Centre for Textile Conservation, Glasgow
Adjustable hat mounts
09 / 2018
Degradation and distortion of textile objects can be hugely exacerbated by poor storage and lack of internal support, particularly in the case of 3D objects such as hats. As 3D textile objects with internal cavities, a large percentage of hats in collections require some kind of internal support, as without it they are inherently vulnerable to distortion. Bonnets are particularly problematic in this regard, as they are often stored face down, crushing trim and causing sections to concertina onto each other.
Due to the wide variation in shapes and styles, many hats do not fit standard head forms and therefore require custom made mounts (see the Bonnet Mounting project for an example of these). Custom mounts can be time consuming to make, and are therefore not always feasible to implement over a whole hat collection. This project, conducted in conjunction with the headwear collection at National Museums Scotland, aimed to make the mounting process more efficient by creating a single mount that could be adjusted to fit a wide variety of hat shapes and sizes.
The mount can be easily adjusted by pulling on the gathering threads to contract or expand different sections of the mount. In this way, it can be made to fit closely to the interior of a hat, providing internal support for the object during storage and/or display.
In September 2018 I presented this project at the 6th International Mountmakers Forum at the Natural History Museum, London, in my talk; Hold onto your hats! Developing time efficient, adaptable internal mounts for the storage of headwear in museum collections.
Templates and instructions for making these mounts are freely available here.
Images ©BeckyDoonanConservation and ©University of Glasgow.