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horse hair canvas
what is it?
Hilary
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Hilary  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/18/10 9:33 PM

Hi~I am getting ready to make a hat for my Dsis for the holidays and the pattern I'm using is Vogue 7619 (its OOP, a cloche style hat), & calls for horse hair canvas interfacing. I am trying to make it similar to an Anthropologie hat she tried on and loved.

My question is (I am using wool for the hat itself) do you think I should really use only that? I don't have any on hand but I have plenty of interfacing of other kinds. I am not sure what HHC is or what it feels like. I was going to make a muslin first out of denim or canvas or something just to work through the pattern.

Do you think it would be better to use the HHC with wool, or does that really make a difference? Also, the fabric is dry clean only; should I go ahead and get that done before cutting and sewing or just plunge right in and not bother I would rather just go for it but I do want it to turn out nicely. For once I'm not waiting till the last minute at least, lol!

Thanks for any advice!

*I already posted this in "Fabrics and more" but have not received a response, so I thought maybe I should have posted it here instead

juliette2
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juliette2
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Date: 11/18/10 10:49 PM

Horse hair canvas is a heavy weight woven interfacing. It is mostly used in tailoring jackets -- padstiitched into the lapels, collar and fronts to give firm body and stability.

It used to be made literally of horse and goat hair but these days I believe it is mostly a mix of nylon and other fibres.

I don't know of any other interfacing that has the same qualities, but you could probably substitute multiple layers of a heavy woven interfacing and get a similar effect.

Horsehair canvas is relatively thick and heavy, yet flexible. It curves easily and well, and keeps its form if it gets wet. It can be steamed or moulded into a shape and will then keep that shape.

You can use other interfacings with wool -- HHC is not the only one that works. (Although it is the best for some types of tailoring.)

The wool will need to be prepared for sewing or it is likely to shrink when it gets wet or is washed. The best preparation for wool is to lay it out flat, steam it thoroughly with a steam iron or steamer, and let it dry completely before you move it.

Hope this helps!
-- Edited on 11/18/10 10:49 PM --

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It's a custom-made designer original. I made it myself.

Dzynurbrian

Dzynurbrian
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Date: 11/23/10 1:21 AM

She is correct in her explanation of what Horse Hair Canvas is. I would note that it's NOT FUSIBLE, though I think there are some available these days. So you would need to be pad stitching it in place or have it stitched into a seam.

Seeing as you're doing a hat, I would suggest trying to find HHC. It will hold the crown shaping better than any fusible or standard sew in interfacing. I have used double layers of cotton canvas or even fusible interfacing in hats and in the end regretted it. The single layer of HHC is very strong but very thin, thus eliminating bulk. Also I've noticed that with hats, you have a "turn of cloth" situation and the interfacing needs to slightly float so fusible is definitely not a suggestion I would give you.

Also HHC is still made with Horse and Goat hair, though it's more difficult (and expensive) to find high percentages of the Horse or Goat hair in the mix. If I remember correctly the canvas I used in a tailored jacket had approximately 25% goat hair and that was the highest percentage (and most expensive) canvas available in town.

My tailoring teacher stressed that the higher content of animal hair is directly proportionate to how durable, long lasting and stiff the canvas is.

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