I am particularly fascinated by straw bonnets and the straw bonnet industry. The bonnets themselves for me are a beautiful combination of nature and art. Each bonnet is plaited, woven, crocheted, sewn or a combination of these to create a well curving base for a stunning array of embellishments. The industry held a unique niche in the ever changing industrialization of the nineteenth century, as the straw bonnet industry combined cottage industry with commercial industrialization. In my booklet, From Field to Fashion: Straw Bonnets, I look at the history of straw bonnets, the industry and the process for making bonnets.
You will find in my blog posts a variety of information about straw millinery. In the Millinery/Bonnets/Ribbon category, you will find posts related to straw bonnets including “A Closer Look at Straw Plait”, “Straw Bonnet Fashion Descriptions” and additional bonnet related information. You may also be interested in the Anatomy of a Bonnet pdf file and the Straw Bonnet Workbook I have used in workshops (1/4″ to 1/2″ plait needed) I recently pulled from my files a chart on the Cost of Accuracy in Millinery. Debra DiFranco has been kind enough to allow me to share the Bonnet Reference Sheets she put together for the USSC Boston Branch.
Some years ago, I was asked to Review the Period Impressions’ Straw Bonnet Pattern