The Crossroads of the Aether
Well, I've gone and done it now. I've bought an authentic Edwardian hat on the Aether-bay, and as we say in New England, it's wicked big. It is large on both the horizontal and vertical planes, as it is graced by an egret feather that points skyward.
Does anyone have any advice on finding suitable hat boxes? Also any storage tips to keep the materials safe and sound?
Any advice much appreciated.
I'm sure at crafting stores they stock a plethora of box sizes. And why not check out the more simpler ones on Etsy or search Amazon? The women in my family have a residual horde of hatboxes and baskets... :D
I saw some rather large round Christmas boxes...which are actually hat boxes...at Hobby Lobby the other day. There may be one large enough for your hat. Personally, I'd remove the feather and lay it in the box under the hat. It will make your search for the correct size box much easier. You can always drill or punch holes in any box you find and add a cord to carrying. I think I'll be investing in some of those larger boxes myself. Though I'll recover them with wallpaper or decoupage to match my decor.
I have no suggestions, but am chiming in to say, Ooooooh pretty!
It's just a matter of luck in finding a true hat box big enough for a large hat, or going to a specialty store, or as was suggested, just buying a storage box to size at the local UPS.
I wrap mine in tissue, and I've been instructed to store the hat upside down on its crown to keep the rim from flattening, but I don't like that idea. I find a thin, bendable piece of cardboard, tape the ends so that the hat can sit in cardboard, yet the rim not be resting against the bottom of the box. That works well.
The little moth or beetle larvae that gnaw holes in wool will also attack feathers. I recommend keeping them sealed up tight. A hat box with holes for a strap might let in the little buggers. While not period, or all that aesthetically pleasing, there are giant ziplocs that might work well for holding the hat and feathers, if you have a closet shelf on which to put it.
Or take Lady Beatrice's advice and remove and store the feathers (in a bag) with the hat in one of the nice boxes. I'd put the feathers on top of or next to the hat to maintain their fluff.
Dr. Radcliffe does make an excellent point about pests. I never had moth problems in the more arid western states but have encountered one or two here in the east. I recommend simply adding a piece of cedar, without any finish, to each box. (I bought a small cedar plank at the hardware store and cut into pieces to fit my boxes.) The oils in the wood could discolor your hat, though. Secure it inside the lid of the box so it doesn't come into direct contact with any part of the items stored in the box. This will repel most pests. Further, if you store your hat in a frequently used dry area, and use it on a fairly regular basis, it shouldn't need any other attention. But if you'd like an extra measure of protection, sprinkle some diatomaceous earth on the shelf around the hat boxes. It works by penetrating an insect's exoskeleton and dehydrating them. I get food grade d.e. so it isn't toxic to humans or animals if ingested.