Main index
How to choose a hat
Trick desciptions and videos
Articles on hat manipulation
Other resources
Where to buy a hat
Hat Spinning
Ball and Parasol Manipulation
Plate Manipulation
Buy our DVD or Video!

Adapting an old hat

If you can find an old woollen felt trilby in a charity or second hand clothes shop a reasonable hat for manipulation can be made from it. It will be lighter than a professionally made one, but will also be a fraction of the price.

Step 1 - Find a hat that fits

An untreated trilby

Look for a good fit, slightly large but not so big that it needs your ears to hold it up.

Step 2 - Preparation

Trilby with the lining stripped out

Remove all the lining and push the crown out to make a bowler shape.

Step 3 - The glue mixture

Glue and water

Mix PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate) glue (this is the opaque white stuff often used in school art lessons) and water in a 50:50 solution. Some people have suggested adding a little ink to this mixture so that it matches the colour of your hat. Apparently this helps to reduce fading in sunlight.

Step 4 - The outside

The halfway stage

Paint the outside of the hat and the top of the brim with the solution, ensuring that it is soaking into the felt. Avoid the hatband as the solution may discolour it. Leave to dry.

Step 5 - The inside

When dry paint the inside of your hat and the bottom of the brim with the solution.

Repeat steps 4 and 5 until the hat is firm but not solid. This usually takes 2 or 3 coats of glue solution inside and out.

The finished article

The finished hat

You now have a hat to play with! With care it will probably last as well as a Dubé bowler, but it will need re-treating occasionally.

Author: Mike Date created: 2003-01-20 00:00:00
Last Editor: Mike Date edited: 2006-05-08 12:17:45
TricksWithHats DVD out now!