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Choosing the height of your hat block crown


Perhaps you are asking, "what does he mean about choosing the height of a hat block crown?"

"I know i want 22" and broad fit, so what's this extra decision about?" Standard hat block crowns from Hat Blocks Australia are 6'' (150mm) high*. You may need yours to be 5'' for example, depending on how you plan to make the hat.

hat block design Fedora Crown Sizing
(click to enlarge)

Some Milliners prefer to make the brim and crown parts of the hats separately and stitch them together, while others prefer to block all in one, that is, on brim and crown at the same time. Of course, a 6'' high hat block can make a short crown but it's quite a bit harder to use a shorter crown to make a taller hat.

Perhaps I can illustrate this with pictures and diagrams.

First up, a picture of a 6'' high fedora crown sitting on a 'flat' brim*:

hat block design Fedora Crown On Brim
(click to enlarge)

As can be seen, if this was blocked in one piece, it would make a very tall crowned hat. Not a problem if thats the style you are after of course! But a short crown hat made this way would need a 5'' high crown or maybe even shorter.

Now for some diagrams to illustrate it further: First up is a diagram of blocking in one piece on what I call a flat hat block brim:

hat block design Diagram Of One Piece Blocking
(click to enlarge)

Followed by a diagram of 'one piece blocking' of a hat block crown pushed through the hole in a donut or 'flange' brim:

hat block design Diagram Of One Piece Blocking On A Flange Brim
(click to enlarge)

When looking at a crown and flange brim from the top you will note that the thickness of the hat fabric has to be taken into account... If the crown is 22'' then the flange hole will be 22'' PLUS clearance.

hat block design Diagram Of Crown And Flange Brim From Above
(click to enlarge)

Again, this can be seen by looking at the picture below* of a mini top hat crown in a flange or donut brim. You can see the gap between the crown and the brim. I usually make the gap between 2 and 3mm, but it can be requested to be more, or less.

hat block desing Flange Brim And Crown
(click to enlarge)

The aim of this article has been to help you visualise how some people make hats and in particular to help you work out, (1) if this is the method you wish to use, and (2) if so, to work out the height of the crown block when you purchase one.

*All photo's of hat blocks are of Hat Blocks Australia hat blocks





Except where otherwise noted, all text, illustrations, hat block designs and photographs on this website are the copyright property of Hat Blocks Australia and Blocks By Design. As such they may not be reproduced, in whole or in substantial part, by anyone without written permission.

This means you are not free to ask other block makers to copy these designs, nor copy them yourself, either for personal use or to sell them.

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