Athena Magazine

Fashion, lifestyle, passions

Horse hair? Horsefeathers! February 18, 2009

1856crnl1Every so often I’ll come across a pattern that lists horse hair as a requirement and, trust me, you won’t find it at your chain sewing store, nor any clerk who knows what it is.  Well, I learned tonight in my haute couture sewing techniques class just what I need it for. You know those Scarlett O’Hara gowns, where the hems seems to have a life of their own. Horse hair! These days, anytime you want to stiffen up an edge—a hem, a beaded bandeau top, etc—horse hair (the modern version is a nylon mesh strip) is your answer. It’s also used often as a couture embellishment. Mystery solved. And here’s the other piece of the puzzle. Where do you get it? In NYC’s garment district, at my most favorite place, Steinlauf and Stoller! For colored horse hair, a rare commodity, indeed, try JG Enterprises, a millinery supply shop, located on 38th Street. (Check back soon for email and phone).

For a nice tutorial on applying horse hair, read this.

For some horse hair history, read here.