Lalabug Designs
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How do you make hats?

A quick description of the techniques I use to create my hats

How are your hats made?

I hand-sculpt each hat in my home studio on salt spring, Canada, using various felting techniques...  

Wet Felting

Wet felting is a time consuming, tactile process where thin tuffs of wool are layered over a resist (pattern). Once 7-10 layers of wool are achieved the fibres are saturated with soapy water and agitated gently at first, then firmly by hand until the wool fibres have entangled around each other.  The next step is to full (shrink) the felted fibres by thoughtfully and energetically rubbing the piece over a textured surface using very hot water - this step is typically repeated over the course of a few days until the item has shrunk to approximately 50% it's original size.  When the desired shape is achieved, proper PH balance is restored by soaking the item in a vinegar solution mixed with essential oils to protect against wool moths.

Dry Felting

Typically, my more sculptural hat embellishments are created by dry felting, where special barbed needles are repeatedly stabbed into wool bundles until the desired shape is achieved.  This is also a time intensive, but highly meditative process… and just a bit dangerous for the fingers!

Nuno Felting

Some of my pieces incorporate nuno felting, which is a technique that combines wool fibres with natural fabrics, such as silk. It creates beautiful textures and allows for excellent draping and strength for garments.  

Leather & Weaving

For accents and hat bands I love harkening back to my leather working days when i made stone embedded cuffs and book covers.  I particularly enjoy harvesting vines from my backyard to weave hat bands and circulets that have a more earthy, natural feel.


can you make me a hat?

I would love to make you a hat!  that is, if you don't mind waiting for it... As i am only one person, with a deep and uncompromising dedication to producing heirloom pieces, it can take some time.  I reserve half of my studio time for creating custom pieces and the other half for one-of-a-kind explorations that are available in my shop every month or so.  I open my custom calendar once per year in September: typically there are 18-20 custom spaces available (NOTE: i will not be taking custom orders in 2020).  Once they are booked, it means I have no more custom spaces available for that year and you can either wait until next year or keep an eye on my shop to see if any one-of-a-kind ready-to-ship hats catch your eye!  You can always just ask too, i never mind responding to email inquiries ;) To receive notifications about new hats in my shop or the opening of my custom calendar, join my email list or follow me on facebook and/or instagram (click below).