Over and over again, a 100 year-old straw-hat sewing machine has been the key to finding new shapes for Nicki Marquardt’s hat collections and couture designs. Her atelier is one of the few in Germany where such a traditional machine is used for straw braids. Extraordinary creations made of straw, Crin and furfelt emerge from the dialogue between the designer, the material and the machine.
Most of Nicki Marquardts caps made from high-quality furfelt are made hand-held, i.e. without wooden moulds. The “hand-held ironing” and “forming” techniques enable a playful use of materials: folding, knotting, compressing and stretching to interpret classic shapes and to invent new ones. Current trend: re-interpreting classic hat shapes such as the Chasseur, the Trilby or the Bowler hat.
Narrow strips made of furfelt form the basis for these special felt hats. Nicki Marquardt has transposed the manufacturing methods from straw hats to felt. The shape is created during sewing, without cuts and templates. This results in hat creations with a novel appearance, in a large variety of different shapes and with excellent form stability.
In recent years a trend towards a new look has emerged: the “Fascinator”. This delicate creation made of feathers, Crin and pearls increasingly tends to replace the classic “large hat” for festive occasions such as weddings, cocktail parties or evening parties. The silhouette of Fascinators are often new or unusual. The materials are either arranged on a hand-covered Alice band or they are attached to the hair using a comb or a slide. This creates cheeky, playful and avant-garde headdress in a large variety of shapes.