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.
To become a milliner you usually have to complete a VET qualification in millinery. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a milliner by completing a traineeship in Millinery. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.
Milliners may perform the following tasks:
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.
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.