Istanbul: Tarpus

Complete Tarpus with the Hirka

Complete Tarpus with the Hirka

The third item I made for my Ottaman costume was a hat – the Tarpus, described from my overview as:

Tarpus: tall pointed or pillbox hat”

TurkishSketches-(2)I spent a fair amount of time looking at different hat styles, trying to figure out what kind of hat I wanted to make. There was a pillbox hat with a scarf over it, the scarf worn alone with a headband, a chunky hat, a tall pillar hat, and then also a super-crazy hat that I would LOVE to make….

However, the super-crazy hat looked like a LOT of work to figure out and to construct, plus it doesn’t look like the kind of hat that would pack well. I might consider giving it a go in the future, though it will be restricted only for events where I’ll have more packing room to protect it -not great for a camping event where I’m squishing my stuff into the back of someone else’s car.

Direct link from Pinterest

The pillbox hats seemed kind of boring, so I went with the goofier, larger hat instead.  Luckily there is an extant example (identified as an Arakçin) which actually has measurements and materials!

This example (to left) is listed as Ottoman, circa 1625 (a bit later than I’m looking at, but still good, and it looks similar to some of the images; the poster states that the style developed in the late 16th century and continued through the mid 17th century). The hat measures just over 24cm tall, with a top diameter of 8cm and a bottom diameter nearly 19cm. It’s made of silver “seraser” and lined in blue silk. The outer fabric is described as “debossed to create impressed curved lines from top to bottom”.

“Seraser are fabrics woven entirely in gilt and silver metallic thread. In some cases pure gold was used instead of gilt. This is true for no other country and clearly demonstrates the wealth and magnificance of the Ottoman Empire.  This kind of fabrics use silver thread or “klaptan” for the ground weave while the design is woven either of silver thread wound around ivory colored silk or of gilt thread wound around orange silk. ” – TurkoTek Discussion Board


Measuring my existing hat

Measuring my existing hat

My first thought was trying to figure out the dimensions of the hat. The illustrations that were similar to the shape of the extant hat make them seem really tall and narrow – which seemed a bit difficult to wear. I looked at the dimensions of the extant hat, and measured the brim area against one of my existing hats… and the diameter was very similar. This told me that this hat was likely worn at the same place (the crown) of the wearers head as my existing hat… That made determining the rest of the hat’s dimensions super-simple… I’d just (mostly) follow the dimensions of the extant hat!

This was a pretty simple draft – starting with a rectangle the measurement of my head plus ease, by the 24cm of the extant hat height. Then I slashed the rectangle evenly, and found a circle (my coffee mug) that was the same diameter of the extant hat, and measured it’s circumference. (Yeah… I could have used math to figure that out, but why bother when

drafting the pattern

drafting the pattern

I have an object and a tape measure?) It was just about half of the overall crown circumference, which meant I marked the half-way marks on each of my slashes, and overlapped the pieces, save for the center-back, which I tapered off, about 3″ up (to allow for the curve of my head).

The tip – was “drafted” just by tracing around my coffee mug!

From there I cut out the hat in:

  • Grey wool (probably a wool/nylon blend) coating – which acts as the interlining, padding, and support. This fabric was from the grandmother’s fabric sale.
  • Royal blue shot with teal dupioni silk – this was from a quilt shop years and years ago. This is the ‘fashion’ fabric of the hat.
  • Fuchsia silk charmeuse for the lining. This was originally from a friend who gave me a bunch of scraps. This had to be pieced (no big deal) but makes for a bright pop, and was free!

I also cut out a band for the hat out of teal silk dupioni.


The hat started with wool coat fabric – a piece I picked up at the grandmother’s fabric sale for $1/meter. I flatlined a piece of blue-shot-teal dupioni silk with the wool so that the wool would support the shape of the hat, while still being packable. I constructed the wool-and-silk hat by machine, and then ran four parallel twisting lines of hand-stitching up from the edge to the tip, similar to the “embossed” extant example. It’s not as bold as I’d like – I was hoping for something a bit more bling-y, but then my hand stitches weren’t great so I didn’t want to go back over it with a higher-contrast thread colour.

Then used some gifted fuchsia silk charmeuse to create the lining, and hand-basted the tips of the two hats together so the lining would stay up in the hat. I hand-basted the two edges together, then sewed teal silk along the edge as binding and a back-hanging scarf kind of thing… Since the teal silk was a straight band, not curved or bias (not enough fabric for bias) it stands away from the hat slightly which I rather like actually… though it meant I had to fold the band back down to baste the middle of the band to the hat.

I’m not sure how long it took… but I posted my finished Entari on Instagram, and four hours later posted the finished Tarpus, so from research to putting it on my head was less than 4 hours….

And finally…

It’s done! Now on to the pants (coming in a post soon, follow the Ottoman category to see more once it’s posted.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.