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Discussion in 'Hats' started by Lefty, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. Steve1857

    Steve1857 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,325
    Location:
    Denmark
    Thanks for that, Snowman. Thumbnails have worked best for me before. I'll try Full Image.

    As of now it seems Brent's @deadlyhandsome and Joe's @Blare suggestion of cropping has helped.

    Thank you to all 3 of you.

     
    Blare, Zombie_61, Belkar and 2 others like this.
  2. TheGuitarFairy

    TheGuitarFairy Practically Family

    Messages:
    521
    Location:
    Just West of Boston
  3. Chriswithahat

    Chriswithahat New in Town

    Messages:
    3
    Hi everyone, I'm new here on the forum and essentially joined with a specific and rather uncommon question: I'd like to have a fedora made with my own rabbit fur, which our pet rabbits have lost seasonally over the years.

    Despite a high fluffy volume it's still only about 70g so it would have to be mixed with the same amount of other fur (maybe beaver?). With a high initial motivation I started contacting a variety of small-business hatters here in Germany and Austria, only to find out that they don't produce their own stumps. Even the largest German stump distributor apparently buys stumps abroad and all were rather pessimistic about my plans.

    So... does anyone of you happen to know a workshop that still creates fur-felt stumps on a small scale or has the capability to do so? Akubra performs the whole process from scratch but it would be exceedingly unlikely they'd stop the machinery to produce *one* crazy man's individual stump :) Or are there any small felt-producers out there somewhere that might be able to help? Any hints and suggestions will be highly appreciated!
     
    Bill Hughes and Blare like this.
  4. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,970
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    Great idea but I suspect you might have better luck locating Yeti or Jimmy Hoffa.
     
  5. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax

    Messages:
    16,364
    Location:
    Funkytown, USA
    When I think back to how fur felt is created, the skins are normally relieved of their fur by a certain process, and I always understood that the this process would give you a different type of fur profile than that which the animal has shedded. Certainly your fur could be felted, but would it be adequate for a hat? That is what I'm unsure of, not to mention the process it takes to create the felt hood (cone) - that which you are referring to as the stump. I think 70g of fur would be on the skinny end and you would need to supplement it with much more to felt an adequate hood.

    I suppose it could be a home project, but I really wouldn't know where to start. Maybe it's like delivering a baby, "First, you boil some water..."
     
    Rmccamey, deadlyhandsome and Blare like this.
  6. Chriswithahat

    Chriswithahat New in Town

    Messages:
    3
    Thanks for your replies so far! Sure, I'd need to add more fur. Even if shed fur is not optimal, supplementing it with 'good fur' should compensate for any deficiencies. Also I would be surprised if the root of the hair would play a significant role in the felting process. I always understood it's the nanoscale texture of the whole hair that allows for felting. I wouldn't dare to risk two years of fur for a home project...

    I mean the stumps or cones must be made somewhere, right? If the global supply comes from one big factory my cards are probably bad. I was just hoping that someone might know of a hatter somewhere that still has a coning device; maybe even one that isn't actively used anymore because ist simpler/cheaper to buy finished cones/stumps...
     
    Blare likes this.
  7. jlee562

    jlee562 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,686
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    There are only a handful of felt makers left.

    Most custom hatters buy from Winchester in TN aka Stratton Hats. The other major source is FEPSA in Portugal, but good luck getting in touch with them. The only other U.S. based felter I could think of is the Longview plant owned by Hatco (i.e. Stetson, Resistol, Dobbs). I suppose it's possible firms like Dorfman Pacific or Bailey might have their own felting facilities, but we don't deal much with those brands around here.
     
    Blare likes this.
  8. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,970
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    I have yet to come across a 'small' felt producer. I think the equipment required to do the job eliminates any possibility of 'small' surviving. I buy Czech Republic, Ukraine, S American felts but all through their US distributors not direct. These are all large scale production facilities. The only small scale felt producers (some home based) use wool as you can felt that in your kitchen..........fur felt not so much
     
    Blare likes this.
  9. Blare

    Blare I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,479
    Don Rongione is the CEO of Bollman which owns Bailey and Kangol. He is a member on some of the Facebook hat groups. I think I remember a video where they do produce their own wool felt... but I do not know about their fur.

    on a side note... there was a lounger a few weeks back asking some questions in this thread who made her own felt. I don’t think she was using fur... but maybe her process would work.
     
  10. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,970
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    Yes, I conversed with her....she felts wool.
     
    Blare and deadlyhandsome like this.

  11. Most of the hair shed from the rabbits can’t be used for felt. The guard hairs are not suitable.

    Have you looked at YouTube videos on felting your own hat?





    Lots more out there.

    My understanding is that almost all hat bodies / cones / capelines /flares…whatever you call them, are made a just a few suppliers. I think it’s very rare that hatters make their own felt; I don’t know any custom hatters that do it. To get a good consistent product you need to make a very large investment that just doesn’t make sense unless you’re able to sell thousands of the cones a year. I just don’t think you’ll get the quality from a DYI felting process either.

    Good luck, and keep us posted.
     
    Blare likes this.
  12. Chriswithahat

    Chriswithahat New in Town

    Messages:
    3
    Thanks everyone. That all makes sense and sadly brings my hopes down a bit. Should anyone still have an idea, please let me know! Interesting information also about the guard hair vs the down, which makes sense: you can roll the down between your fingers to firm up, whereas the longer and more rigid guard hair just remain as a bundle of fibres. I estimate that I have about 20:80 in my mix.

    Coming to the diy-felt, I agree that I would most likely not achieve the needed quality. Especially since my handcraft skills are not quite developed and it probably takes x failed attempts before generating something that might be half acceptable. I had seen some of those videos before but also noticed that they all work with wool rather than fur.

    One more question: old, pre-industrial hats that can be seen in musea often look really good / high quality. So there must be (/have been) a machine-free handmade process to generate felt cones and hats that became obsolete and forgotten with the advent of automated production. I mean in a somewhat more systematic (and tool-assisted?) way than just rubbing the hair with one's hands. Would anyone be aware of old or new literature that describes this old process in some detail?
     
    Blare likes this.
  13. Celia

    Celia A-List Customer

    Messages:
    393
    Location:
    Europa
    If anyone knows, it would be Rachel Frost: http://www.thecraftybeggars.org You could try contacting her, she is the only specialist with practical experience in pre-industrial felting and hat making techniques in Europe that I know of. There may of course be others - I would suggest you look into people who occupy themselves with living history rather than milliners/hatters, who all buy cones from the same factories/suppliers.

    This is Rachel Frost in action - she's working with wool here, but you get the idea. I am sure she knows about fur too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2021
  14. tamz0r

    tamz0r New in Town

    Messages:
    11
    Anyone know what brand either of these caps are or where i can get a similar one? TIA 9B0D9C52-EF3C-49D8-B47F-7ED22C602C28.jpeg 165E708D-FE45-4C1F-8325-0DFC5DD25A4E.jpeg
     
    Zombie_61 likes this.
  15. Dotneck

    Dotneck Familiar Face

    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    What do y'all do when you buy a vintage hat with a nice hat box and when it shows up it smells like cigarette smoke? Can you get that smell out without adding an artificial perfume smell? I'm actually more interested in removing the smell from the nice hat box...right now they are airing out in the garage because I already have a headache...
     
    Blare likes this.
  16. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,970
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    I have learned by error to now always ask, if not mentioned in the listing, "are there any odours in the hat?". That way if it shows up smelly I have grounds to return it for a refund.
     
    Blare likes this.

  17. People aren’t ignoring you: I just don’t think we know the answers.
     
    belfastboy, tamz0r and The Shoe like this.
  18. Bamaboots

    Bamaboots

    Messages:
    10,196
    Location:
    Alabama
    tamz0r likes this.
  19. Bill Hughes

    Bill Hughes Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,574
    Location:
    North Texas
    I place the open box and hat crown down outside in the sunshine for a few hours. It may need to be repeated for a few days. It has worked for me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2021
  20. Rufus1401

    Rufus1401 New in Town

    Messages:
    13
    What are peoples experiences of Knudsen hats ? Are they a good firm to deal with ? Thanks
     

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