Small straw hat trimmed with feather & flowers
Beneath the swish of dyed ostrich feather and the confection of artificial flowers is a small straw hat. Wheat-straw has been split, then plaited into braids which are coiled and stitched to create the shape. Dunstable in Bedfordshire, England was an important source of these straws in New Zealand. Interestingly Esther Clarkson, who in 1854 established the business that was to become Ballantynes in Christchurch, was a milliner from Dunstable and it is recorded that she began her business importing straws.