Some ethnic hats are more variable in size, weight distribution and fragility, and therefore require a more structured support system. For these hats, carved Ethafoam forms are used to fill the negative space of each hat and placed in a tray designed to protect the perimeter of the hat and catch any loose parts.

Headdress, Beads; embroidery, The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection, 44.225.

The foam mount is wrapped in a thin layer of polyester needle punch batting and covered with a fabric slip that varies from toothy cotton knit to smooth silk, depending on the condition of the interior surface of the hat.

A custom foam mount is necessary to support the heavy crown of this pointed folk hat; the additional support allows this hat to be mounted upright in storage.

Woman's headdress, French, Normandy, 18th–19th century, Silk; Embroidered, 30 cm (11 13/16 in.), The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection, 43.1842.

The tray encompasses the entire perimeter of the hat for protection in storage.

Bonnet, The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection, 43.1849.

Instead of a tray, a simple lifting board is used for this hat. The board is cut slightly larger than the perimeter of the hat to protect the edges of the hat in storage, and ribbons are rolled onto tubes of acid free paper. The human-like form of the mount showcases how the hat would look worn and reduces the need for handling or dressing.

Headdress and matching bouquet (a set), French, mid 19th century, Silk velvet, gilt ornaments, gilt and embossed paper and wire, 60.5cm (23 13/16in.), Gift in memory of Mrs. Horatio Appleton Lamb, 51.359a-b.

The same technique is used for this headdress and matching corsage, both mounted on a Tyvek-covered foam form. The headdress is pinned in place with long L-pins padded with silicone tubing, and the corsage has its own built-in pin that slips into a loop of twill tape attached to the mount.