Learning to love Sinamay

In my millinery class we have begun to work with Sinamay. Like me many of you probably don’t know what it is. According to a random search on the internet:

“It is woven from the processed stalks of the abaca tree, a banana palm native to the Philippines. Abaca fibre is three times stronger than cotton or silk, and a fabric made from 100% abaca can last for over 100 years. As a result, sinamay holds a very firm shape. Because it is a natural fibre, it holds colour beautifully.”

As I said to Karen our tutor, ‘I think I have a natural prejudice against the stuff as there seem to be so many dull hats made out of it.”

I can see that it has a lot of potential as a sinamay hat is usually made of at least three layers so there is potential to trap things between them. It also dyes very easily so I assume can be painted with fabric dyes….more possibilities. But as I wrestled last night to wire the edge of the decorative spiral which is our first project I wasn’t feeling very charitable. (And I am very glad that the appalling blanket stitch I was doing will be covered by a sinamay binding.)

DSCF8396But having said that I think it will look quite pretty in the end – particularly the delicate leaf pattern trapped between the layers which just about shows through on the photo.

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2 thoughts on “Learning to love Sinamay

  1. the pattern and shape are pretty – it sort of makes me think of a latter day version of the rams horns associated with alexander the great (and aparently his niece he pharoah …i want to say arsinoe2 but I could be wrong..wore as well)

    but I agree about the dull hats, wedding hats is wha it makes me think of, although I also think it’s not as robust as a good wool felt hat cos once it bends its bent, wool you can usually persuade back into an acceptable shape

    saying that my favourite hat is a very dull sunhat i bought from the gentlemans outfitters in slatburn for £6, I wear the hell out of it in summer. It insistes its made from paper

    • I have a rather interesting hat block for my first blocked sinamay hat which is pointy a bit like the helmets we saw at the Fitzwilliam Museum at the weekend so I shall endeavour not to make a dull hat….

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