“To create a hat I first need to have a dream of it”, says Irina Sardareva. Before making her next piece of art, she sees it in her dreams. She loves experimenting with various materials, looking for a unique shape. Apart from the traditional rabbit fur felt and French silk straw, Irina Sardareva uses all kinds other materials that have somehow inspired her. For example, wire mesh, wood, and paper – all these unconventional materials that help her create new shapes and lots of unique hats.
Apart from inspiration and variety of materials, creating a hat also requires a special mould that gives shape to the hat and determines its size. There is a separate mould for each kind of hat.
That is why moulds are expensive and are made in a very few places. They are handmade of natural wood, mostly lime-tree. Some of the moulds are bought from old hatmakers, and others are especially produced by request in France for Irina Sardareva. The cost of a mould varies from 200 to 600 Euro. There are more that 200 different hat moulds in the House of Hats.
Some hat designs require hours of handcrafting until their complex shape is created. After that the hat is being burned on the mould at 60 Ñ° for 3 to 6 hours, depending on the material. Then the hat is taken off the mould and its brim is being edged. Next follows the trimming: all those silk flowers, feathers, lace, pearls and tapes, sheer tulle or marabou, that make hats simply irresistible.