Luxury Hats with Tradition
What is a finishing shop? What do hat bodies look like? Since 1903, when Julianna Mühlbauer founded her millinery, hats have been manufactured according to traditional handcraft techniques in today’s workshop on Schwedenplatz in Vienna.
“The manufactory is the centerpiece,” says Klaus Mühlbauer, grandson of the company founder and fourth generation hatter. The master hatters and milliners work manually at Mühlbauer, just like back in grandmother’s time. Real hat manufactories “that don’t squeeze their headpieces into hat press machines and still stretch straw hats on wood are a rarity around the world,” states Klaus Mühlbauer in a conversation with the daily newspaper Der Standard.
The production process for a felt hat is also described in detail in the Standard portrait – here’s a brief summary: The felt is shaped with a hat body and water vapor, then it is dried in an oven. In the finishing shop it is freed from the wooden form, groomed and brushed.
Then the hat gets the finishing touches – “trimming” is the creative task of the milliner.
The last step is to sew on the trademark of Mühlbauer, the graceful silver M. It endows the hat with the symbol of exceptional value, for the Mühlbauer hat manufactory has long since advanced to the status of an international luxury label: Designer models can be found on the heads of Hollywood stars or in prestigious department stores, like Harrods in London.
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Mühlbauer Hutmanufaktur Werkstätte