As many have already said, the plastic canvas will work, so this is just a few tips...
1) Use yarn to whipstitch the edges. Even cut carefully, plastic canvas can be sharp. If you whipstitch all the joins and edges with a soft yarn, it will prevent the canvas from slicing through your fabric (and skin).
2) The nice big holes mean your canvas will breathe, so choose a padding that also breathes and heatstroke will be prevented. :) I use Warm & Natural Cotton batting, since it's lightweight and its pale color allows me to use light-colored fabrics for my outer layer, but a 100% cotton flannel or a fulled or felted 100% wool fabric would also work. I stay away from spray glues for this, because it lessens breathability. Just stitch it down at the edges with thread -- if even necessary (see tip #3).
3) If you skip the padding layer, a waffle pattern will show through the first time you get rained on, so don't skip. However, you need not do extra work for it. For non-pleated hat styles, I simply lay the padding and outer fabric layer down as one layer and sew ONCE. Alternately, you could cut the padding layer with the plastic canvas and sewn them both with the yarn as if they were a single layer, then smooth and/or pleat your dress fabric on over them.
4) Go for a breathable fabric for the lining, too! On a henin, the lining won't show, so a simple cotton would work fine. For other hats where there is a contrast fabric showing under the brim, you can either line the whole thing in silk OR just use another pretty dress fabric for the underside of the brim, but line the inside of the "dome" with something more breathable.
5) Sewn-in haircombs are a great help -- especially in the wind. Metal ones can be found in the beads section of JoAnn's and most wig supply shops. I also like to sew (or strongly glue) a circle of Bridal Loop Tape inside the dome, along the lower edge. This allows for bobby pins ("kirby grips") to pin the hat on.
Plastic canvas hats are heavier than those made of buckram, but the buckram ones warp in the rain, so I have both styles in my wardrobe and choose which to wear based on weather.
Kingdom of Trimaris
--- In SCA-Garb@yahoogroups.com, "anonimous0" <ariel.sarah@...> wrote:
> I am making a Burgundian outfit for the Calontir Queen's Prize Tournament this Saturday. To complete my look, I would like to make a hennin. I have been told that plastic canvas (such as is used for needlepoint) makes a good substitute for buckram. I am trying to make a pattern that "looks right" with a flat brown paper bag before I cut into the plastic canvas but I do not think I am getting the look correct.
> I'm also wondering if the plastic canvas should be covered with a thick material like polar fleece or flannel before covering the hat with my fashion fabric.
> If anyone has any hints, suggestions, comments, or warnings, they would all be greatly appreciated.
> Thank you in advance,
> Annora Reyner of Three Rivers