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VOC Course Subject Prerequisites Traineeship Year 10 Preferred Apprenticeship

Also known as Hat Maker.

Milliners design and make hats and other headgear such as caps, berets, bonnets, fascinators and bridal headpieces, using materials such as felt, fabric, fur, leather, straw and artificial flowers.

Milliners employed by mass-production firms usually perform single tasks, such as trimming hats with ribbon or sewing in headbands.

Milliners making 'semi-model' (limited production) hats hand trim shapes that have been moulded by machine.

Highly skilled milliners create designs in fabric or on paper that can be followed by other milliners.


    Milliners may perform the following tasks:

  • interpret fashion trends and use them in designing hats and other headgear
  • mark and cut patterns to desired shape and size, lay the pattern onto fabric and cut around it
  • shape, cut, twist, roll, fold and reinforce fabrics and other materials with wire to gain desired effect
  • assemble hats by hand or using a sewing machine
  • steam and press material into shape by hand and, if needed, stiffen it by using a special solution
  • sew trimmings such as ribbons, buckles, braids or chains onto hats
  • operate semi-automatic blocking machines for mass production
  • alter, renovate and re-block (re-shape) existing hats
  • package and dispatch hats for customers
  • display, fit and sell hats and accessories


  • enjoy practical and manual activities
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • artistic sense of colour and design
  • patient and able to persevere
  • understanding of and interest in fashion trends

Interest Area

Artistic/Creative Manual/Practical


VOC Course Subject Prerequisites Traineeship Year 10 Preferred Apprenticeship

To become a milliner you usually have to complete a VOC qualification in millinery. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You may be able to study through distance education.

You can also become a milliner by completing a traineeship in Millinery.

Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.


Most milliners are self-employed or work for small, boutique retail businesses, selling model (one-off) and semi-model hats. Milliners who wish to start up their own business usually have a lot of experience and require the necessary start-up money and business ability. There are limited opportunities to work in hat manufacturing firms that mass-produce hats by hand.

You should contact individual milliners to obtain information about employment conditions and training requirements, which can vary from firm to firm.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Milliner Textile Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia

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