Grandmother or mother of the bride might be wearing a milliner designed hat out of SINAMAY, but do we new the story of the most popular hat-making material and foundation. Lets remember the story of Sinamay hats and how they’re made. For me Sinamay sounds like cinnamon. Does it look that sweet? 

©Photo Credit: Hatastic! via Compfight cc

©Photo Credit: Hatastic! via Compfight cc

The best milliners just adore sinamay, because it’s easy to model and form the most beautiful hats for those special moments out of this fabric. That is why they make such surrealistic head-wear for Royal Ascots or over royal occasions. Sinamay is extracted and processed from the stalks of abaca tree, which is sort of banana palm in Philippines. Why abaca? It’s three times stronger that any other fabric, like cotton or silk.  Hats from 100 %  abaca fiber will last for at least one century. And as I mentioned earlier, sinamay has a very firm shape. Besides the shape and longevity, it also holds those bright and beautiful colours.

Variations of Sinamay hats:

The types of sinamay varies.  Every hat is a different masterpiece. It has a new shape and colours. Milliners grade such hats by quality, from A to C.

  • Grade A- a hat called “pinok pok”,  it’s fine and weave.
  • Grade B- very even weave, strong and hard-wearing fabric.
  • Grade C- it’s a loose weave, which is easy to craft and it has a floral embellishments.
©Photo Credit: lina.stein via Compfight cc

©Photo Credit: lina.stein via Compfight cc

How milliners stiffen sinamay/abaca? They use a specific form of  chemicals that helps to craft a sturdy and firm shape. They can also make it loose and easy to fold and shape. Today milliners design different weaves and textures  of sinamay hats. There are three types of variations that never goes out of style:  basket weave, cobweb and crochet weave sinamay.

Unique and free-shape  Sinamay hats in millinery:

Why the best hat designers love abaca foundation? Sinamay is a perfect material for creating stunning and  surrealistic shape hats. It’s impossible to count how many milliners use sinamay or how often do they use it.  It easy to make a complex layered hat construction so as  classic sturdy bases and brims. Because sinamay is pliable, it is easy to create that free-shape effect.

It was 1990 when the unique abaca fiber came to Austalian millinery. Its hat makers began to design unique and stunning head wear. However, British and American milliners used abaca fibers for their hats since the beginning of 20th century. This firm and boundless versatility texture is the most popular foundation so as material for hats-making even today, especially today.