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Title: Hatmaking  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Plume hunting, Luton, Sonia Greene, Decorative arts, Frederick Calvert, 6th Baron Baltimore
Collection: Fashion Occupations, Hat Makers, Hat Making, Hats, Milliners
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Canada's early fur trade was largely built on the fashion for beaver hats in Europe, particularly top hats. The steps in manufacturing hats are illustrated in this image from 1858.
Hat-maker making a felt hat

Hatmaking is the manufacture of hats and head-wear. Millinery is the designing and manufacture of hats. A millinery shop is a store that sells those goods.

A milliner or hatter designs, makes, trims, or sells hats.

Millinery is sold to women, men and children, though some definitions limit the term to women's hats.[1] Historically, milliners, typically female shopkeepers, produced or imported an inventory of garments for men, women, and children, including hats, shirts, cloaks, shifts, caps, neckerchiefs, and undergarments, and sold these garments in their millinery shop.

More recently, the term milliner has evolved to describe a person who designs, makes, sells or trims hats primarily for a female clientele.

The origin of the term is probably the Middle English milener, meaning an inhabitant of the city of Milan or one who deals in items from Milan,[2] known for its fashion and clothing.


  • Types of millinery 1
  • Notable hatters and milliners 2
    • Hatters 2.1
    • Milliners 2.2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Types of millinery

Many styles of headgear have been popular through history and worn for different functions and events. They can be part of uniforms or worn to indicate social status. Styles include the top hat, hats worn as part of military uniforms, cowboy hat, and cocktail hat.

Notable hatters and milliners

This is a partial list of people who have had a significant influence on hatmaking and millinery.



  • Anna Ben-Yusuf wrote The Art of Millinery (1909), one of the first reference books on millinery technique.[5]
  • Rose Bertin, milliner and modiste to Marie Antoinette, is often described as the world's first celebrity fashion designer.[6]
  • John Boyd is one of London's most respected milliners and is known for the famous pink tricorn hat worn by Diana, Princess of Wales.[7]
  • Lilly Daché was a famous American milliner of the mid-20th century.
  • Mr. John was an American milliner considered by some to be the millinery equivalent of Dior in the 1940s and 50s.[8]
  • Stephen Jones of London, is considered one of the world's most radical and important milliners of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.[9]
  • Simone Mirman was known for her designs for Elizabeth II and other members of the British Royal Family.
  • Caroline Reboux was a renowned milliner of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • David Shilling is a renowned milliner, artist and designer based in Monaco.[10]
  • Philip Treacy of London is an award-winning milliner.

See also


  1. ^ "Milliner". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 2012-06-07. 
  2. ^ American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition
  3. ^ Bowler hat makes a comeback Telegraph (London). Retrieved 9 June 2012
  4. ^ Reynolds, William and Rich Rand (1995) The Cowboy Hat book. Pg 8 ISBN 0-87905-656-8
  5. ^ Jones, Stephen & Cullen, Oriole (editor) (2009). Hats: An Anthology. V&A Publishing.  
  6. ^  
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ New York Times obituary for Mr. John
  9. ^ Biography of Stephen Jones on the V&A Museum website, accessed 1 April 2009
  10. ^  

External links

  • All Sewn Up: Millinery, Dressmaking, Clothing and Costume
  • 18th Century millinery
  • , November 1941, "Pulling Hats Out Of Rabbits"Popular Science article on modern mass production hat making
  • Individuality in millinery, a 1923 book on hatmaking from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Libraries (fully available online as PDF)
  • Millinery guide (UK)
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