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Vintage Millinery Suppliers in Short Supply

July 1, 2011

My cousin has a vintage shop on called SunnyDayRainyDay and she’s got all sorts of great stuff for sale.  Many moons ago, she sent me some vintage millinery catalogs and I spent an entire evening pouring over them with a glass of wine.  What fun!

One of the catalogs is from Milliners Supply Company here in Dallas, Texas and the others are from Louie Miller Company in Chicago, Illinois.  The dates range from 1960-1966.

Take a peek at the treasures that I found in these catalogs:

cover of Louie Miller Company catalog, 1966

page with "Fancy (Cape) Net Frames"

The vast majority of pre-blocked hats were buckram frames just waiting to be covered.  I just thought the cape net frames were more interesting since it seems harder to find cape net in today’s millinery.  I sure would love to have seen the finished, covered hats!

more Fancy (Cape) Net Frames - note the comment that these are "Primarily made for solid flower hats. A must for your spring wardrobe." It's hard to believe how many solid flower hats were sold in the 1960s!"

fine Beaver Felt hats, pre-blocked and ready to trim

Note the cost of the beaver hats — $8.50 in 1966 is roughly $58.11 today.  My, how times have changed!  I suspect, though, that the low price was influenced by the fact that these were synthetic beaver as opposed to real beaver fur.  What do you think?

#6318 and #6327 are my favorites!

My goodness!  A block that cost $22.50 in 1966 would be roughly $150 today.  That’s actually quite a bargain for both a crown and brim together.

The following two photos are the front and back of a flyer that was stuffed in the middle of one of the catalogs.  Apparently, one could learn millinery by mail order in the 1960s.

front of flyer

back of flyer

I think it’s so sweet that they advertise why the hats created by students of the Academy of Millinery Design are worth a premium.  Perhaps the students were a bit ahead of their time, ready and waiting for the Conceptual Age to dawn.  😉


As always, please feel free to comment on this post below.  If you like what you see here, subscribe to this blog for more great millinery stuff!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2012 5:03 am

    How wonderful. It is always wonderful when you come across a treasure trove like this.

  2. Lorraine Lehto permalink
    June 28, 2012 6:53 pm

    Wonderful! I have a Dec 1954 issue of Workbasket and found an ad from Louie Miller. “It’s profitable to make and sell hats!” it proclaims. Had to look it up online. Loved your article!

  3. January 3, 2014 11:54 pm

    In 1960 – 62 I ordered frames from Louie Miller and made beautiful hats with our SD bird , the pheasant. I sold many to friends for $10 and $15, and gave many away. I deided to try again, have the feathers but no frames..any help for me?

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