Monday, 8 February 2016

Hats Amazing

I've finally been to see Hats Amazing, that latest exhibition at Hat Works. The exhibition allows various seldom-seen items from the museum's collection to have their moment of glory, as every exhibit was chosen from the museum stores, by the staff. It's not just hats, but all sorts of hatting artefacts as well.

One of the first things I spotted was a sewing pattern.

Early 1960s hat pattern

Alongside it were a couple of hats from the era. Although the green one looks as though it could have been made from the pattern, it is actually by Dior.

1950s and 1960s hats, 1970s headscarf on right

Also in the case were some amazing combs.

Combs from the 1800s to the 1930s

The next section contained information about various hatmakers.

Hats and advertising materials

Advertisement for Comach hats

At the bottom was one of my favourite items in the exhibition; a scrapbook assembled by a member of the Comach family, containing newspaper cuttings of various well-known people wearing Comach hats.

The Pinterest of its day!

Exhibits ranged from the large to the relatively small (although some would say, not small enough!). This circa 1950 painting was one of three depicting hatmaking-related jobs; the other two were 'Blocking' and 'Stitching'.

'Blockmakers' by Amy Browning

Nearby was a display of hatpins. In order to secure massive Edwardian hats, hatpins could be up to 30cm / 12" long; which made them both handy weapons if the need arose, and accidentally lethal.

Hatpins and press reports

There were also plenty of hats in the exhibition; from traditional felted hats . . .

Hats from the 1940s to the 1960s

. . . to more unusual styles.

1940s crocheted hat with snood attached

This collection of hats as part of uniforms included a pith helmet with its own metal hatbox, and reels of the chequered trim used on police hats.

Hats for officialdom

This item features on the exhibition poster, and is a measuring device for made-to-measure hats.

Weird and wonderful

Hats Amazing continues until 19 March 2017, and is well worth a visit.

1 comment:

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