After wearing the paper hats for a little while I noticed a couple of things that needed improvement:
- a stiff breeze could lift it right off my head
- inside, under the brim in front, it gets a little grimy
- the brim often flipped up like paddington bear's hat
Handily there is one solution to both of the first 2 problems: adding an internal brim band. This is typically a grosgrain ribbon, felt or soft elastic band about 1 to 1.25 inches wide. It prevents the hat material itself from picking up oil from the skin which dirt can cling to. It helps keep the hat on the head by creating a little bit of friction against the head and/or hair.
It also helps with the overall fit. Sometimes when a person loses enough weight or changes their hair style enough their hat will feel too big. Adding a strip of felt, foam or other material behind the inner hat band can make up that little bit of difference.
In the example to the left I'm using a 1 inch wide soft grosgrain ribbon. The hat is a golden color which didn't have an exact match in the ribbons available at our local craft store. This won't really matter since it is on the inside. The ribbon is cut to match the band measurement plus enough extra to let the ends overlap. That seam goes to the center back of the hat. It should align perpendicular to that first row of eight stitches at the top-center of the hat. I then hand-stitched it through the bottom edge of the band and around the stitches of the hat. Hide knots in the sewing thread behind the ribbon, between the ribbon and the inside of the hat.
After much experimentation I found the Paddington Bear Effect could only be eliminated by adding a ring of hat wire, also known as "millinery wire," to the edge of the brim. Ideally the wire should be connected with a crimp, not by twisting the loose ends of the wire together. The crimp makes a solid ring that won't work its way out of the hat and poke someone. Covered wire should work better than plain wire since the surface gives the paper yarn something to stick to. Millinery wire can be found at specialty hat-making supply shops and on Etsy and Ebay.
The trick is to get the ring of wire sized to match the brim of the hat, then crochet over it to connect it to the hat. Use enough stitches to hide the wire completely.
Note: There is also a plastic wire which is connected by melting it together with a flame. I haven't used it. Since this hat is made of paper the joining should be done far enough away from the hat to prevent it from bring ignited. You've gotta keep 'em separated.