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Brimmed Felted Hat

Wendy Allen shows how to create a brimmed felted hat.

Project by Wendy Allen from San Francisco, Calif.

Materials and Tools:

dyed, carded wool
expandable rubber ball
about 30" plastic bucket, bottom cut out
small piece of vinyl *
countertop or table covered with shower curtain
electric kettle or old coffee urn
Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap
aluminum pie tin
medium-sized sponge
bamboo mat
electric palm sander
small piece of vinyl on the sander as sheet of sandpaper
towels for clean up
hat band
hat block

* Cut into brim shape approximately 30 to 40 percent larger than the size you want it to be.

Figure B


1. Cut wool to appropriate lengths for first layer. Spread the wool fibers out into a uniformly thin sheet and place over the ball with fibers running from top to bottom.

2. Cut wool to appropriate length for second layer. Spread wool fibers out into a uniformly thin sheet and place over ball with fibers running parallel to the table, making sure there are no bare spots.

Figure A

3. Cut yarn to appropriate lengths. Lay over wool to create a plaid look.

4. Repeat the above steps using the brim-shaped vinyl instead of the ball.

Figure F

5. Put a little soap and hot water in the aluminum pan and carefully soap down the top portion of the ball, being very careful not to displace any fibers.

6. Sand the area you just soaped. Then repeat the steps, moving down the ball and working with small areas at a time.

7. Once the entire ball is sanded, carefully remove the hat from the ball. Turn inside out, reheat and soap it down and sand the inside.

8. Turn right side out again and briefly re-sand.

Figure H

9. Soap down the brim shape and sand on both sides. Remove wool from vinyl and sand inside and out as with hat body.

10. Throw both in the washing machine with the smallest amount of hot water, soap, a bunch of balls and some other hats (or other items that need felting) on the short cycle.

11. Halfway through the cycle, turn the hat inside out.

12. Once done, stretch the hat body onto an appropriate-sized hat block and leave to dry for a few hours. Pull brim into uniform shape and let dry flat on a towel.

Figure J

13. Remove from hat block and trim edge to appropriate and uniform length. Also trim the brim at this time.

Figure K

14. Sew small pleated "X" into top of hat and edge stitch brim. Attach brim and edge stitch all the way around hat.

15. Cut a hat band that fits comfortably around your head and stitch inside brim of hat.


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