect excuse for a trip there, and as a result we bought some wonderful stuff at very good prices, as well as some stuff from the current collection because the colours were simply irresistible and had a 10% discount if paid in cash.

We were the first ones at the door on Sunday, some ten minutes before the opening time which was 9am, but they invited us in, offered us a cup of coffee and showed us some wonderful hospitality.

They were delighted that we had boarded a plane just to visit them!

The shop/warehouse is very welcoming, and for the occasion they had set up a long table with coffee, tea, chocolates (mmmhhhh…), cake, and later on the day also quiche. That meant that we had no trouble spending 3 hours there shopping to our hearts (and bellies) content. Note the fun flower and felt arrangement on the background.


Table ready with drinks and snacks for us shoppers!

The special sale products were on the inner part of the shop, neatly stacked and colour coded. The stuff I bought from the sale ranged from 4,95 to 25 Euros. The stuff that was not on sale had a 10% discount, which made it also very attractive.

Material on offer

Here below is my loot piled up on the grass. My favourite item is the green cone, it’s from the current collection and it’s gorgeous:

My Kopka loot

I totally lost it by buying two beaver fur capelines at 58 euros each, I hear they make the ultimate hat for a gentleman because they are extremely light and very sturdy. Kopka only recently started carrying them again and they only come in black and grey (I bought one of each). The top quality gentleman and cowboy hats back in their heyday, were made of beaver fur. Here is a picture of the beaver fur felts I bought:

Beaver capelines - just the best!

I don’t really know how I will go about working with them… possibly I will try to work them without stiffener, if they end up too soft I will add some afterwards.

The current collection of straws and felts is in a special room, very beautifully displayed:

Straw cones displayed in baskets  Straw capelines from the current collection.Felt capelines from the current collection

Not all colours change with the season, Kopka has seasonal colours and standard colours that are different depending on the material (fur felt, peach bloom, wool, etc.). Most of the colours cards can be seen on their website, although it’s only an approximation to the real colour as it depends very much on the monitor displaying it.

If you decide to pay them a visit, or to buy something from them because you saw it here, please let them know! I had an interesting conversation with Wolfram Kopka  (the owner) about how some professionals choose to share what they know, and some prefer to keep what they know a secret… he reckons success will be for those who share. Let’s hope so!


  1. Oh! How wonderful that you and Nina made the trip and acquired such a lovely stash. Can’t wait to see what you do with your new treasures. I too have a cherished beaver felt I bought at Manny’s in NYC. I didn’t stiffen it either. It’s so lovely and soft (leopard print). Enjoy! And, please, show and tell!
    Kate Q:-)

    Comment by Kate — October 29, 2008 @ 3:55 am

  2. Oh, it was really you!
    I’ve been there too, but wasn’t sure if it was you, so I didn’t come over to say hi.

    It’s always a great time at Kopka’s, they’re incredibly kind-hearted. 🙂


    Comment by Dirk — October 29, 2008 @ 12:46 pm

  3. I also thought it must be you! Ha ha ha! I had only seen your pictures on your site, but I told my friend Nina that it could be you. It’s a small world. What a pity we didn’t make contact.

    Comment by cristinadeprada — October 29, 2008 @ 4:47 pm

  4. Haha, what a pity! Well, next time 🙂

    You should also visit “Van der Broek” in the Netherlands, if you haven’t been there yet.
    They don’t only make great hatblocks, but also have a wonderful range of feathers, sinamay and some other stuff.

    Comment by Dirk — October 30, 2008 @ 2:59 pm

  5. I wonder what color hat I should make to offset my decidedly “green with envy” hue? I would of jumped on a plane too if I had only known!

    Comment by jill — October 31, 2008 @ 7:02 pm

  6. Dirk, I agree “Van der Broek” are wonderful. This summer I bought a block from them. I blogged it, check it out: http://kuki.deprada.net/?cat=44

    Comment by cristinadeprada — November 1, 2008 @ 12:51 am

  7. I was in Köln just a few weeks ago and I missed this awesome place!

    I am waiting for a top hat-hat block and a brim-block from Van der Broek, I am sitting on needles… Does anybody know if their hairfelt capelines are of good quality

    Comment by Kristoffer Lindh — November 14, 2008 @ 4:11 pm

  8. I have been trying to find a way to replace the leather sweat band in my husband’s vintage french beret. In my internet travels, I came across your site. Very nice!! Sympathy for your loss. I will visit the site again. ~Nancy

    Comment by Nancy Krah — February 26, 2009 @ 11:30 pm

  9. […] sprayed a sisal straw cone (a “second” I bought at the Kopka sale) with water in order to block it  on a vintage cloche block but as I was manipulating it (and […]

    Pingback by The rantings of a MAD HATTER wannabe… » Hand sculpted straw hat — June 16, 2009 @ 6:26 pm

  10. Wow! I remember reading this blog entry several months ago and then by chance came across Kopka’s website online this morning. You certainly are correct about the colours! They are fabulous. I have tried to register with them so that I can see their price list as a pdf file, but have not received anything yet. Very curious about the animal print velour hoods – they look like a lot of fun. You certainly bought quite a good lot of goodies! Have you used the green hood yet?


    Kelly D.
    Vancouver, BC

    Comment by Kelly Dunlap — August 14, 2009 @ 5:10 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress