Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Picot Edge Hat Brim Hack

I have a blue openwork cotton summer bucket hat that I made last year that I don't wear because it's too floppy. I recently made a summer scarf in the same yarn so I really want to wear this hat now. I got my hands on some nylon monofilament weedeater line in a complementary color and I think I can finally fix this hat. (I also have red but it didn't work with a blue and lavender hat.)
Slip the end of the monofilament under the purl loop in the gaps
Run the end through the picot edge joins
Repeat all the way around for a quick and tidy reinforcement
Once the monofilament line is in the edge you can play with the shape. If you push the ends together to really stretch the fabric you can get an interesting look with the sides flipped up. I wanted a more bucket shape so I let it relax a bit and cut the ends to length there. 
Push cable with a lot of tension to get sides to flip up like a Panama hat
Relax tension for plain bucket hat shape
I borrowed a heat gun so I could try joining hat brim wire with heat shrink tubing instead of using tape. I'm going to give it 3 out of 5 stars as a technique. I would like to try again with a stiff reinforcement inside the heat shrink, like a cocktail straw. I will get one next time I go to town. What coffee shop has plastic stirrers instead of wooden sticks?
Heat gun greatness
It's ok, but it flexes too much at the join. 
Color matched heat shrink would be even better. I'm on a mission to find clear nylon monofilament. I don't know why weedeater users need all these colors that aren't white.  Meanwhile, Parts Express has a lot of heat shrink assortments in multicolors. I should order some. When I ordered this package I didn't know I needed colors. I got it for an LED project. The 1/8" size works for the monofilament I have. Oh look, Parts Express has a 4' piece of clear 1/8" heat shrink for under $2. That's going in my shopping cart.

You can also get heat shrink with an adhesive in it. But it only comes in black. If the hat itself is stopping the cord from pulling apart I think it should be ok without the adhesive inside. I remember having a sample of heat shrink connector jackets with adhesive back in the day when I was an electronics engineer. It's kind of like the soft plastic is lined with a film of low temp hot glue. I wonder if you put a drop of hot glue on the ends of the monofilament before you slid the heat shrink in place if it would work as an adhesive? I don't think it would reflow with the low shrink temperature of the tubing. The clear tubing shrinks at 100°C or 212°F. That's boiling. So you could theoretically dip this in a pot of boiling water to shrink it. Good to know. I may have to try that.

Low temp hot glue melts at 120°C (248°F). The clear heat shrink is rated to 300°C (572°F) for short periods of time even though it will already be as small as it's going to get. So if you had enough hands you could keep heating the join and push the ends together to reflow hot glue between the the ends of the monofilament.

You could even try hot glue and a cocktail straw if you didn't have any heat shrink tubing. You would have to be really fast though. It would be best if you had a helper to hold the glue gun while you pushed it all together.