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 Hats, berets, and other head coverings
 Best way to stiffen a brim?
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Warming Up

79 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2006 :  2:49:57 PM  Show Profile Send ghk a Private Message
I'm thinking of making a hat out of a super soft angora blend, and would like to add a brim, not too wide, maybe a couple of inches.

I'd like the brim to not be too floppy, and would like to know if anyone had a tried and true method for achieving a stiff brim without felting.

I've googled and found that there is some kind of plastic mesh product you could apply, and there seems to be starching methods as well? TIA.

Guardian angel

9776 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2006 :  04:28:16 AM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
I now make my brims by using smaller sized needles and double yarn which work well but I've never tried it with angora. There are also two other methods that I've used. There is a product (I got it online through Nancy's Notions) that is a special interfacing and really will stiffen a brim. It is also sold to make fabric or knitted bowls. Annie Modesitte also recommends working a special wire around the edge. She has some sources in her books. I haven't checked out her site but she may have a source there also.

How stiff the brim needs to be depends on the type used. For example, a brim on a bucket type hat, since it is tapered and hangs down, does not really need any stiffening.

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Permanent Resident

1800 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2006 :  07:41:21 AM  Show Profile  Visit knitz2's Homepage Send knitz2 a Private Message
I think the starch methods are for cotton fabrics, and in particular, crochet thread items.

Keep knitting, this too shall pass.
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Warming Up

79 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2006 :  07:24:33 AM  Show Profile Send ghk a Private Message
Great--I'll look into the interfacing and the wire.

Thanks to both of you!

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New Pal

10 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2006 :  3:41:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit Hitashi's Homepage Send Hitashi a Private Message
I think the plastic mesh works great...not sure if you have seen the 'cabled newsboy cap' in the stitch and bee-hotch books?

You actually knit the brim after the rest of the hat...making a 'pocket' or 2 sided brim, placing the mesh inside the pocket and then sealing it to the inside of the hat.

I loved the finished result. The plastic mesh is both flexible and rigid, also stands up to hand washing very well. I would definately use this technique in the future on another hat.
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Gabber Extraordinaire

444 Posts

Posted - 09/05/2006 :  11:15:13 AM  Show Profile Send Kathleen-NYC a Private Message
It's been years since I've done it - but we used to use plastic milk cartons. We would make a pattern piece from the cap brim and cut a piece from the carton.

It provided just enough "interfacing" and best of all, it's free.

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New Pal

8 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2006 :  04:54:21 AM  Show Profile Send Fuffywife a Private Message
Felted hats are great! You can mold the brim as you like. And it will probably look fantastic with angora. Ive knitted one mixing 100% wool (something rare here in Brazil with mohair) and the result was a very charming brimmed hat. There are some nice free patterns on the web from Cascade Yarns. Hope it helps.

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