I have a feeling we like to think the grass is always greener on the other side . It only looks like it and it depends what one sees as " greener".
i walked the streets of Kyoto and Tokyo to find anything to do with hats .
I flound this place in Tokyo and it has a number of basic things you might want if you make hats . They seam to cater to people also who have no hat blocks and they rent them out for $50 over night .
Feathers seam quit expensive to me. I saw an ostrich now for a lot of money .I think it was around $60 for one plume. Well maybe Torb and Reiner is too cheap!
There are wonderful flower making tools of course . The land of little things and beautiful flowers need them . There are 2 types . Brass made in Japan and stainless steel made in China . The brass are better of course .
What was a bit exiting to me was that they have esparterie lacker . What depressed me is that you can not fly with it.
what does one use it for you may ask ? Well you paint the esparterie blocks once they are made to harden them and you do this in 2-3 layers and in the end iron it .
There are many straws and felt to be had and the colours are quit conservative . Nothing jumped out at me . They sell Leno which is great to see that there is skills used in other countries which are Almost a forgotten skill and material .
The flower making tools for a large flowers are stunning . You can order them . Made in Japan off course for a sweet $950 . Xmas present maybe
The felts are imported and most of them are velour felts. Must say I saw a lot of wool too. Not sure who buys the hats as I do not see them being worn in the street
Now this device is super cool and I bought one for the shop . Measures the head perfectly and gives you a feeling of a hat on your head.
Torb and Reiner might have to import them
You can buy of course ready plastic peaks as a pattern . You can make them yourself in all sorts of seizes and not expensive . $10 or so but you could cut your pattern out of an ice cream lid 😜
The quality of straws varies greatly . Also here one day the old stock will go down as no one weaves fine quality anymore . Many people I have been told also do not care about fine straws as they are to expensive and they don't really see the need for it . I met a beautiful milliner from Oska who was a wealth of knowledge and insight into a culture for me . You can buy straws for around $90 and some cheaper
My first visit to Japan was amazing . I feel Nothing but warmth for the people and places and not once did I feel crowed in . I was in tears many times for the generosity I was shown and feel humbled for being aloud to share my skills.
This without a doubt feels like a beginning of a long love relationship .