(commissioning?) How can I acquire the perfect winter hat for cold ears?
January 6, 2018 1:39 AM   Subscribe

I *think* my ideal hat covers my ears, is made of wool, and is lined with pure silk so the wool never touches any part of my face during wear. (I try to avoid artificial fibres.) It's also at least vaguely appropriately stylish (somehow). I don't have the skill (or current flexibility to learn the skill) to make such a thing myself, and haven't seen one in shops. Where could I go to commission such a thing? (I'm in the UK.)

* I'm not entirely certain if the hat needs to be an earflap hat for me to be comfortable (my ears get cold), or if a beanie would be enough (possibly with extra lining in the ear area?). (What kind of fleecy lining could be used that would be made of natural fibres and also windproof and not itchy?)
posted by tangerine_poppies to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
High quality merino wool is beautiful and soft and not itchy in the least (provided you are not actually allergic to wool). I would suggest you find a yarn store and go feel some merino yarn while you're there. Even if the staff can't help you find a hat, or someone to make one, you will at least be able to gather some information about what you like, materials-wise.
posted by delezzo at 1:59 AM on January 6, 2018

Would yarn made of silk be OK for the lining? You can't really use pure silk for yarn as it has no stretch at all, but a bamboo/silk blend (which I use to make baby hats) feels even softer than pure silk. There may be other silk blends that don't use any wool, as well. If you think this might work, you can make, or have made, a double-layer beanie like this, which folds up like this. Make sure the yarns are of the same weight, and make the silk part long enough so that it folds up and over to make the cuff - and therefore the wool won't touch your face or your ears. You don't need flaps for your ears, just make sure it's big enough to pull down.
posted by cilantro at 2:04 AM on January 6, 2018

It's not commissioning but these folk look to have a nice range of stylish silk-lined wool hats. Some photos show the ears but the models're all wearing the hats dead far back on their heads. Silk + wool is a super warm combo - layered lambswool jumpers and silk shirts are what Hillary & Tenzing wore up Everest so it's a great choice to keep you warm.
posted by Lluvia at 2:29 AM on January 6, 2018 [3 favorites]

Searching Amazon for "silk beanie cap" turns up a number of options, which combined with a wool hat of your choice offers the additional warmth benefit of layering.

Also, previously.
posted by fairmettle at 3:28 AM on January 6, 2018

I would look for someone who can make a felled or felted wool hat to order. This would be shaped to fit your head closely, and could be made with a silk lining. It would fit more perfectly over time, and felted wool is dense enough to have good wind stopping powers.
posted by spindrifter at 4:04 AM on January 6, 2018

Have you considered alpaca yarn? It is as warm as sheep’s wool, not as prickly and it is hypoallergenic due to its lack of lanolin. It is also water resistant and has a soft silky feel.
posted by donut_princess at 4:59 AM on January 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

Grace Eleyae
is a super awesome, independent black-owned brand that makes satin-lined beanies targeted at kinky/curly/coily haired folks but appropriate for your purposes I'm sure. I don't know what the shell is made of but I bet that you could get in touch and they'd be helpful. The beanies are as fashionable as this kind of hat can be (been featured in magazines, etc). They're also big enough to pull over your ears.
posted by windykites at 6:51 AM on January 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

Alpaca is definitely not hypoallergenic, or so says the rash I break out in when I wear it.
posted by mollymayhem at 7:15 AM on January 6, 2018 [5 favorites]

Here's an etsy store based in the States with some neat stuff, she seems to have silk lining in most of her items.
posted by Drosera at 8:49 AM on January 6, 2018

I love alpaca, but pure alpaca is not great for hats because the fiber is heavy and, for an animal fiber, not terribly resilient, so it slumps.
posted by praemunire at 10:56 AM on January 6, 2018

Earflap hats are hard to find especially in a fashionable variety. This winter I have been doing a lot of layering of thin head stuff under bike helmets and I bet the combination of one of the ideas above +
some kind of ear warmer would lead you to an optimal combination of fashion and warmth.

My preferred ear warmer is a buff, because I can pull it over my face if I need or use it any number of ways. The merino wool one is super thin and does not in any way feel like wool, so much so that my husband (about whom I wrote that previously a zillion years ago, who thinks the whole world is organized to make him itchy) will use one. I also like ear bags and headbands, although you may have to compromise on the synthetic thing for the ear bags.
posted by charmedimsure at 12:34 PM on January 6, 2018

You might want to look at Broner. These are very well made and while I don't see exactly what you describe I think you will find something that works. They have an Amazon page.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 2:33 AM on January 7, 2018

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