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alice-frenz-basic-buckram-hat-shapesI’ve been creating basic 3D shapes with heavy buckram as a starting point to make decisions about sizes, proportion, and shaping of new hat designs.


First I wrap an object such as a vase, wood hat block, or bowl in plastic wrap not only to protect the object but also to prevent the buckram from sticking to the object.

I’ve learned to also add a piece of plastic between any overlapping layers of wet buckram if I want to get them apart after it’s dried.


I wet the buckram with water using a spray bottle and allow the buckram to soften about 5 minutes, then work it into place over the shape with my hands.

I use pins, rubber bands, or string to hold the buckram in place while it dries depending on the shape I’m working with and what it’s made of.

Supply Sources: I’ve been pleased with the heavy buckram I’ve ordered from Hats by Leko and from Judith M. The red blocking pins are from Guy Morse-Brown. I purchased mine through ebay.

alice-frenz-basic-buckram-formsAfter drying, the buckram shape is ironed smooth, then removed from the block and trimmed to shape. Millinery wire and a bias strip of crinoline are stitched to the edge to reinforce it.

©2012 Alice Frenz