Hat Blocks

Wooden Hat Blocks are carved from wood using a combination of techniques combining machine and hand carving. It is a structure/mould upon which hats are 'blocked' .

When I started out in Millinery over 15 years ago in Ireland I found that purchasing Hat blocks from the UK or further a field prohibitively expensive. As I have a background in Fashion Design/Pattern cutting I managed to find ways around it! However over the past 5 years I have worked with various local wood-turners to source wood for, design and produce a basic range of Hat Blocks to help budding Milliners get started.

Students that attend my workshops or classes have a chance to try out the blocks with different fabrics such as Straw, Felt and Buckram. They learn how to prepare the block and the fabric, and also learn how to use the block, how to take the fabric off, cut and finish.

Blocks must be covered either in cling wrap or tinfoil before use to protect them from water, steam, dyes etc. Your Hat block will need special care, so a 'Care of Hat block' sheet will be included with your Hat Block.

When you purchase your Hat block you will receive information on how to use your block, and also how to combine it with other blocks to create a new look. This way you will get the best value and use from your blocks.

Combining Hat Blocks

Many of the Hat Blocks can be combined with other blocks to create a new look, or some of the blocks may be used in other/new ways so that you get the most out of your investment!

Suggestions for combining blocks Style 1 & 7, Style 1 & 1, Style 3 & 12, Style 3 & 1.

Style 9 can be used to block a Cloche hat, or a small brimmed Hat in Felt or Straw. You can also just use the top of the hat to block the crown of a hat with a larger brim.

To create a large brim Hat you can use Style 12. Although usually you would have a specific brim block to do this there is no reason why this slightly sloped base cannot be used for a brim.

Style 10/10b can also be used to block just the crown and add a brim using Style 12, or for a smaller brim Style 7.

I would strongly recommend learning/trying out this technique at an Improvers Workshop or a 1 to 1 session. There are many steps and a lot of hand sewing and measuring!

Note: Ordering is by email. Please follow the instructions below to order your Hat Blocks.

Vintage Style Collection

Hat Style Size Price
Tapered beret
7.5" Wide
2" High at side

Raised Button
4.75" Wide across top
2 " High at side

Teardrop Beret
11 " Long on top
9 " Wide on top

Vintage Airhostess (Long)
9.2" Long
5.2" Wide on top
2" High

Vintage Airhostess (Short)
8" Long
4.2" Wide
2" High


Standard Collection

Hat Style Hat Block Size Price
Style 1
Small Button
5" Wide

Style 2A
7" Long
5" Wide

Style 2B
Curved Teardrop
10.5" Long
5.75" Wide
1.25" High in centre

Style 3
Large Button
6.5" Wide

Style 3b

5.5" Wide
2" High

Style 4
Disc with turn-up
8.75" Wide

Style 5
(Kate M inspired)
7.5" Wide

Style 6a
(Kate M inspired)
6.5" Wide

Style 6b
5.5" Wide

Style 7

10.75" Wide

Style 7b

7.75" Wide
1.5" High

Style 8

9" Long
8" Wide

Style 9
(For Hat Blocking)
6" High
22.5" Headband

Style 10a
Pillbox (Kate M inspired)
6.75" Wide
2.25" High
22.5" Headband

Style 10b
Pillbox (Kate M inspired)
6.75" Wide
2.25" High
22.5" Headband

Style 11
Large Beret
8" Long
7" Wide

Style 12
15" Wide

Style 13
Deep Pillbox

6.75" Wide
~ 2" High
22" Headband

Style 13b
Small Recessed Pillbox

Almost 2" High

(designed to perch on top of head or to the back)

Style 14
Mini Pillbox
5" Wide
1.25" High

Style 14b
5.12" Wide
1.38" High

Style 15
Combination set
14" Wide
3" High

Pillbox top can be used independently. Lower part can be used for a boater style crown. (Both pieces are joined by a dowel).

Style 16

16.5" Wide

Block is in 2 parts, crown and brim. Brim width may vary slightly. Crown can be made as a 2 part block for low or high crown. Each part 1" high. Photo shows single 1" high crown.
Low stock

Style 17

3" High
22.5" Headband

Style 18
Crown block


Style 19
Audrey 22.5"

3.75" High
22.5" Headband

With soft well on top.

Style 19b
Audrey 20.5"

3.75" High
20.5" Headband

Smooth top, soft edge.

Style 20

10.8" Wide
2.3" High
Raised centre 5.5" wide

Style 20A

Larger version of
Style 20 with more sloped brim
14.5" Wide
2.5 - 3 " High
Raised centre 5.5" wide

Hat Block Stand.
Very useful when
blocking Felt
Cylinder 3" High

Cylinder can be detached from base for flat packing.

Set of 3 or 5 Millinery Display Stands.

Sets include:

20" Spindle & top
x 1
12" Spindle & top
x 1 or x 2
8" Spindle & top
x 1 or x 2
Bases x 3 or x 5
+ 3" Spindle x 1,
to use with hat blocks.
Set of 3 €120

Set of 5 €180


All width/length measurements are taken across the base. As each piece is made by hand, there may be small variations. Standard Head Size of 22 1/2" is used on Large Hat Blocks / Pillboxes.

All the Hat Blocks above have been photographed on a standard Hat Block Stand, which may be purchased as a separate item (see final item above) and is not included in the Hat Block price.

For information on Care of Hat Blocks, download here.


How do I order Hat Blocks?

Email niavriley@gmail.com with the following:

  1   Style Number(s) of the Hat Block(s) that you require
  2   Your Address including postcode
  3   We will reply as soon as possible with a quote, including P+P
  4   Make the payment (see below)
  5   Orders will be processed as soon as payment has been received.

If you need to discuss the block or need a particular size, please call 0876274259.


There is a 10% discount for Millinery students who attend my classes.

How much does P+P cost?

All blocks are sent by Parcel Post. This means that they will have a Tracking Number in case your parcel does not arrive when expected. If you are not at home when your post arrives a note will be left for you, requesting that you collect from the post office.

For 1 small block = €9 (Standard Parcel Delivery): Styles 1, 2, 2a, 3, 5, 6a, 6b, 14, Stand

For 2 small blocks = €10 (Standard Parcel Delivery)

For 1 large block = €10 (Standard Parcel Delivery)

Do you ship Hat Blocks abroad?

Yes we have been sending Hat Blocks to The USA, Australia, Spain, The Netherlands, Canada, and the UK for the past few years. If it is a large consignment I will send them by courier. Although it is more reasonable to send them by courier they usually request that and extra €25 is paid to insure a large package. Please let me know what you would like to order and I will advise the best carrier and price.

When should I expect delivery?

This is an online service only and it is not possible to collect Hat blocks unless you are a student attending a class/workshop.

Your order will be processed when payment has been received. Please allow 1 week to 10 days for your order to be completed, as everything is handmade to order by Padraig in his workshop.

When your order has been sent we will email you details on: How to care for your Hat Block and Combining Hat Blocks (So that you may get the most use and value from your blocks)

How do I pay?

You can pay by Cheque, Bank Transfer or PayPal.


Click here to make a payment via    PayPal Logo

Email address to pay is: niavriley@gmail.com

Bank Transfer

Niav Riley

Bank of Ireland Abbeyleix Branch

Code: 90-15-97

A/C No: 87299374

Bic number:BOFIIE2D

Iban:IE49 BOFI 9015 9787 2993 74

Please add your name as a reference for the payment.


Please contact me first, by email.

Gift Vouchers available to use in exchange for Workshops, Hat Blocks and 1 to 1 classes