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Thread: An Intro to Hat Terminology

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    Bartender Dinerman's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Bozeman, MT

    An Intro to Hat Terminology

    For those of you new to hats, here's a brief intro to terms and styles. For the sake of simplicity and easy reading, a lot of the finer points have been omitted, but this will at least get you started.

    General Hat Styles

    Fedora- Soft felt. Brim generally has some curl.

    Homburg - Soft Felt. Curled brim edge, nearly always with a bound edge. Typically will have a center dent crease, though other creases were also seen, especially in the 1930s and prior.

    Bowler - Stiff Felt. Curled brim edge, open crown. Generally will have heavily stiffened felt.

    Cowboy hat - Soft Felt. The defining characteristics of cowboy hats have changed dramatically. Generally characterized by wide brims and narrow ribbons.

    Panama (optimo) - Made from straw woven in Ecuador. Optimo style is characterized by an open crown with a ridge running front to back, a stylistic holdover from rollable hats

    Porkpie - Soft Felt. Characterized by a telescope crease. Brim may have typical fedora flanging, or may be flat. Particularly popular in the 1910s-1920s, and the 1950s-1960s.

    Campaign Hat - Generally heavily stiffened, especially the brim. A descendant of the "Boss of the Plains" style, the campaign hat is characterized by a short crown and flat brim. Associated with military usage, as well as with the park service.

    Boater - Straw. Stiff straw, produced in a variety of weaves/braids. Flat brim, flat topped crown, generally has wide ribbon.

    Stingy Brim (fedora) - Soft felt. A variant on the fedora style, popular in the late 1950s-1950s. Brim 2" and under. Generally accompanied with tapered blocking to the crown and a wide ribbon.

    Common hat creases
    Open Crown
    Center Dent

    Hat Parts

    Types of Brim Edges
    Overwelt: Brim edge folded over and sewn. Related to the underwelt, where the brim edge is folded under and sewn.
    Raw Edge: Brim edge is cut and left untrimmed
    Bound Edge: Brim edge is trimmed with grosgrain ribbon
    Cavanagh Edge: Brim edge is welted, but seamless.

    Types of sweatbands
    Unreeded: Leather of sweatband is stitched directly to the felt body of the hat, at the brim break.
    Reeded: Leather of sweatband is stitched to a secondary component (the reed tape), which contains a filament (the reed). Reed tape is stitched to the felt body of the hat above the brim break.
    Last edited by Dinerman; 05-27-2013 at 08:45 PM. - Food - Clothes - Architecture

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