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Procedure of the workshop

Push open the door of Pili Garcia's Atelier/Home and discover the SECRETS of millinery !  


This workshop will take place in 2 sessions to make a custom hat in felt or straw (Panama) so that it has plenty of time to dry!


This training begins with a presentation of the participants around a coffee, tea… then you will try different hats to find a model that corresponds to your image, to your desires, in order to define the shape to be designed.


By following Pili's advice, you can go to the stage of preparing your workstation with your previously selected wooden form, your "nail rod" and your "argentines" (for a style borsalino, for example!).  


These are precise words, appropriate to this universe, but rest assured, I will guide you through all the steps!

Description of the Hat training


Hat Training is one of the activities developed by Atelier Pili GARCIA. Based in Soiron since 2011, I actively participate in the transmission of millinery know-how by offering training perpetuating the gestures of milliners and hatters. In my permanent desire to promote this know-how, and to make it available to as many people as possible, the Atelier Pili GARCIA offers short sessions that address these different basic techniques in the form of intensive modules.



  • Modules spread over a weekend,

  • A number of trainees voluntarily limited to 3 maximum per session,

  • The personalized follow-up of the trainees,

  • My skills and my specialization,

  • A place equipped with the necessary equipment to learn in good conditions.



THE MILLINERY'S PROFESSION The millinery's profession, which in its most advanced form is a craft, requires the learning of multiple techniques which subsequently avoid confinement in repetitive creations. Designing and making a fashion hat is not easy because you almost have to consider different methods for each hat depending on its shape, the material used, the function of the hat, …. But it is the richness of this profession that makes it exciting to learn and practice!



THE PEDAGOGICAL APPROACH This proposed training is based on a method based exclusively on practice and personalized teaching, but always respecting rigorous know-how. This workshop is adapted to your aptitudes and the objectives you are aiming for. This short training associated with the quality requirement brought by Pili GARCIA induces a rich, but dense training rhythm. It is at this price that you will be able to acquire the basics allowing you then to continue to practice and evolve. This lively method, through the diversity of listeners and the personalization of projects, will be a source of enrichment, knowledge and encouragement for you.


WHO SHOULD ATTEND ? For hat enthusiasts and for those starting out in the profession.


Shaping a felt bell or cone


Molding the felt on a wooden form, hatter style, and working the edge on a freehand collar.




The hatter manually carries out the shaping of the hat, the integral molding, the design, the cut, the final sewing and the decoration.


This method is the most used for a simple and fast result.


There are many techniques to mold a hat, as long as you have a good schooling, this step is quite simple.

1.   Choose the felt 

2.   Preparing the felt 

3.   Smoking the felt (Generating steam to relax the felt to aid in the stretching process)

4.   Open the bottom of the cap or make the "bottom of the hat" (so that it passes correctly over the shape and

     stretch it lengthwise to start preparing the edge)

5.   Mold your felt (on a wooden form in one part)

6.   Mark the separation between the crown and the edge

7.   Fix the bangle to give it the desired design

8.   hat drying

9.   Unmold the hat

10.  Garnish the hat  




2 markers: Cone or bell + primer, glue, grosgrain, barège, decorative ornaments…



Primer, wooden skittle, gigolo, wooden cap (different shapes), curved chisel, silver pins, edge cutter, edge curler, steam iron, steam generator, …  


From raw material to finished product

This first session begins with the preparation of the felt.


It will have to be wetted and dressed with a natural product to keep the memory of the design. This will be the base of your hat.  


You will wrap the felt in plastic for 20 minutes, during which I will explain the different techniques around the hats.


You will follow a first steam bath to work the raw material, the felt, this step will have to be repeated... You will then move on to the most important phase: stretch the felt on a wooden form (keel), and we repeat the process. operation...until the material is perfectly released! This is the somewhat muscular part of the workshop.  


Then, still using steam and an iron, you will work and sculpt the felt on a template so that it perfectly matches its shape. 

Subsequently, you will shape and personalize it thanks to specific processes that Pili will reveal to you.


A drying time will be necessary which will allow you to think about and prepare the trim of your hat.  


See you at the second session for the rest!  


Once your hat is dry, you will trim the edges.

You will unmold the felt, which will have had time to dry.

Then come the finishing steps such as sanding the edges, brushing the felt or adding the grosgrain ribbon to its waist.  


Marvellous ? Yes, but technical!


Approach the sewing part, hand or machine depending on the particularities, for the interior finish and the trim which could also be your personal creation. Express yourself!


Ah! And the little bonus, you will have at your disposal the personal haberdashery of Pili Garcia (feathers, buttons, trimmings, lace, braids, ribbons....), fabrics, decorations and trim at will.  


And There you go ! A tailor-made hat to put directly on your head.  


This day will be immortalized by a nice photo of the participants!

I'll see you soon for the rest of this adventure.


available to you:



Felt Hat Training:

570 € ( materials and supplies  provided)

Straw Hat Training (Panama):

350 € ( materials and supplies  provided)



The world of hats will no longer hold any secrets for you!


+32 (0)473 87 90 76

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