Handmade natural sisal straw hat. 3-inch wide brim with moderate sun protection. Crown features a center crease to stay put in case of an unexpected breeze. Genuine leather hatband. Made in New York with fair trade-sourced woven sisal straw. (
Designed and created by Brookes Boswell, a milliner trained in the tradition of New York hatmaking, this hat is made from hand woven sisal straw that is ethically sourced and fair trade certified. Boswell chose the sisal straw for its depth and dimension of color, as well as the subtle drape it creates on the moderate brim of the hat. The hat is at home in the city or the country: the 3 inch brim offers sun protection while being short enough to wear through bustling streets. A center crease in the crown encourages the hat to stay put when the unexpected breeze comes through.
To make the hats, Boswell takes finely woven Sisal straw and wets it. She blocks the crown on a vintage hatform, and leaves it to dry overnight. Next, the brim is blocked, and also left to dry. Once the brim is dry, Boswell trims the excess straw off and sews the edges down. She then stitches in a grosgrain ribbon around the crown to ensure that the hat keeps its shape. Finally, Boswell loops a thin strap of leather (which comes from India and is a by-product of the meat industry) around the hat, tying it loosely in a reef knot. The sizing on this hat was custom developed for Kaufmann Mercantile.
Handle the hat by the brim to avoid bending and misshaping the crown. Keep hat dry and away from moisture. Please note that as these hats are handmade, slight variations are possible in the weave and size of the brim.
Iowa-born, Brookes Boswell has a degree in architecture from the Cranbrook Academy in Michigan. During the 2009 recession, she began to train with an established Manhattan milliner who was a family friend. “I realized I began to be much more interested in hat making than in architecture and interior design,” Boswell relates. In 2012, she began her own line. “I wanted to create handmade items that are relevant in the contemporary fashion world,” Boswell explains of her production design and process. “I’m able to be flexible because I’m making everything myself.” Her hats are frequently featured in fashion spreads and articles in publications including Vogue and Women’s Wear Daily.
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