Block of the Month – August 2016

Every month we offer a discount on one of our designs and this month it is the crown block CB141 and brim block BB55.

Hat made with CB141 & BB55

Owen Morse-Brown

It’s a moment I’ve been planning for a while as CB141 is a favourite of mine and after a few hats, this one is my best so far! I love the deep dimples and well defined ridges and the design comes from an original block from the early 20th century.

It’s a very simple blocking process which I’ll briefly describe. First the felt is steamed and stretched over the crown and a tipper is used to shape the top. The felt for the brim is pressed flat onto the table with the corner between crown and brim being held tight with string. You can iron the brim gently to get it nice and flat. At this stage you can make the felt look a little nicer by gently sanding it all over with 320 grit sandpaper – all in the same direction. By now, the crown is complete and you can trim the brim to width using our new brim cutting wheels (see below). I chose 1 1/2″ but you can go up to 2 1/2″ with the BB55. The little video below shows the brim being cut.

[iframe id=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/OnUUcgLWtdQ” align=”center” maxwidth=”400″]

At this stage you can sew in the sweatband and prepare the ribbon if you like. That leaves only the brim shaping to be done.

Place the hat upside down inside the brim (the brim must be on a stand or have its own brim legs) and then tie a cotton sheet over using the string groove. Pull it nice and tight, spray lightly with water and iron – not too hot. Leave to dry and remove.

A little steam across the front allows you to bend the front of the brim down to complete the shape. Attach the ribbon and you’re done.

Alternatively, instead of using the cutting wheel, the brim can be shaped on the block and the felt tied into the string groove. After it is dry you can cut the excess off with scissors, but the brim cutting wheels do allow you to cut a very smooth and clean edge. They also allow different brim widths to be achieved from the same brim block as the shaping is done after cutting.

Here’s another great example of the crown by Suzanne Nurse of Z MalanHat by Z Malan

You will receive 15% off the items below when you quote Block of the Month – offer excludes the brim cutting wheels.

CB141 – Trilby Crown Block

£218.00

A very shapely trilby/fedora crown block with long and deep dimples and a domed valley in the top. This block has been stained – do enquire if you’re interested in this for other blocks. We would recommend a tipper to go with this to help you shape the valley.

Ex VAT £181.67

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BB55 – Brim Block

£198.00

Another fedora or trilby brim that is turned up all the way round. Brim width of 2.5″ (63mm) or 3″ (76mm)mm. Once blocked and dry you can flip the front down if required. Pictured here with a set of brim legs (optional) to make blocking in one possible – a real classic fedora brim! String groove as standard.

Ex VAT £165.00

 

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Ideally you’ll need some brim legs with the brim but if you think you will order more sizes in the future then it is well worth buying a brim stand which can be used for all your subsequent brims.

 

Brim Legs

£30.00

Brim legs are useful when blocking in one (one piece of felt for crown and brim together). The legs mean that the brim is supported off your work surface leaving enough room for the blocked crown to be pushed through to the desired height. This is a very effective and quick way to work leaving you less sewing to do later. Brims generally need to be 3/4″ bigger than the crown and legs need to be ordered at the same time as the brim so we can attach them securely. The picture shows a BB45 with legs.

Ex VAT £25.00

Brim Stand

£69.00

A brim stand saves you from needing to buy a set of brim legs with every upturned brim. Fits our brims only although can be made to other requirements. Please note that our brims do not have stand holes as standard so if you are ordering further brims, please mention that you need the stand holes adding.

Ex VAT £57.50

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Brim Cutting Wheels

£98.00

This is our version of a brim cutter which is used for neatly cutting a flat felt brim to width. The set includes 17 wheels allowing you to cut widths from 1 to 5 inches in 1/4″ increments. For best results work on a cutting mat or board. The wheel is laid on the felt width it’s edge against the base of the crown and the small central wheel is placed in the centre and a scalpel (not included) is inserted in the slot and pressed down into the cutting mat or board. Keeping a little pressure against the side of the crown, the crown is rotated once to cut the felt off to width.

Ex Vat £81.66

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