BooksLowenhatsChapter 13

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Millinery by Jane Loewen 1925, Chapter 13: Millinery by Jane Loewen 1925, Chapter 13: Cleaning and Remodeling




1.Rye-bread process

2.Wall-paper-cleaner process

3.Soap-and-water process


1.Dyed milans

2. Natural milans


1.Wall-paper-cleaner process

2.Rye-bread process

Straw braid

1.Wall-paper-cleaner process

2.Cleaning fluid

3.Soap-and-water process

4. pressing-braid


1.Cleaning fluid

2. Dyeing

3. Pressing








1.Cleaning fluids

2.Art gum

3.FULLER'S earth


1.Cleaning fluid



Pressed Hats

1. Cutting

2. Edge finishes





Materials of good quality stand remodelingbetter thin cheaper ones. This holds true of all materials under all processes.

A good leghorn may be cleaned, pressed, and reused many times. It is advisable never tolet a leghorn hat get very dirty, but to clean it frequently.

Cleaning processes 1 and 2 may be used without takingthe trimming from the hat.

1. Rye-bread process. To keep a fine leghorn hat in good conditionclean it for every ten times it is worn.

Cut about four inches from the end of a day-old loaf of rye bread. Hold the end of theloaf in the right hand and scrub the hat with the cut end. The gummy texture of the breadrubs off the dust as you scrub. When all dust has been removed, brush the hat with a good,stiff brush.

2. Wall-paper-cleaner process. When a hat is very much soiled and youdo not want to rip it, purchase any good wall-paper cleaner. Apply it as for wall paper.Brush thoroughly with a stiff brush.

3.Soap-and-water process. When a leghorn is very much soiled and is tobe remodeled, rip all trimmings and facings and brush thoroughly.

Stretch the crown over a wooden block which is the shape that you want it to be whendry. A stiff buckram crown may be used.

Fasten the brim down to the table with thumb tacks at intervals of two inches aroundthe edge. Place about six tacks around through the center of the brim.

Use a suds made of Ivory Soap Flakes. Apply with a brush that has short, stiffbristles. Scrub well. Rinse with a brush and clean water.

Wipe as dry as possible with a soft, absorbent cloth. Allow it to dry thoroughly.

Before removing the hat from the block, take the tacks from the brim. Press brim andcrown with a moderately hot iron. Use a thickness of mull or crinoline over the ~leghornso that the iron cannot scorch it.

For reshaping see section II of this chapter.


1.Dyed milans. A dyed milan may be cleaned by wiping itwith a cloth of the same color dipped in ammonia solution.

2.Natural milans. To clean a natural-colored milan, haveready a sauce dish or deep, small container with a rounded tablespoon of sulfur and alemon cut in half. Dip the cut end of the lemon in the sulfur, pressing it down until aconsiderable amount of sulfur is absorbed by the lemon juice.

Rub the milan well with this lemon. When the sulfur is rubbed off into the straw, dipthe lemon into the container again. When the entire hat has been covered with thesulfur-lemon solution allow it to stand one hour. Then brush the hat well with a verystiff brush.

Oxalic-acid process. In using oxalic acid for cleaning straw dilute the acidwith water using a half and half solution.

Wipe off the acid with a soft cloth which has been dipped in weak ammonia.


1.Wall-paper-cleaner process. (See Section I.)

2.Rye-bread process. (See Section I.)


1.Wall-paper-cleaner process. Straw braid may be cleaned, either onthe hit or ripped from the hat, by following directions given on any good wall-papercleaner.

2.Cleaning fluid. Dip a soft cloth, the color of the straw braid to becleaned, into the cleaning fluid, and wipe the braid thoroughly with it.

3. Soap-and-water process. A good quality of straw braid may bescrubbed with a brush which has been dipped in an Ivory Soap Flakes solution. Rinse inclear, warm water. Shake partially dry. Wrap in newspaper. Allow it to stand for one hour,and press.

4. Pressing braids. Always press straw braid on the wrong side with amoderately hot iron. Too hot an iron will stick to the straw. Too much water will tend torun the braid strands together.


Often good flowers are only dusty, not faded. These can be reused if they are cleaned.Flowers that have a good shape, but are faded, may be dyed a new color. Flowers that areonly crumpled may be pressed and made to look like new.

1. Cleaning fluid. Flowers can be washed with a cleaning fluid whichdries rapidly. Dip them in the cleaner (gasoline may be used) and rub with a soft brush.Shake them dry.

2. Dyeing. If the flowers to be dyed are soiled, they should first becleaned in gasoline.

For the tinting, mix oil paint with gasoline and dip the flowers in the solution.Always try one flower first to get the shade.

Lovely effects are obtained by using two shades. For example, if faded white lilacs areto be tinted, dip them first in a soft blue solution. Let this dry. Dip just the tips in adark rose or dull red solution. An infinite variety of lovely effects may be obtained inthis way.

Calcimine (ordinary dry calcimine used for walls) may be mixed with gasoline and usedto dye flowers.

3. Pressing. If flowers are only crumpled they may be freshened bypressing each petal and leaf with a moderately hot iron. Place the flower flat on theironing board and, starting with the center petals, work to the outer edge.

Small flowers may be crushed flat, when they are crumpled, to form a flower facing orto be used for a turban. Put a moderately hot iron on top of the flower and let it standfor two minutes.


Any really good feathers may be cleaned and reused many times. Pasted wings andfeathers may be protected by maline when they are first put on a hat. They are never verysatisfactorily remodeled once they are blown.

1. Ostrich.

Cleaning fluid. To clean ostrich prepare two deep bowls. In the first make a suds of cleaner, such as gasoline, and Ivory Soap Flakes. In the second put clear gasoline.

Wash the ostrich in the first bowl. Wash and rub it thoroughly just as though you were shampooing it. Rinse all the soap out in the second bowl. Shake the ostrich dry.

The tips may then be curled slightly, although at present most ostrich is used straight.

Curling process. The best method for the amateur to use for curling ostrich is the heat method. Heat gives a soft curl just as moisture straightens the ostrich fronds. Hold the plumes over a low-burning gas flame, in the smoke from burning sugar, or over a hot steam radiator. Sugar placed in an iron skillet and allowed to burn sends up a heavy smoke which is admirably adapted for the purpose.

Always try a few ostrich fronds to test the force of the heat lest it burn the ostrich.

A novice is apt to break the fiber if she uses a curling knife.

2. Aigrettes. In handling aigrettes, be careful not to break thecenter stem or quill.

Soap and water. The process given is for white aigrettes. Colored ones may be washed in the same way. They, of course, do not need whitening.

Have ready two deep, medium-sized bowls; in one make a strong solution of Ivory soap flakes and lukewarm water. In the second put clear, lukewarm water.

Shampoo the feathers well in the soapy water. Rinse thoroughly in the clear water. Shake out all the loose drops of water. Roll the feathers in a bath towel. Let them stand ten minutes.

Whitener. Place a quantity of cornstarch in a flat, long box or on a large plate. Shake the feathers until the fibers begin to loosen up and fluff out. Then roll them in cornstarch. Shake the feathers until dry, rolling them frequently in the starch.


Almost any kind of lace may be cleaned and reused.

1.Washing. Any silk, linen, or cotton lace may be washed.

Soap-and-water process. White, cream, or ecru lace may be washed with any good, white soap. The soap must be thoroughly rinsed out. Wrap the lace in a towel. Wring it as dry as possible. Press with a moderately hot iron.

Cleaning-fluid process. Colored laces may be washed in cleaning fluid and soap, and rinsed in clear cleaning fluid. Shake almost dry and press on the wrong side with a moderately hot iron.

Pressing. Black and dark laces often need only be shaken well and pressed with a hot iron.

2. Tinting. Very cheap laces may be made to look quite unusual bytinting them. Valenciennes (Val.) lace, ruffling, and all-over lace take on a verydifferent appearance when they become soft ecru, dull blue, or rose. Mix ordinarycalcimine with water. Dip the lace, shake it partially dry, and press on the wrong side.


Light felts can be kept in good condition onlyif they are cleaned frequently. Never allow them to get really soiled.

1. Cleaning fluid. Dip a soft cloth in cleaning fluid, rub it over thefelt with the nap. Brush the felt dry with a soft, clean brush.

2. Art gum. Art gum will remove spots or streaks from felt when theyare not made by a liquid. Coal soot, pencil marks, or dust are easily removed by rubbingart gum over the felt.

3. Fuller's earth. Cover the felt with a thick coat of fuller's earth.Wrap a dry cloth around it and let it stand overnight. Brush all the earth out with astiff hat brush.


Velvets, like any other fabric, should not beallowed to get very much soiled. Better results are obtained when they are cleanedfrequently.

1. Cleaning fluid. Dip a soft cloth (a piece of the same material asthat being cleaned is always preferable) in cleaning fluid and rub it lightly over thevelvet. Much light rubbing will not mar the velvet, though pressure will mar it veryeasily.

2. Refinishing. Velvet may be given a new finish and an entirelydifferent appearance in either of two ways.

Mirroring. This process is really only sponging and pressing. A very hot iron and much sponging are necessary. Always run the iron with the nap of the velvet.

Pull all threads from the velvet. Place it flat on the board. Sponge all over with a very wet cloth rubbed over the surface with the nap. Press with a hot iron. Run the iron lightly over the velvet first. Press down with more weight the second time. Responge and press until the velvet has a smooth and shining surface.

Crushed finish. To make crushed velvet, clean it first (see above). Then dip in clear water for only an instant. The velvet should be just barely wet, not soaked. Wring loosely and shake. Hang it over a line to dry. This gives a crushed effect which is very pretty. Crushed velvets are used for draped-aped hats and for fitted hats in combination with plain materials.


1. Cutting. Pressed hats, both straw and felt, may often be cut andreshaped to look like new. If the shape needs to be changed ,it the headsize, it is bestto rip or cut the crown from the brim.

Crowns. Old crowns may be raised to make them higher by cutting them and setting in a piece of buckram.

They may be cut and lapped to make the headsize smaller. A soft crown is usually draped over the left side. Slash the crown up 1 1/2 inches at the left. Lap a seam and sew it flat. If the headsize is still too large, slash and lap the side crown, where the seam will be covered by the hat trimming.

Brims. Pressed hat brims may be cut and reshaped just as pressed frame brims are cut (see Chapter II, section I).

2. Edge finishes. The cut-brim edges in most cases need to be rewired(as a frame edge is wired). This wire must be covered. There are several methods to choosefrom.

Fabric folds. The edge may be finished with a bias fold of silk, satin, or velvet. These folds may be finished with an embroidery stitch; they may be slip-stitched on both edges; or the fabric may be worked over a wire.

Ribbon binding. Narrow grosgrain or fancy ribbons stretched over the edge make a good, tailored finish. The edges may be slip-stitched down or sewed with long, embroidery-thread stitches.

Fancy-straw braids may be sewed over the edge of straw brims.

Chenille or yarn braids are effective for felt hats. These braids may be caught down with embroidery silk, yarn, chenille, or ribbonzene, or they may be sewn with a slip-stitch.

Blanket-stitch edges. For sport hats both straws and felts may have the edge wire covered by a blanket stitch of heavy yarn, chenille, or ribbonzene.


1.Give two processes for cleaning leghorn hats; three for cleaning felts.

2.Give detailed steps in cleaning a milan.

3.Why is it better to clean a hat frequently?

4.Give two ways of remodeling flowers.

5.what is the rye-bread process?

6.How MAY ostrich feathers be cleaned?

7.How is velvet mirrored.?

S.what soap is best for millinery cleaning processes?

9.Give three uses of calcimine.

10.How are cut-brim edges finished in remodeled body hats?

Millinery, by Jane Loewen 1925. Scanning and OCR by Karen Wood,layout by Karen Wood and Tara Maginnis.

Product Links

From the Neck Up : An Illustrated Guide to Hatmaking From the Neck Up : An Illustrated Guide to Hatmaking

Crowns : Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats Crowns : Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats

Hats Hats

Hats : Status, Style and Glamour Hats : Status, Style and Glamour

Classic Millinery Techniques : A Complete Guide to Making & Designing Today's Hats Classic Millinery Techniques : A Complete Guide to Making & Designing Today's Hats

The Century of Hats : Headturning Style of the Twentieth Century The Century of Hats : Headturning Style of the Twentieth Century

Baker's Encyclopedia of Hatpins and Hatpin Holders Baker's Encyclopedia of Hatpins and Hatpin Holders

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