Everything about the composition of our hats

At Céline Robert Chapeaux, we want our clients to have a quick and efficient access to information.

And since it is not always easy to understand the composition of our hats, we have prepared an article that will help you in case of doubt.

You will therefore find in this article the list of the most commonly used fabrics for making our summer hats, as well as their description and some interesting information about them.


The hemp

Hemp is a cultivated plant variety of the Cannabaceae family. Very widely used in the past, this plant has many uses such as fabrics, construction, cosmetics, etc. Today, hemp is recognized for two main qualities: the quality of its fibre and its environmental quality.

Fibre quality: Used for thousands of years to design all kinds of fabrics (clothing, boat sails, etc.), hemp fibre is nature’s strongest natural plant fibre. Hemp fabrics do not deform, become slack or shrink. The wet fibre is even more resistant, which means that a hemp hat keeps the same shape all its life.

Environmental quality: The hemp sector is gaining interest with the environmental awareness of recent years. As a natural material (the fibre comes from outside of the hemp stem), European countries and local authorities in these countries are trying to promote hemp cultivation once again.


The abaca

Abaca is a species of banana tree native to the Philippines. In our case, it is the fibre of the abaca, also called Manila hemp, that interests us because it is used to make strings and ropes. Once assembled, these strings and ropes made of materials extracted from the large oblong leaves and stems of the abaca, are used to create hat bases. Available in its natural colour (off-white), this material is very resistant to dyeing and is used to make straw hats.

This type of banana tree also produces fabrics as fine as linen, but a little less flexible and with a more irregular yarn.


The cotton

Cotton is a vegetable fibre generally transformed into yarn that is woven to make fabrics. The most widely produced natural fibre in the world, cotton is used to weave very different fabrics depending on the size and twist of the yarns used, and on the other hand on their weaving method.

In our workshop, cotton has different uses. At first, we obviously find it as the main material of our hats, our summer folding hats more precisely. Its flexible side allows a greater freedom and offers a new approach to traditional shapes.

Secondly, cotton is used to decorate hats in the form of different kind of braids and fringes.


The toyo

The toyo is a type of smooth and shiny straw. Mainly made in Japan, it is a mixture of rice paper and shellac (resin from tree bark). This material is commonly used for straw hats and fedoras.

These straws have a smooth touch and a shiny, white-viscose or copper-golden appearance when the product is finished. Soft to the touch and light to wear, the toyo is normally finished with a varnish.


The sisal

Sisal is the name of the fibre extracted from the leaves of the plant of the same name. Known for its strength and durability, this fibre is used for rope making, among other things.

Mostly grown in Africa, sisal also has a stretching capacity and is easy to dye, two very valuable characteristics when it comes to using this material to create hats.


The polyester

Polyester is a general term for any fabric or textile, made from polyester yarns or fibres. It is an artificial fabric used today to create clothing, textiles, etc.

The characteristics of this type of fabric make it a practical and effective option in hat making. In addition to being durable and resistant to many chemicals, this material also resists shrinking, stretching, wrinkling and scratching.

The fibres used to create polyester are very strong but also lightweight. Easy to maintain, it is a quick-drying fabric that is easy to dye. 100% polyester fabrics can receive permanent folds as well as decorative shapes and patterns. In addition, they are very stain-resistant and perfect for cleaning.