November 12, 2006


Filed under: — Cristina de Prada @ 1:20 pm

My name is Cristina and I live in Barcelona. I thought it would be a good idea to share my hatmaking frustrations by posting my projects and their progress.

You can contact me at: thepaperhat at arrakis dot es


  1. Love that hat — the veiling is superb! Is that your own creation?

    Comment by Marie Christopher — March 8, 2007 @ 8:19 pm

  2. Hello Cristina,

    I was jsut doing a search on JetTec inkjet papers, and I see you have been using JET TEC Polysilk Adhesive paper (10 A4 sheets, ordering code 3693 JB), but cannot get it now.

    I was just sorting through my stocks, and I find I do have a quantity (at least 10 packs x 10 sheets) in my stock.

    If you were interested in any of this I can give you a price. I am in UK, and I see you are Barcelona, so I can calculate the shipping cost.

    Regards….. David

    Comment by David Wilson — May 3, 2007 @ 1:27 pm

  3. I just read Marie Cristopher’s comment, but it’s from ages ago! Yes, the hat is my own creation, made with buckram and wire and covered with cream velvet. The ribbon is from Mokuba and the veiling works really nice there I agree. Thanks!

    Comment by cristinadeprada — July 14, 2007 @ 2:22 pm

  4. Cristina,
    May I ask, what would you suggest as a stiffening product for felt – I’m looking for something that wouldn’t be toxic – I’m I’m wondering if you have used gelatin sizing, and if so, do you know when used on a felt hat, will it fall out of shape when exposed to the elements? Thanks so much for your suggestions 🙂

    Comment by Michelle — July 25, 2007 @ 10:00 pm

  5. Hi Michelle, for a long time I used a chemical sizing (very toxic by the smell of it, and I always had to be outdoors to put on the sizing). Now I’m using an eco friendly water based stiffener (smells like white glue to be honest) that makes a harder or softer hat depending on the dilution ratio.
    Generally speaking hats should not be exposed to the elements, period. Perhaps the chemical sizing will stand a better chance than the waterbased, but any felt hat worn under heavy rain is bound to lose it’s shape. The better the felt, the more resistant the hat is. Furfelt is much better than woolfelt (and you can feel it as you work it!).
    If you really need to make a hat that withstands the elements, check these felts that the german supplier KOPKA sells They are heavyweight XL felt capelines for men’s hats made only in black and navy, they have a SCOTCHGARD® waterproof treatment. Or, sell your customers “hat covers” 😉

    Comment by cristinadeprada — July 26, 2007 @ 10:34 am

  6. I just “found” you — I will never leave — I will each day sit at your feet and worship the HAT.
    Okay, maybe a bit much, but I did just find your blog (thanks to Miss Janey over at HATtastic) and I am so happy to find a person who can make hats, glorious, fabulous, amazing, marvelous HATS.
    I can but hope to one day make a HAT, until then, I shall wear them in all their glory.

    Comment by Carol — March 8, 2008 @ 9:43 pm

  7. Ohhhh, Cristina!

    Is there some reason that I do not live near you?! You are amazing! I just want to be your friend (it really isn’t intended as creepy as it sounds-ha ha!)! Your work is so fantastic! Truly clever, and so wonderful that you document everything, which is very open and giving for the rest of us. Your website is a rare treat! Your quality is also gratifying, in a world where quality is so often sacrificed for kitsch or quantity. Thank you for all your hard work and openness! Sincerely, zophie leslea 😉

    Comment by zophie leslea — December 24, 2008 @ 8:34 pm

  8. I did an article on you today. I love your site. Would you consider doing a guest post for my site which is relatively new? I want to inject fun and excitement and I do not make hats myself. I will be writing about people who do make hats. I enjoy wearing hats and want to bring them back into regular style.

    I spend a lot of time on looking at hats through history and to see what we are “missing”. By the way Alice in Wonderland is my favorite book and the Mad Hatter is my favorite character – I also like the White Rabbit. My aim is to inject more current fashion into my writing. I previously had a blog called “Hat Nostalgia”.

    Thanks for being open and giving us your energy and ideas.

    Hat Revivalist
    Many Hatty Returns

    Comment by Darla Sycamore — January 18, 2009 @ 3:36 pm

  9. Hi Cristina,
    greetings from irlanda!
    I am going to Rome for a few days and was trying to locate some milliners to look up there , but it seems difficult to find any.. so I thought to ask you if you knew of any Hatters as ourselves!!!!

    love your work ! hope you are busy ..


    Comment by Lina Stein — February 2, 2009 @ 11:46 am

  10. Hi Lina,
    I’m sorry I have not been able to reply before. I guess you’ve been to Rome and back already, and in any case I don’t know a single italian milliner…
    Hope you had a good time.

    Comment by cristinadeprada — February 6, 2009 @ 9:32 pm

  11. Hi!

    I’m looking to source nylon mesh discs for a fascinator base (i.e. black nylon mesh that is already woven into a circle, rather than being cut from a roll).

    Have you any idea where I might be able to find such a thing?!?

    I’ll send you a picture of one if that would help!

    Thanks in advance,

    Comment by Neil — March 12, 2009 @ 12:29 pm

  12. Hi Neal,

    I have no idea where you would be able to find nylon mesh discs. The discs that I have seen around are either made of sewn straw (possibly synthetic) or made out of sinamay. I know that often crin (aka horsehair) is now made out of nylon, but I have never seen it woven into a disc.

    You can see an example of the sewn straw bases here:!HAT40

    I hope it helps,

    Comment by cristinadeprada — March 12, 2009 @ 1:42 pm

  13. Hi Cristina, greetings from Singapore. Thank you for sharing the information and I truly enjoy reading your blog which is so educational too.

    Comment by Zorgball — May 19, 2009 @ 3:04 am

  14. Hi thanks to Cristina for all her tips on millinery I loved the blocks from cork – I have some made by me by hand (from espartre and white goo +toxic+ that you paint on) and I understand the attention to detail it all requires, thanks for the blog and I have added you to mine, thanks for the inspiration I will add my hand made blocks to my blog so you can see what I am on about ! cheers JULIE FLEMING, Australia

    Comment by julie fleming — August 4, 2009 @ 8:47 am

  15. Dear Christina
    Lovely site and very inspirational
    I have a little home based business developing corsage flowers and hand made jewellery and props for the fashion trade for windows and wholesale. I am trying to source new books and ideas for corsage making and wondered if you had any ideas on the subject. Mostly I just sketch patterns and the factory develops the shap or pattern but I have also started making my own flowers from scratch, however the books and patterns for this seem a bit rare and are a bit disapointing. particularly when it comes to leather work. Any tips or ideas would be very welcome. Ps have only visited Barcelona once when I was staying in a little holiday resort down the coast but on my you are a lucky lady. London is fab but not so chic
    All the best

    Comment by Tom Clarke — September 4, 2009 @ 10:44 am

  16. me encanta tu trabajo, podrias decirme donde puedo encontrar moldes para hacer sombreros y algunas formas de tocados? mi principal diseños son las joyas pero hace poco que estoy realizando tocados..
    Muchas gracias

    Comment by andrea — October 28, 2009 @ 1:15 am

  17. Hola Andrea,
    Me alegro que te guste mi trabajo. Supongo que ya has mirado bajo “millinery suppliers” donde hablo de un proveedor de moldes.
    Mi recomendación es que te hagas tus propios moldes de corcho, ya que para tocados puede ser lo más comodo y entonces seguro que se ajustan a lo que necesitas. Precisamente ayer escribí sobre el tema en el blog.
    Un saludo,

    Comment by cristinadeprada — October 28, 2009 @ 9:43 am

  18. Hi Tom,

    I just realized I had not replied to your comment. I have never worked with leather so unfortunately there’s little I can say to help you. On the other hand, I recommend you check out because the japanese make the best books concerning flowers…

    Good luck,

    Comment by cristinadeprada — October 28, 2009 @ 9:47 am

  19. You have such beautiful hats! Years ago I purchased an electric iron with different tips and I’m now looking for an iron that makes petals for spider or spoon chrysanthemums. You pull the fabric through to make a tube. Where did you purchase your beautiful tools? I took lessons from a Japanese woman and have several early books from Japan. I would appreciate your help. Elaine

    Comment by Elaine — November 4, 2009 @ 11:52 pm

  20. Dear Christina,

    First, as I know you are from Barcelona, I wondered if you have ever seen the dance company MOMIX. I was the company’s manager for many, many years until I started my millinery business.

    I want to say that I simply love this site. And I have ordered the book from France. I love making le Bibi and just completed one for a friend of mine.

    Thank you and I hope 2010 is wonderful for you, your family and every millinery-loving person who comes to this site.

    Laura Daly
    Laura Daly Millinery

    Comment by laura daly — January 28, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

  21. Hello,
    I have just discovered your wonderful website. I wondered if you could please tell me where the new French poupee was from?
    Kind regards,

    Comment by Ann — January 29, 2010 @ 10:13 am

  22. Hello,

    I just realized I did not answer to Elaine. Hi Elaine, I think Lacis has that kind of tool (looks like a tiny hammer) and you pull the fabric through to make a tube… I wish I had one of those, I love the flower stems made of curled fabric!!

    Laura, I do not know the dance group Momix, although I have just googled them and they look very interesting! Thank you for your best wishes for the new year, and the same to you!!

    Ann, I’m glad you like my website. My French poupee is made (and has been made for decades) by the company Siegel Stockman. If you google Siegel Stockman you will find them!

    Thank you to everyone who follows my blog!


    Comment by cristinadeprada — January 29, 2010 @ 5:11 pm

  23. Hi There,
    I love hats just as much as you do. I was lucky enough to spend a week with Waltraud Reiner a Melbourne Milliner. She travels around teaching people who want to learn. You do some interesting work. I hope you will sometime visit my blog. In the mean time I’ve marked your site on google reader.



    Comment by Rosie — February 1, 2010 @ 6:27 am

  24. Hello Christina

    I am so excited to have come across your blog…..even more excited as I scrolled through your listings to see what you have been posting and came across the info about the chain stitch machine…I have one that sits idle as it has reduced me to tears on more than one occasion….I am looking at it with new eyes and little more love in my heart again….will be trying your recommendation. Also sculpting your own blocks out of plasticine or augmenting an already existing block…fantastic…I have done that before but not with material that can be sculpted…… opens up a whole new world of possibilities! You are inspiring, looking forward to following you.

    Kindest Regards,

    Comment by Loreen Lightfoot — February 4, 2010 @ 5:09 pm

  25. hi christina!

    i just discovered you web, and it’s awesome.. 🙂
    i’m a student and going to make something like hat (headdress, headpiece… something like that) for my final project. I’m thinking of using sinamay, and i’m going to add some accessory, but i don’t have any experience in hat making whatsoever.

    any suggestion?

    Comment by meg — September 26, 2010 @ 6:58 am

  26. Meg,
    That is such a personal thing. If you make the shape interesting enough you will not need to add anything!

    Comment by cristinadeprada — September 26, 2010 @ 10:18 am

  27. hola¡¡ donde podria encontrar blocks?¿
    gracias, un saludo

    Comment by LARA — January 17, 2011 @ 4:22 pm

  28. Hola Lara,
    Ya sabes lo que dicen, “google is your friend” 🙂
    Haz una búsqueda de “hat block”, escrito así, entre comillas, y encontrarás unos cuantos fabricantes.
    En mi blog hay explicaciones de como hacerlo tu misma con corcho.
    Un saludo,

    Comment by cristinadeprada — January 17, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

  29. I absolutely love your blog! I can’t wait to read every single post. Great how-to’s.

    Comment by Jasmin Zorlu — June 28, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

  30. hello-

    wonderful blog, with so much useful information! I’m wondering if you’d be interested in doing a small post addressing how to sew a self-edge brim on a straw hat. Mine never seem to come out nicely, they become wavy requiring a reblocking. Do you have any advice?



    Comment by bb — July 1, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

  31. Hello Brookes!
    I’m happy you like my blog, I love to hear from people who discover and enjoy it.
    How about we do a swap of tutorials on our blogs? I do a tutorial on self-edge brim on straw and you do a tutorial on gold dipping on liquid gold leaf? I love the look on your work and it looks like a technique with many possibilities? Like here:
    I’m serious. Do we have a deal? 🙂

    Comment by cristinadeprada — July 1, 2011 @ 11:14 pm

  32. sure, let’s do a swap! I’ve never posted a tutorial before, so this will be a double learning experience for me! The flower dipped combs are really fun to make, and once you get started you will want to dip everything in gold (i do!)


    Comment by bb — July 8, 2011 @ 11:34 pm

  33. Hi BB,
    As soon as I get the opportunity I will do the tutorial.

    Comment by cristinadeprada — July 25, 2011 @ 10:51 am

  34. Hi Christina,

    I will be travelling to Barcelona next week for the first time and I wanted to know if there are any millinery supply shops in and around te city that I might be able to visit?
    I am always in the hunt for more suppliers and thought you might be able to help.


    Comment by Jodi — May 6, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

  35. Hi Jodi,
    We do not have any millinery supply shops in Barcelona, but there are a few shops you might enjoy:
    -Añols Vidal (they supply the fur trade and have some interesting products that can be used for millinery). They used to be at carrer Bailen 43, but I think they have moved, you might have to call and find out 932 451 525.
    -Mokuba (a japanese manufacturer of ribbons). The ribbons are amazing: carrer Corsega 220.
    -Antigua Pasamaneria Joan Soler (trimmings): Plaça del Pi 2
    -Walkiflor (hand made flowers): carrer Floridablanca 79
    I hope you have a good time here!

    Comment by Cristina de Prada — May 6, 2013 @ 2:07 pm

  36. Hola cristina,
    felicitarte por tu blog antes que nada.
    Me gustaria pedirte una informacion respecto a los endurecedores de fieltro , mencionas en un comentario hace tiempo que utilizas uno endurecedor con base de agua que es menos toxico que todos los otros , podrias decirme el nombre o donde poder adquirirlo ?
    te agradezco de antemano tu ayuda .

    Comment by isabel — August 23, 2014 @ 7:42 pm

  37. I miss your weekly/monthly updates, techniques, and readings on hat projects. Will you come back? I use to talk about you in my Millinery class–and still do!


    Comment by Bill — August 29, 2014 @ 3:32 pm

  38. Thank you Bill. I will, at some point come back, I’m sure. Thank you for your kind words.

    Comment by Cristina de Prada — September 9, 2016 @ 2:52 pm

  39. Hola Isabel,
    Yo siempre digo en broma que el apresto es la kryptonita del sombrerero, es algo en constante evolución y no hay una respuesta mágica.
    Lo compraba en Holanda, pero eso era antes de que hubiera proveedores en España. Aqui no he comprado nunca pero debe ser similar, a base de PVA.
    Un saludo

    Comment by Cristina de Prada — September 10, 2016 @ 7:16 am

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