The holidays seem to bring out the craziness in everyone; long wish lists and long lines add up to short tempers and stress. That is why, for the past few years, I've avoided the malls and made special gifts for my close family and friends. For those who are not as close but to whom I'd still like to give a token of appreciation, I've been giving tea. You see, I blend my own chai and have become rather well known for it; certain friends far away now look forward to their packages of chai every year!
Felting (or fulling) is a huge part of my hatmaking process, and I thought it would be appropriate to post a tutorial for those of you who are curious as to what goes into it. First of all, let me clearly state that what I do is different from what a milliner or commercial hatmaker might do. Typically, felt (usually from animal fibers) is wetted and stretched over a hat block to shape and allowed to dry. The felt has a basic, very loose hat shape the begin with.