A few days ago I got the chance to witness Viennese craftsmanship at its finest: the Mühlbauer Hutmanufaktur. You wouldn’t believe that tucked away in a rather unremarkable building highly sought after headpieces are made. I was guest in the middle of orderly chaos of the quietly busy and friendly sunlit atelier of Mühlbauer. Mühlbauer Hats was founded by Julianna Mühlbauer in Floridsdorf in 1903. The family business is now lead by her great-grandson Klaus Mühlbauer, representing the fourth generation of the familiy’s milinery business. Together with the designers Nora Berger and Madeleine Bujatti he is designing two hat collections a year.
the Mühlbauer atelier
Inside the workshop with views over the Schwedenplatz I was lucky enough to watch the creation of hats step by step. I also got the chance to get lost between rows and rows of ribbons, rolls of fabric and hats waiting to be adorned. The attention to detail was amazing to watch.
About the hat
I witnessed hats made by the fabulous hatter Thomas. The hat maker’s skill is clearly demonstrated in the creation of a felt or straw hat. The raw material is the hat cone. This is pulled onto a hat block made of wood and affixed by hand. The so formed, steamed, still damp hat is then dried in an oven. As you can imagine even with open windows it was pretty hot in his place of work.
In the next room I kept track of the focused milliners at work on sewing machines and measuring material for turbans or ironing piping for hats. Did you know that every Mühlbauer headpiece has its own label attached that tells you the name of the modist who made your piece?
handmade in Vienna
Everything at Mühlbauer is handmade in exceptional quality and so it is no wonder that customers like Brad Pitt or Yoko Ono. Famous stores around the world like Isetan in Tokyo or Opening Ceremony in New York, Dover Street Market in London or 10 Corso Como in Seoul sell their headpieces. This not only includes hats but also turbans, caps, headscarfs, berets and everything you can wish for to put on your head. If you are looking for a classic but cool gift for your dad, a big summer straw hat for yourself or pillbox hat made out of Baobab- Straw for meeting the Queen look out for the sweeping M.
Mühlbauer Shop Neubaugasse 34
After a tour through the atelier I also visited the Mühlbauer Shop at Neubaugasse to examine their latest Spring/Summer collection. The collection was created around the theme of “Hard at work“. Creating something with your bare hands, your own strength. The headwear of the physical worker forms the starting point of this collection. It’s about sun protection, dust and the elements, signalisation but also about making the traces hard work leaves behind clearly visible. Therefore hats have protective shields attached but you can also find an ear of corn as a symbol for work on one or other of the pieces.
So in my opinion Mühlbauer is Vienna’s best adress to shop for headwear. Even the well known problem of “Nothing to wear“ when standing in front of your closet is answered with ease here: Just wear jeans, a t-shirt and a Mühlbauer hat and you’ll look put together and even bad hair days don’t stand a chance. If you want to visit and try the hats yourself just go to their stores in Seilergasse 10 in the first district or the seventh district in Neubaugasse 34.
Have you ever heard about Mühlbauer Hats? What do you think? I’d love to read from you in the comments!! I hope you enjoyed the little introduction. I can’t wait to wear the hat I was able to choose all summer long.
*advertisement / unpaid cooperation with Mühlbauer