have a creative, imaginative eye
have good artistic skills
understand proportion, fabrics and design
know about past and future fashion and colour trends
understand technical processes
have good communication and business skills
Milliners can work in a number of different market areas, including haute-couture (exclusive top-end), designer, high street, and specialist wear.
When creating bespoke hats or small ranges a Milliner meets directly with the client to discuss their requirements and take measurements. Those working for a high street retailer may spend much of their time liaising with overseas suppliers.
A Milliner also analyses fabric and colour trends and attends trade shows for inspiration. They produce design ideas, either using computer packages or by hand, these are then used as a pattern to produce the finished hat design.
Suitable fabrics and trims also need sourcing before the hat is hand or machine stitched. The fabric may need hand-steaming into shape; in mass-production hydraulic machinery is used in a process known as ‘blocking.’
Self-employed Milliners may spend a considerable amount of time maintaining their business and promoting their designs. They usually work irregular hours as their workload depends on how may commissions they have.
Those employed by a larger company may have more regular hours of between 37 and 40 hours a week. Part-time and overtime hours may also be available.
Milliners work in a small studio or home-based workshop, with some millinery work taking place in a factory environment. Protective clothing may be required when carrying out certain processes. Travel both within the UK and overseas is common.
Posted in: Fashion