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jlee562

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,920
Location
San Francisco, CA
Well that kind of confused me more lol

So then, I guess we can say there are "3 large categories"?
  1. Dress hats (thinner felt)
  2. Open Road (medium thickness)
  3. Western (thickest)
But Open Road and Western are kind of styles as well, hmmmm anyone else have any insight to provide? Still sort of confused

Well, Dress westerns should be about the same thickness as other soft felt dress hats, notwithstanding models like the Playboy which were made with lightweight felt. It's more that the style and proportions are a cross between dress and western styles.

to make it even more confusing, vintage westerns are not quite as thick as their modern counterparts. Actually, this is true for modern felts in general, they're thicker and less dense today.

In my mind, there are stiff felts, soft felts, and westerns. YMMV.
 

JessieJames

One of the Regulars
Messages
278
Location
Montreal, QC
Well, Dress westerns should be about the same thickness as other soft felt dress hats, notwithstanding models like the Playboy which were made with lightweight felt. It's more that the style and proportions are a cross between dress and western styles.

to make it even more confusing, vintage westerns are not quite as thick as their modern counterparts. Actually, this is true for modern felts in general, they're thicker and less dense today.

In my mind, there are stiff felts, soft felts, and westerns. YMMV.
so dress and western are both general descriptives for style and felt thickness that kind of go hand in hand?
 
Messages
14,812
Location
Buffalo, NY
So I searched online but the information I have found is muddied. This may be a basic question but what actually IS a fedora? Is it a global term for a dress hat? Is it the pinch and hat crease? Is it thinner felt?

Are the 2 big categories fedora and western? And what actually distinguishes them apart?

The waters are muddy indeed. Not a direct answer but an interesting historical thread that needs to come up for air here from time to time:

Fedoras in the 19th Century
 

DanO

One of the Regulars
Messages
224
Location
San Jose CA
So I want to take the leather band off my Balmoral, and replace it with grossgrain that I have had laying around. I tried this once before on another hat, the ribbon did not lay against the crown well. I wound up gluing it down. Question is would using distilled water on the ribbon work or steam perhaps?
 
Messages
10,793
Location
Alabama
So I want to take the leather band off my Balmoral, and replace it with grossgrain that I have had laying around. I tried this once before on another hat, the ribbon did not lay against the crown well. I wound up gluing it down. Question is would using distilled water on the ribbon work or steam perhaps?


You can start here.
https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/replacing-a-ribbon-on-a-hat.47001/

google "curling a ribbon fedora lounge" and look at the responses.
 

Bill Hughes

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,991
Location
North Texas
Did Stetson ever make unreeded felt fedoras? All of the modern ones I’ve seen are reeded, and that seems to cause problems with my long oval noggin.
I had a 20s “Tux” fedora that was not reeded. It had a grosgrain sweatband.
F1E4D894-A8BA-4F6A-BF7F-3B3E06B14C8D.jpeg DC18DE5E-881F-4E4A-82C6-764F5422F505.jpeg 64C32E7B-804D-4CEF-8D2A-EEBABBEFA84C.jpeg DEF778FA-2A90-4DEA-AE51-1D887FEA9DA7.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Hat and Rehat

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,442
Location
Denver
So I want to take the leather band off my Balmoral, and replace it with grossgrain that I have had laying around. I tried this once before on another hat, the ribbon did not lay against the crown well. I wound up gluing it down. Question is would using distilled water on the ribbon work or steam perhaps?
Did you pre curve the ribbon with an iron? People call it swirling.

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Messages
18,060
Location
Funkytown, USA
Did Stetson ever make unreeded felt fedoras? All of the modern ones I’ve seen are reeded, and that seems to cause problems with my long oval noggin.
Unreeded sweats are usually found in hats produced pre-1950 or so, and often found in lightweight or featherweight hats. You don't see too many after the early 50s. But yes, Stetson made them.

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Hat and Rehat

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,442
Location
Denver
Unreeded sweats are usually found in hats produced pre-1950 or so, and often found in lightweight or featherweight hats. You don't see too many after the early 50s. But yes, Stetson made them.

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The Pilgrim I recently aquired has an actual reed for a reed. It seemed much more flexible than the #85 plastic wire reed, but I realized part of that is because it has a break near the front of the hat.
My Stratoliner had a sweatband constructed and attached like a reeded one, but with no reed. I tried too feed plastic wire in, but could only get anout 1/4 way, so removed the sweat thinking it would be easier. It still hangs up and won't slide all the way around.
The hat has an origional size tag of 7 1/8, but fits like a 6 7/8. I'm guessing someone removed the reed over the years to help shrink the flange a little to fit a smaller head.
If you're careful, removing the reed but leaving the hat otherwise unmolested shouldn't be too hard. Feel the back of the sweat at the seam until you can identify the ferule and where it ends. A pair of dykes, angle cutters, could snip the plastic wire pretty easy. Then you would only have to grab the end of The ferule and pull the entire reed out. The reed tape is sewn around it, creating a sleeve, but it shouldn't have stitches through the reed. The reed "floats".
I would have worried the indirect connection of leather to tape then tape to felt would have been too weak without the reed, but I think someone wore the strat that way for quite a while.

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jlee562

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,920
Location
San Francisco, CA
so dress and western are both general descriptives for style and felt thickness that kind of go hand in hand?

Basically, yes. That's certainly the case for what is currently produced.

But those categories are less distinct the farther back in time you go. Speaking to Stetson, at the height of their productive capacity, they made an array of felts which today seems incredible. One of my favorite resources on the forum is the 1900's Stetson Catalog. This predates the modern styled cowboy hat that most people think of today. In this catalog, certain styles use particular grades of felt that other styles do not, with each model being offered in different grades of felt. Using the "dress" and "western" categories here is less helpful. This is almost contemporaneous to the actual 'old west' so they were not so much "western hats" as they were just the popular styles of the time. Modern western hats are more Tom Mix and less Dodge City Peace Commission .

Fast forward to today, if we look at Stetson, the X's are used in Western hats (5x, 6x, 10x, etc), while the dress weights use the Medalist/Royal/Royal Deluxe/Excellent quality scale. Likewise, Winchester, supplier of hat bodies to most custom hatters, delineates between "dress weight" and "western weight."
 

Hat and Rehat

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,442
Location
Denver
You can get rectangular plastic pans such as this, in various sizes, at just about anything like a Bed, Bath & Beyond.

View attachment 170800
I used a small clear one of those for soaking liners in. The improvement of the liners was negligible. I hoped to store the naptha in the tub, so sealed the lid on with tape. I noticed that the naptha was evaporating, then realized the entire tub was warping. It couldn't take extended exposure to the solvent.
It was pretty difficult to pour the naptha back out of the corner of a flexing tub as well.
Thanks for answering my question, but I'm looking for a more long term answer to hold naptha for storage and putting the hats in.
I did some searches after posting my question, and found blue drums suitable for hazmat that are probably the best solution and value. $24.99 and free shipping for 13 gallon containers. The lids will probably be tight enough to prevent evaporation.

Sent from my LGMP260 using Tapatalk
 
Messages
18,060
Location
Funkytown, USA
The Pilgrim I recently aquired has an actual reed for a reed. It seemed much more flexible than the #85 plastic wire reed, but I realized part of that is because it has a break near the front of the hat.
My Stratoliner had a sweatband constructed and attached like a reeded one, but with no reed. I tried too feed plastic wire in, but could only get anout 1/4 way, so removed the sweat thinking it would be easier. It still hangs up and won't slide all the way around.
The hat has an origional size tag of 7 1/8, but fits like a 6 7/8. I'm guessing someone removed the reed over the years to help shrink the flange a little to fit a smaller head.
If you're careful, removing the reed but leaving the hat otherwise unmolested shouldn't be too hard. Feel the back of the sweat at the seam until you can identify the ferule and where it ends. A pair of dykes, angle cutters, could snip the plastic wire pretty easy. Then you would only have to grab the end of The ferule and pull the entire reed out. The reed tape is sewn around it, creating a sleeve, but it shouldn't have stitches through the reed. The reed "floats".
I would have worried the indirect connection of leather to tape then tape to felt would have been too weak without the reed, but I think someone wore the strat that way for quite a while.

Sent from my LGMP260 using Tapatalk

I must admit a disconnect when I hear of folks removing the reed from their sweatband for comfort, as I have never considered it. I have never had an uncomfortable hat which was caused by the reed and no desire to second-guess the proper construction of the hat by the maker. Reeded sweats were, as I see it, introduced to allow for a bit more structure in the hat (allowing it to keep it's shape) and (I presume) a better production design that required less effort/labor to attach to the hat.

As to your hat which has shrunk, going from a 7 1/8 to 6 7/8 should result in warping of the leather sweatband, as having leather shrink to that degree unmolested would be highly unusual. Could it have had a new sweatband installed? And what do you mean by "shrink the flange?"
 

Hat and Rehat

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,442
Location
Denver
Well that kind of confused me more lol

So then, I guess we can say there are "3 large categories"?
  1. Dress hats (thinner felt)
  2. Open Road (medium thickness)
  3. Western (thickest)
But Open Road and Western are kind of styles as well, hmmmm anyone else have any insight to provide? Still sort of confused
Words tend to evolve, and not only hat terms. I think that people 100 years ago might have distinguished weight differences in felt more along utilitarian lines, like Northern and Southern, or cold weather, warm weather. Their hats were definately chosen as a matter of style to some degree, but the ability to ward off the discomforts of time out of doors was a lot more significant to them. We have central heat and air conditioning, so those features are less significant when we evaluate a hat.
Maybe everybody sweats so much in Sergio Leone "Westerns" because their hats were too warm. They needed a nice straw.

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AbbaDatDeHat

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,059
I used a small clear one of those for soaking liners in. The improvement of the liners was negligible. I hoped to store the naptha in the tub, so sealed the lid on with tape. I noticed that the naptha was evaporating, then realized the entire tub was warping. It couldn't take extended exposure to the solvent.
It was pretty difficult to pour the naptha back out of the corner of a flexing tub as well.
Thanks for answering my question, but I'm looking for a more long term answer to hold naptha for storage and putting the hats in.
I did some searches after posting my question, and found blue drums suitable for hazmat that are probably the best solution and value. $24.99 and free shipping for 13 gallon containers. The lids will probably be tight enough to prevent evaporation.

Sent from my LGMP260 using Tapatalk
If you get a rather large funnel, say one used for automotives and a fine paint strainer it’s easy to pour filtered naptha back into the original containers. I just label, used dark, light on the can. The perfect gas bath container is still out there. Very illusive!
An aside: why in the world would you ever want to pull the reed out of a sweatband??
B
 

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