Millinery, Hat & Headwear Glossary
Abaca A plant grown in the Philippines that produces the fibre used in the production of sisal and sinamay.
Bandeau A headband of material, structured or unstructured.
Beret Usually made from soft fabric, felt or felted jersey with a wide, circular crown. Worn tilted to one side it includes a headband which sits firmly on head.
Bias The diagonal fold or cut to allow the fabric to stretch.
Block A wooden form used as a mould to shape, by hand a brim or crown which can be penetrated with Millinery tacks.
Blocking The term used to describe the action of moulding a hat shape.
Boater Flat topped hat with a small flat brim. Traditionally made of stiffened straw braid.
Bridal Veil White or ivory veil worn during a wedding ceremony.
Brim The projecting edge of a hat which frames and shades the face.
Buckram Stiff netting Made from a woven cotton muslin that is pre-stiffened and used to make Crowns and Brims when covering with Fabric. It May be blocked or sewn.
Cap Any close-fitting headgear.
Capeline A straw or felt semi blocked crown & brim.
Cloche Women's hat of the 1920's. Close-fitting round crown, with no brim or a small flare at the brim edge.
Cocktail Hat A small, often frivolous, hat for women, usually worn forward on the head.
Cone Conically shaped hood of felt or straw used as a base for blocking small hat shapes or crowns.
Coolie A shallow conical straw hat with a large brim to protect wearer from the sun.
Cowboy Hat Hat with high crown and wide brim, originally worn by cow hands. Usually made of felt or leather.
Crinoline Sometimes referred to as ‘horsehair’. A wide or narrow strip of woven polyester which usually has a cotton gathering thread on one side. comes in a variety of styles like pleated, tubular, flat, metallic.
Crown The top portion of a hat which sits on the head.
Crown (2) Head-dress usually made of gold and worn as a symbol of sovereignty by monarchs.
Dome A crown block which is shape of average head.
Esparterie A willow & muslin flat sheet material used for the making of blocks and as a stiffening in the construction of hats.
Fascinator A woman's light, decorative headpiece consisting of feathers, flowers, beads, etc. attached to a comb or hair clip.
Fedora Mannish style hat with a tapered crown that is dented lengthways on each side. Stylish as a winter felt hat for ladies’ wear.
Felt Refers to Felt Capeline or hood made using wool rather than fur.
Felt Cloth Made from wool, fur or hair, compacted (felted) by rolling and pressing, in the presence of heat and moisture.
Flowers Worn by Greeks and Romans as garlands for the head and freshly plucked for banquets or special occasions. Artificial flowers were made as early as the 13th century and made into chaplets.
French Flower Making Technique to make silk flowers using brass tools that are heated up.
Fur Felt Any hood or capeline made from rabbit fur.
Feathers A favourite form of hat decoration and head-dresses of all nations.
Grosgrain Ribbon used to decorate a hat and also used as a sweat band inside a hat. It has a picot edge to shape successfully. Also referred to as petersham.
Hat Item of dress worn on the head.
Hood Small straw or felt cone shape used to block narrow brimmed hats, crowns & pillboxes.
Jinsin Buntal fabric made from interwoven silk and sinamay. It has a fine weave and is stiffened for use in millinery, hats and fascinators.
Leno Open Weave Canvas used to shape as a base for fabric covered crowns and brims.
Mad Hatter Famous character of Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" also see Mercury below.
Millinery Wire A tensile wire used for providing shape and definition to a hat brim edge or crown, to reinforce wide brims or to construct skeleton hat frames. Comes in cotton, rayon or paper covered in different gauges. 14 gauge is the hardest millinery wire available
Mercury Used in the making of hats. This was known to have affected the nervous system of hatters, causing them to tremble and appear insane.
Mask Covering for the face to disguise the identity of the wearer (often religious, such as those worn by witch doctors, initiates, etc.) but much favoured by the Venetians in the 18th century, to facilitate intrigues.
Milliner Artisan who makes and sells hats.
Millinery The craft of making hats.
Nap Short fibres extending above the surface of cloth, fabric or felt, creating a soft, downy effect such as on velvet.
Paper Panama Cone or capeline made of Japanese Toyo paper, woven to imitate natural Panama can be 1x1 or 2x2 weave.
Panama The name given straw woven in Ecuador, as well as Peru and Colombia.
Panama Hat Straw hat made with panama straw.
Parisisal A fine woven Sisal straw in either hood or Capeline shape made with two over two weave of sisal fiber. Available in 5 grades, depending on the fineness of the fiber, it is lightweight, resilient and takes dye well.
Petersham Ribbon used to decorate a hat and also used as a sweat band inside a hat. It has a picot edge to shape successfully. Also referred to as grosgrain.
Pillbox A small brimless cap with a flat tip and cylindrical side.
Plush Cloth of silk or cotton, with a longer and softer nap than velvet.
Pompom A fluffy or woolly ball, tuft, or tassel.
Rouleau Bias strip which is seamed & inverted to form a tubing used in trims.
Raffia A natural straw from Madagascar, the Raffia palm or its leaf-bast. available in cones, capelines, braids and hanks.
Satin A close woven silk with a high gloss.
Sinamay Plant grown in the Philippines. A lustrous, loosely woven fabric made from abaca fibers that is woven into sheets or hood forms and are often made into ladies' and men's hats.
Sisal Comes from the fiber of the Abacca (Musa textilis) and is used to make cones, capelines and woven fabric.
Stiffening Originally gum Arabic, mucilage, shellac or gelatin, now superseded by cellulose or pva based chemicals. It is applied by hand or dipped, to stiffen felt or straw.
Studio A room where an artist, photographer, Milliner etc works.
Suede Felt Fur felt hood or capeline with short nap surface texture resembles suede.
Turban This style is created in various cultures as a head covering consisting of a long length of material wound around a cap or the head.
Taffeta Used in the 16th century for hats; a stiff silk.
Tassels A pendant ornament consisting of a bunch of threads.
Tiara A head-dress in a circlet or half-circlet of jewels worn by women for evening wear.
Tip The top part of the crown.
Toyo Straw A cellulose fiber that is particularly amenable to dyeing.
Trilby A soft felt hat with a narrow brim and indented crown.
Veil A covering of fine fabric or net, for the head, face, or both, for protection, concealment, adornment or ceremonial purpose.
Velour Felt Fur felt hood or capeline with uniform nap and velvet-like surface texture.
Velvet A textile mainly of silk having a short dense and smooth pile.
Visor A partial brim, usually extending out at the front of a hat or cap. Also known as a peak used as a shade against the sun.
Workstation Australian WH&S requirement. When stiffening and gluing, a ventilated cabinet with perspex window removes the fumes with extraction.