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The Barbara Keal Felt Hats collection infuses nature and high fashion together to form an intriguing combination. Her pieces are created using wool and a variety of other odds and ends to transform individuals into numerous creatures, be them real or fictitious. A large portion of materials that Keal uses are what many would label “un-valued local materials” such as Alpaca neck and leg fleece and damaged wool.
The artist gets a thrill and prides herself and her work on being able to integrate otherwise useless materials into these enchanting wearable works. For each hat approximately eight to ten different materials are used—this is done so that a wide range of hues and textures can be achieved. The inspiration behind these wearable wonders sometimes come from specific images that Keal has researched, while other times her imagination calls the shots.
Barbara Keal first debuted her collection of wilderness head wear in 2010. Since this time, her creations have gained substantial popularity and she continues to make hats for fashion shows, performers and films.