Braids & Ribbons

This is my first hat since in application of the use of the willcox .
the Brim is sewn from Vintage Paper fancy braid 10 mm
Vintage Czech ribbon n°5 & n°9
Hand weave tip of the crown
La Forme wood block crown 2004
This hat is cloche down,roller,off the face,profile…is a 4 ways brim extremely ligth.

Straw feets for Willcox .

the CHIP in 18th and 19th century chip bonnets and hats was actually made from thin strips of shaved wood. It was used by hat-makers in a similar way to braided straw, and so was sometimes called “chip straw” or “chip braid”. But it was still wood.

It could be plaited or woven just like straw. Once formed into a sort of basket in whatever shape was currently fashionable, it could be bleached or coloured, then trimmed with as much silk, lace, velvet, feather etc. as the milliner and her customer desired.

Silk bonnets sometimes had chip and wire sewn into the seams, creating a framework to give them shape.

Hat-makers and milliners used chip well into the 1900s. Like straw, hemp and other natural fibres, it was particularly well suited to sun hats and spring bonnets.

This explanation of how it was made is from the 1920s.

Chip braid is the only wood braid in general use…White pine and Lombardy poplar, and also the English willow…are used to make white chip hats…The young tree is split into sections and planed smooth…Another special plane of knife blades is then drawn lengthwise down the boards, scoring long, fine narrow cuts…A smooth plane takes these fine strips off, and a thin chip straw results. (Charlotte Rankin Aiken, Millinery, 1922)from the same source @
Japaneses to use to make their metallic silver and gold on chip wood and cherry tree too.
for the embroideries of kimonos as uchikake

Canton was a chinese braid ...

The Glossary of Millinery and Dry goods terms.

Millinery machines inventory and maintenance

As i m considering to make hats and millinery i actually have to go and evaluate what i left in box for more than 15 yrs .
Machines are the tools of a milliner
The needle is the tool of the modiste.
I actually restore two machines than i never use really ...
when i bought my lot deal in 1988 ,from a furrier who was doing fur hats and leather hats too.
he never used the straw machines too.
I broke one of them in Cape town in 1997 , in the frame part of the under tooth piece.
So just rebuilt one full from this one and the parts i got.
In millinery the materials are all differents from straws to felt ,ribbons and not only a tension adjustement,feets and tooths have to be change in order to make the work propelly and not damage some very delicate materials as straw braid as example...
I 'm setting the Willcox for straw and ribbons...

L. Bulasky

Louis Bulasky's first patent was in 1892 for a hat trimming machine with several more relating to hat manufacturing. The last company patent was from August John Wolhpart, who took out a patent for the company in 1931. In the 1950s and 1979, Union Special and Singer cite his patents in their own inventions.
So basically, if anyone says that Singer had the first zigzagger. They are wrong. Though Singer may have had the first home zigzag machine with the 206.

The machine was set to sew wire on hats ...
for the edge trimming of the brims and more...
Binding ,turn over bindind,with piping ,double piping.

At a certain point some of theses machines have been seen set and fit to sew straw braids with the zig zag point ....

The 3 musketeers of the millinery .

The 3 first machines who rises the evolution of the production for a century
Willcox and Gibbs the straw and plain head
L Bulaski invent the shift of the zig zag on the model of the Willcox .
James Edward Allen Gibbs On June 2, 1857, he was awarded a patent for the first chain-stitch single-thread sewing machine. In partnership with James Willcox, Gibbs became a principal in Willcox & Gibbs Sewing Machine Company. Willcox & Gibbs commercial sewing machines are still made and used in the 21st century.

Those machines are chain stitch ...made in steel
Singer come later with cap machine as they named ,chain stich too like a miniature of the original singer.All the model 24-2 -26 -33 -36 were used for millinery ,caps,ties.

I own my 8 millinery machines since 1988 with parts and attachements …

3 willcox & Gibbs straw machines

3 Bulaski (2 straight,1 zig zag)

2 Singer model 24 -33

As milliner i learn on blocks and machines to make hats at a large scale production but always in a certain standard of quality ...

Straw Braids

Sewing straw braid is a real skill in millinery ...
There is no doubt than the pratice is the key element to this knowledge ...
Ignatus is one of them as an artist and milliner .
Cristina de Prada come along with a machine very rare in the Industry .
Carles is a milliner who sew straw very well.


Thoses Willcox were sleeping since 1999 …
And they 're born 100 yrs ago
Will see what is about to sew braids ….soon.



Cubism or a perspective of an abstract figural .Geometric lines and triangles as arrow.
Conception of multi visual represantations and positions of wearability : Hat. Mask. Head piece.
Fur felt , french wire , gros grain . Aeterna