The second of two hats I ended up creating for this fellow, this is the one I will use. It's created from fastmache, a product I've only used one other time. I had an empty Greek Goddess yogurt container that I used for the armature. It was interesting cutting the container out of the shaped hat after the paper mache set up, but it worked and I shouldn't have any cracks.
So, on to the hair. I have some lovely curly wool that I purchased from Gloria Lowell. She has a great selection if you are looking for different types and colors. Her wool is very clean and odor free so it's wonderful for doll hair. I had two packs of white but, I wanted an orange wool. I used food coloring and water with a bit of vinegar to dye the wool. I followed instructions I found on the internet and it worked! An interesting side note is that once the wool was placed in the hot dye water it soaked up all the dye, and left the water clear. Very cool!
Now I have this lovely orange wool that will be perfect for the Mad Hatter. Now that I know I can do this, I will be trying the dye technique on other creations. I hope to have the hair done tonight, and if the hat is dry, I will paint that tomorrow. A slow process but I think the results will be worth the wait.