April 9, 2007

Making a cloche hat from the italian hat block – The block

I finally started on the hat. First I want to let you take a look at the hat block. It’s the most beautiful i have, it’s like a sculpture made of wood. It’s made by Fratelli Bini in Florence. I saw it on their website, contacted them and ordered it (that was years ago). I’ve just checked their website and it upsets me to see that they are not taking orders although there is a 2007 collection. You can see their collections if you follow this link. You can also look at the hat features.

block front - click to enlargehat block left - click to enlargehat block back - click to enlargehat block left - click to enlarge



  1. What a gorgeous block! Envy!!!

    Comment by Marie Christopher — April 9, 2007 @ 11:37 pm

  2. *swoon*
    That is the most gorgeous block I have ever seen anywhere period.
    Have you used it for other hats, or is this it’s maiden blocking?

    Comment by jill — April 9, 2007 @ 11:52 pm

  3. Beautiful! Looking forward to seeing your hat.
    Kate Q:-)

    Comment by Kate — April 10, 2007 @ 4:00 pm

  4. I’ve made several felt hats using this block! I will post pictures soon!
    And yes, I agree, it’s the most beautiful block ever. When I opened the box and pulled it out I just could not believe my eyes, I was breathless.

    Comment by cristinadeprada — April 16, 2007 @ 9:55 pm

  5. I have never made a hat before but really feel the need to start.Your hats are beautiful.I was an embroideress for a few years so I am familiar with sewing,just dying to make hats.Could you give me any pointers as to how to get started,what is needed etc? Thank you

    Comment by nicolla — August 3, 2007 @ 5:42 pm

  6. Hi Nicolla,
    How nice of you to drop by my blog.
    The fast way to get started, knowing alrady how to sew, is to make a pattern hat. My friend Kate (you can link to her blog from mine, Hats by Katrinka) makes patterns that she sells through Judith M., a US millinery supplier. This pattern is easy and really nice: http://www.judithm.com/shop/?page=shop/flypage&product_id=5994&category_id=dfec93fde1dee857eb16269bf80ed178&
    You can also check http://www.how2hats.com/booklist.html for their ebooks. You have the instant satisfaction of buying, downloading and reading the books right away and they are full of useful information. To make things better they now have a half price sale.
    I also recommend you visit the site of fellow blogger Jill. She recently made 5 hats in a day! Look at this gorgeous one that she made using a salad bowl. She also gives full details and plenty of pictures: http://jillthinksdifferent.blogspot.com/2007/07/millinery-five-hats-in-one-day-gray.html
    The possibilities are endless, and once the hatbug bites, it doesn’t let go 😉
    Let me know if this helps and if you have any other question, and keep visiting my blog!

    Comment by cristinadeprada — August 3, 2007 @ 10:20 pm

  7. Do you know if it’s possible to buy a cloche block from the Italian hat block company that seems to have gone out of business? They may have some left.


    Comment by Val Charrington — February 3, 2009 @ 4:39 pm

  8. Hi Val, I have no idea but please let us know if you succeed in contacting them and purchasing any blocks.

    Comment by cristinadeprada — February 6, 2009 @ 3:42 pm

  9. Hi Cristina,
    I actually have a friend who is traveling to Florence soon. She has kindly offered to do some detective work for me and attempt to hunt down Fratelli Bini for me. However, since they have half shut down there website I no longer have their address. You mentioned buying that gorgeous block a couple of years ago, do have their address on the invoice? Bit of a long shot… but their blocks are stunning! K.

    Comment by Kate — February 10, 2009 @ 12:44 pm

  10. Carissimi io sono la figlia di Roberto Bini, cioè l’artefice di tutte quelle belisime forme da cappelli in legno.
    Mi dispiace informarVi che dopo la prematura scomparsa di mio padre la bottega artigiana ha chiuso, inquanto nesuno poteva portare avanti il l suo lavoro.
    Vi ringrazio per tutti i complimenti fatti.
    Buona giornata Carlotta

    Comment by Carlotta Bini — April 16, 2009 @ 9:30 am

  11. Hello. I’ve truly enjoyed your website, and I hope you can steer me in the right direction. I’m trying to locate a manufacturer or distributor of vintage hat blocks. Can you help in that direction? Are there trade shows I can attend anywhere? Newsletters/Magazines I can subscribe to? I would appreciate any assistance. Thank you. Joan

    Comment by Joan Goodman — March 27, 2011 @ 4:12 am

  12. Dear Joan,
    I recommend you keep an eye on eBay auctions, all my vintage blocks come from there. Also be on the lookout for closing millinery business. This is also a good source of imformation: http://www.hatsuk.com
    I hope it helps!

    Comment by cristinadeprada — March 27, 2011 @ 11:13 am

  13. Hi Christina,
    I’ve looked at this fabulous block a couple of times now. I don’t suppose you know if they are still in business, as I am just in love with this block. As you may know the cloche hat is my passion! 🙂
    Many thanks

    Comment by Rita — August 22, 2015 @ 10:29 am

  14. Sorry to say they are no longer in business.

    Comment by Cristina de Prada — September 9, 2016 @ 9:38 am

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