The materials used for our hats – the right material for the right product

From fur felt and leather to Milan straw, abacá, crin and feathers is all shapes and sizes: we place great value on the quality of the raw materials we use and take a lot of time tracking down the very best.

We do not leave the choice of our suppliers to coincidence either. We acquire our crin, for example, from the oldest braid factory in the world; our exquisite alpaca yarn from a traditional Italian manufacturer; our feathers from a supplier to the Pope.

Regardless of whether an airy, light summer hat or a cosily warm winter beanie, a hat’s beauty and function begin with the use of perfect materials

Milan straw – the classic material

We use braids made from the stalks of the rice plant. The thinner the stalk the higher the quality of the braid. In our studio we prefer the finest quality: these rice straw braids are only c. 3–4 mm wide and, therefore, extremely difficult to work.

However, thanks to this fine quality we can sew truly exceptional, sculptural hats. And not only is the shape special: our hats made of 100% untreated Milan straw have a matte, restrained sheen and a fine surface.

They keep their shape extremely well, are flexible, soft and smooth and totally impermeable to light. Such a hat will be your companion for many years and acquires a delicate patina that turns it into a unique product of your very own.

100% natural quality, 100% vegan.


handgefertigter Strohhut by Hutmanufaktur Modist Nicki Marquardt

Crin - the unsurpassable material

Crin is a truly luxury material.

Translucent and with a matte, elegant sheen it was conceived as a modern form of horsehair. While in the past the hair from a horse’s tail served as the basic material for elegant hats, it is now crin braid made of polyester. And it combines all the properties that a sublime hat should have: lightweight, shape retaining, breathable, flexible and supple.

As such, a hat or headpiece made of crin does not lose its shape and is perfectly happy packed in a suitcase.

Like our vegan fibres, we make crin into braids in a variety of widths. The finer the braid, the higher the quality and the better its properties.

Here, luxury means: we make the narrowest of braids for the most beautiful products. There are hardly any other workshops worldwide that master this technique as we do.

We acquire our crin from the oldest braid factory in the world – the only one in Switzerland that still produces braids for hats.

Couture Hut handgefertigt  Crinol mint by Hutmanufaktur Modist Nicki Marquard

Sisal – the elegant material

Sisal is a natural fibre that is won from a particular variety of agave. Our sisal capeline hats are made of woven sisal fibre.

Unlike our sewn straw hats, these hoods are woven in one piece. They are used as the starting point for models that we shape, iron and enhance by hand. Sisal capeline forms the basis of our couture hats as well as models for weddings and special occasions.

With their silky sheen they are incomparably distinguished and elegant in appearance – and are as light as a feather to wear. They are extremely delicate and should be handled as such: they are more sensitive to pressure and moisture.

Couture Hut handgefertigt pink rot by Hutmanufaktur Hutdesign Modist Nicki Marquardt

Abacá – the multi-talented material

We adore this material!

Abacá not only looks wonderful, it feels lovely, too. It is a fibre that can do all sorts and is forgiving! It has a naturally silky sheen, is durable, moisture-resistant and, as such, very light.

We make our ‘Rollables’, our summer hats for everyday wear that can be rolled up, out of raffia. The abacá fibre is won from the leaves of a particular banana plant, the Musa textilis.

It is the only natural fibre that is resistant to salt water. Not without reason are mooring ropes for ships made of this material.

On top of this, it is the strongest natural fibre. It is tear-proof and does not break. That makes it a perfect material for our sophisticated summer hats and ‘Rollables’ that can be bent and crumpled unhesitatingly.

Braids made of abacá fibres are available in different widths. We work with all of them but preferably with the finest of them, of course. This makes our abacá couture hats and fascinators look so distinguished and light and uncomplicated to wear.

100% natural quality, 100% vegan.

Herrenhut handgefertigt grau by Hutmacher Hutmanufaktur Hutdesign Modist Nicki Marquardt

Toyo paper – the pleasant material

Toyo paper is the material used for our summery foldable hats: the clutch hats Austin, Alice and Tucson as well as our different ‘Pack It’ models.

The Japanese paper braid can be crumpled and bent just as easily as abacá. Hats made of toyo paper are smooth, densely woven and very pleasant to wear – not least of all because the material consists of 90% cellulose and 10% cotton.

The braids are woven very densely but are nevertheless airy and breathable. When finished, our toyo paper hats provide 100% protection from the sun. The shades of our toyo paper hats are delicately mottled that give them a lively appearance that can be easily combined with various outfits.

100% natural quality, 100% vegan.

faltbarer Hut handgefertigt honig by Hutmanufaktur Hutmacher Modist Nicki Marquardt

Raffia – the sporty material

The raffia fibre is won from the leaves of the African raffia palm and is extremely robust and durable.

Thanks to the strong fibre our raffia hats can be folded easily and are moisture-resistant. That turns them into uncomplicated companions with a sporty, summery look – on holiday or for everyday wear.

100% natural quality, 100% vegan.

Sommerhut Damen handgefertigt natur by Hutmanufaktur Hutdesign Modist Nicki Marquardt

Baby alpaca – the cuddly material

We use exclusive, finest Italian baby alpaca wool for our hand-knitted beanies – out of conviction.

For, thanks to the special structure of its fibres, the camel wool from the Andes has many unique characteristics: its retains warmth, is moisture and dirt repellent and blocks ultraviolet rays. It is also three-times stronger than sheep’s wool, does not become matted and feels especially soft and light.

The reason: its delicate fibres. They are twice as fine as those of merino wool and are guaranteed not to scratch.

Our baby alpaca yarn, together with baby royal yarn, represents the highest quality that is available from the alpaca. We acquire our wool from a producer in Italy who has specialised in the production of alpaca yarn. It is an independent company and a member of the International Alpaca Association.

Mütze Alpaka Damen handgestrickt blau by Hutmanufaktur Hutdesign Modist Nicki Marquardt

Fur felt – the soft material

We use exclusive felt made from the fur of the rabbit, hare or cashmere goat for our winter hats and warm ‘Foldables’. This so-called fur felt is especially soft and warm. It adapts to weather conditions and temperatures. Through its breathable properties, the wearer does not perspire while the fur retains its natural waterproof quality.

In this way hats made of fur felt keep their shape in rain and snow. By comparison, a hat made of wool felt easily loses its shape when wet. In addition, wool felt can scratch and often has a rough, brittle and stiff feeling. We make no compromises with regard to an item’s comfort and look. For this reason we love fur felt with all its qualities and use it in the most varied shades and finishes.

Raw fur felt is produced in Portugal exactly to our instructions – in one of the last businesses anywhere in the world that makes felt hoods and capelines exactly to a customer’s requirements.

Cloche Hut handgemacht rot  Damen  by Hutmanufaktur Hutdesign Modist Nicki Marquardt

Leather – the timeless material

We make whole hats and fascinators from leather, as well as parts of hats and trimmings. We exclusively use vegetable tanned leather that we acquire in different thicknesses directly from our tannery in Austria.

Vegetable tanned leather means that its has been treated only using plant-based products such as oak and spruce bark, olive leaves or rhubarb root. This tanning process is environment friendly and the product is free of toxic substances. And that can be felt, too. Our leather feels pleasant on the skin and is supple and durable.

The longer you wear it, the more attractive it becomes. Our leather items have a timeless appearance and acquire a patina of their very own over the years.

Fascinator schwarz Leder  Damen by Hutmanufaktur Hutdesign Modist Nicki Marquardt

Feathers – the expressive material

Wearing feathers as a form of decoration or a sign of majesty has been seen since time immemorial in a number of different cultures.

And the use of feathers as hat trimmings or for whole headpieces also has a long tradition in the western world, too. We use almost exclusively the feathers of native birds for our hats, floral hat decorations and sprays, e.g. turkey feathers, cock tail feathers, goose and pheasant feathers.

We prepare and work on these feathers in several stages.
Unlike other workshops, we do not buy pre-manufactured feather sprays but always make everything ourselves – from the untreated feather to whole headpieces, sprays or floral designs.

We obtain our feathers from selected sources, from Italy for example – from the purveyor to the Pope who also provides the feathers to decorate the helmets worn by the Swiss Guards

Fascinator pink Federn Damen by Hutmanufaktur Hutdesign Modist Nicki Marquardt