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Chemo Style Clinic: can we make headwear with a total UV block?

Wednesday, 5 August 2015 14:16:00 Europe/London


We're delighted to report on another challenge for the Chemo Style Clinic series, and a very topical one with summer holidays, sunshine and weddings in mind!

young woman wearing cream hat for cancer bride

Whilst this is not a chemo treatment-related question, it is nevertheless a commonly asked question: how to find headwear that blocks out as much UV light as possible. It definitely gives a great example of how our founder, Nicky, and the Suburban Turban design studio team strive to meet every need and challenge! Nicky tells the story: 'We recently helped out a lovely mother of the groom who required a total UV block for her headwear on her son's big day. Her medical condition (possibly lupus related) means that If any UV light makes contact with her scalp she will develop painful lesions. 'Naturally, she wanted to appear glam and together on such an important day. So, we made her a soft jersey Selina style but with a crown tip insert made up of four layers of pale denim, shaped to the crown of the head and fitted underneath the jersey.

Bridal headwear for hair loss

'To figure this out, I took myself off to the studio toilet (which has no windows!) and tested the denim out with a torch - not that scientific (!) but you can certainly see if any light is getting through! 'The ‘scientific’ bit was considering what to make this additional crown tip section piece in. We considered black out material, waterproof and any fabric coated to block light/moisture - but then the skin won’t breathe particularly well underneath it. Any stretch knitted fabric won’t do (even when cut and layered across the fabric grain), as many are four-way stretch so light will creep in when the fabric is stretched apart.

So, it had to be a densely woven fabric to block light, but then you have to consider the weight on the top of your head. 'It isn’t particularly lightweight, but this lady was use to adapting headwear and wearing ‘heavier’ headwear. Making it up it looked a little like a ‘frisbee’ on the top of the head and spoilt the shape of the hat. So, we oversized the crown tip, shaped and sewed the layers with a wide flatlock thread to avoid seam ridges and effectively doomed the section before inserting it to the hat.

Bridal headwear for hair loss

'By cutting the hat deeper, draping with jersey folds, the hat looked identical to any other Selina style we make in the studio. Once we’d worked out the crown tip pattern (we now hold her hat pattern), we are able to work off it each time she orders. She has done so and is happy with the other four styles we have adapted for her particular needs'. Problem solved, and the mother of the groom looked radiant on the day - nothing makes Nicky and the team happier! Watch this space for more Chemo Style Clinic challenges and problems solved, and don't hesitate to get in touch with your own dilemmas - Nicky and the team would be delighted to help!

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Do I have to pay VAT?

If you are experiencing hair loss you may not have to pay the VAT on some of our products. Headwear we have designed and manufactured specifically for hair loss wear is exempted. ‘Standard’ items of headwear such as scarves, brooches, some winter/summer hats by other designers, skincare are not eligible. They have not been ‘adapted’ for special wear. The ‘status’ of items will be displayed in your basket, before ordering, once a short health declaration is completed.

During checkout you will be asked to confirm that you will be using our products for your own personal medical purposes.

It is a legal requirement stipulated by HRMC that Suburban Turban Ltd can justify our customers’ VAT exemption status. Please be aware that these details maybe verified at a later date.