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belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,859
Location
vancouver, canada
Actually...after looking at all the photos of Michael's hats over the weekend, I no longer want another Open Road. I'm not sure what I want. I have pondered over all his hat photos for hours and I have narrowed down my favorites, but how those favorites will look on me is a different matter.

I suspect I will ask him to do the initial bash and then give it a test drive. As long as there is no downside to redoing it myself, I could give it a go, but I'd hate to damage the hat in some way.
Felt is moldable much like unfired clay. But I would be loathe to say you could radically alter a bash after receipt. You can tweak it a bit but to radically alter it requires work and some tools....more than just a tea kettle and steam.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,859
Location
vancouver, canada
Now you've got me thinking...what tools?
The most essential is a block to match the height, size and profile of the one Michael would use so you could take it back to open crown and start fresh.....blank slate. Then a good source of steam. Much depends on how sharp the creases of the bash are set in. If the felt is soft and the creases are softly rounded it is easier to steam them out. If the felt is hard and the creases tight then it takes some steam/manipulation to remove them back to the blank slate. Mass produced hats are much harder as the bash is set with heat and pressure from machinery.

Custom hats are bashed by hand and are usually much softer. I would have an in depth conversation about this with Michael. He can give you more of a 'hands on' opinion.
 
Messages
16,653
Location
Central California
When I spoke to my new hat maker over the weekend, he asked if I wanted to receive the hat with the crown already shaped and steamed.. At first I thought, "of course I want it shaped and steamed! Why would I want an unfinished hat."

He explained to me that a lot of his customers like to do that part themselves to get it exactly right. Hmm. Well I have an iron that shoots steam, will that do the trick? Yes, he said, no fancy tools required (or at least that's how I understood it).

So my question for this group is, "Is there a disadvantage to receiving a hat with the bash already steamed in?"

That is, if I don't like what I get, can't I just steam it out and redo it? Or is it better not to steam it multiple times?

- Doug


Just to see how he would do it, I had Michael crease one of his hats. He nailed it. I’d trust him to get it right.

I generally prefer all my hats to arrive open crown and I shape them myself. You can shape and reshape them without damaging the hats as long as you don’t put really sharp acute bends in it. For a Gannon, I usually shape them dry, or with a blast of steam just to help them along. Once I have the shape and height that I like I’ll steam the crown, let it set for 30 minutes, and steam it again and that’s it. On lesser hats, I’ll have to apply more steam and work in smaller areas of the crown at a time with many applications of steam. Many of us enjoy shaping our own hats and changing the shapes occasionally when in the mood.
 

jdouglasj

Familiar Face
Messages
58
I think I'm going to ask Michael to replicate Mullit's hat here:

I prefer a more narrow ribbon when I'm looking in the mirror or holding the hat in my had, but I'm 6'3" so I suppose many people won't even see my ribbon unless it's wider.
 

Mighty44

Practically Family
Messages
784
I think I'm going to ask Michael to replicate Mullit's hat here:

I prefer a more narrow ribbon when I'm looking in the mirror or holding the hat in my had, but I'm 6'3" so I suppose many people won't even see my ribbon unless it's wider.
That is an excellent option!
 

AndyR

One of the Regulars
Messages
242
Location
Illinois
Felt is moldable much like unfired clay. But I would be loathe to say you could radically alter a bash after receipt. You can tweak it a bit but to radically alter it requires work and some tools....more than just a tea kettle and steam.
I'll sure second that thought regarding some of the felt. Last year I ordered a Stetson Stratoliner. It was the second one due to a size mixup and wouldn't you know it, the one that fit came with a flaw in the shape.

There is a very noticable hump across the top as if someone stuck their thumb up into the felt from inside and dragged it across the bubble diagonally while it was still wet after it was shaped at the factory.

I am just now trying to fix it myself, due to a long recovery from a back injury (haven't worn it yet). I thought it was going to be an easy steam, but no matter how I steam it and reshape that bad section, it pops right back the way it came as soon as it dries.

It's like it's forever set in its way and refuses to be reshaped.
 
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belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,859
Location
vancouver, canada
I'll sure second that thought regarding some of the felt. Last year I ordered a Stetson Stratoliner. It was the second one due to a size mixup and wouldn't you know it, the one that fit came with a flaw in the shape.

There is a very noticable hump across the top as if someone stuck their thumb up into the felt from inside and dragged it across the bubble diagonally while it was still wet after it was shaped at the factory.

I am just now trying to fix it myself, due to a long recovery from a back injury (haven't worn it yet). I thought it was going to be an easy steam, but no matter how I steam it and reshape that bad section, it pops right back the way it came as soon as it dries.

It's like it's forever set in its way and refuses to be reshaped.
Yes, with factory set bashes they use heat, steam and machinery that applies lots of pressure. Hard to overcome that with just hands. Very sad that the hat escape detection at the quality control station.
 

unja

New in Town
Messages
4
Navy pinstripe you say?



In all seriousness though, do you have a budget in mind? Is it important to you to have a vintage hat, or would you wear a more modern one?

If you're ok with an off the rack hat, the Akubra Federation IV is a solid choice. Famously resilient, pretty classic styling. Probably Moonstone for Navy blue.

You might also check out the Stetson whippet in Caribou.

If hunting for a vintage hat seems fun, a relatively easy get would be the Stetson St. Regis homburg style. It was a mainstay for many decades and because they were usually embossed with the St. Regis name, that's an easy thing for a seller to list. Here's a random eBay auction pic:
 

AndyR

One of the Regulars
Messages
242
Location
Illinois
Yes, with factory set bashes they use heat, steam and machinery that applies lots of pressure. Hard to overcome that with just hands. Very sad that the hat escape detection at the quality control station.
Makes sense. Thanks for the explanation of the process. I just can't break through the memory in that area. Too bad for my timing that the hat had to sit for so long.

I did post a review on the Stetson site. I was not harsh, but honest. I gave it 3 stars for good looks, but couldn't give it more due to the flaw. They never posted it and never contacted me. I'm kind of disappointed about that too.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,859
Location
vancouver, canada
Makes sense. Thanks for the explanation of the process. I just can't break through the memory in that area. Too bad for my timing that the hat had to sit for so long.

I did post a review on the Stetson site. I was not harsh, but honest. I gave it 3 stars for good looks, but couldn't give it more due to the flaw. They never posted it and never contacted me. I'm kind of disappointed about that too.
I tried to post a mediocre/critical 3 star review on the Levi website. it was 'rejected' so some reason. Only 4 stars and up allowed??
 

AndyR

One of the Regulars
Messages
242
Location
Illinois
I tried to post a mediocre/critical 3 star review on the Levi website. it was 'rejected' so some reason. Only 4 stars and up allowed??
That's what I was thinking, but I searched around and found a 1 star review on another Stratoliner (different color), so maybe it was more the comment that I don't believe the hat should have ever cleared quality control. :)
 

DanO

One of the Regulars
Messages
224
Location
San Jose CA
Has anyone had any dealings with a website MyHairCarePlace.com? I am trying to see if they are legit they have new Stetson hats listed at 56% off with free shipping. I know if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
 

AndyR

One of the Regulars
Messages
242
Location
Illinois
Yes, with factory set bashes they use heat, steam and machinery that applies lots of pressure. Hard to overcome that with just hands. Very sad that the hat escape detection at the quality control station.
I just figured I'd let you know that I greatly improved my hat. It's not perfect, but much better and at least I feel like wearing it now.

I boiled water in the tea kettle and used a small sponge to wet the problem area, then I steamed it. I folded the area in question in on itself and pinched and rolled it between my fingers from the inside. Then I used a big spoon from the inside to blend and shape the area.

Rather than let it dry slowly to possibly spring back (like it did after my first attempts), I dried it quicker with a hair drier and it pretty much worked. I think it's the best its gonna get, so I won't waste any more time on it.
 
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belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,859
Location
vancouver, canada
I just figured I'd let you know that I greatly improved my hat. It's not perfect, but much better and at least I feel like wearing it now.

I boiled water in the tea kettle and used a small sponge to wet the problem area, then I steamed it. I folded the area in question in on itself and pinched and rolled it between my fingers from the inside. Then I used a big spoon from the inside to blend and shape the area.

Rather than let it dry slowly to possibly spring back (like it did after my first attempts), I dried it quicker with a hair drier and it pretty much worked. I think it's the best its gonna get, so I won't waste any more time on it.
Good news! Felt is fun to work with. I liken it to unfired clay, water/steam/manipulation/patience usually will do the job.
 

AndyR

One of the Regulars
Messages
242
Location
Illinois
I enjoyed the first hat I shaped (profile pic). It has thinner felt and was easy to work with. This Stetson was stubborn in comparison. Thanks for your input.
 
Messages
16,653
Location
Central California
Anyone know more about this “Sizor” size adjustment feature in a Knox homburg I came across?

339D02C1-7B50-457B-A32D-AE994595663F.jpeg
3477CAFD-7D99-4599-8009-EA6C8DAA68E9.jpeg
66B8F582-C78C-4597-9D81-76344995FBE2.jpeg
4C42EDBF-9465-448D-9E35-56005FF17E9E.jpeg
 
Messages
18,040
Location
Funkytown, USA
I just picked up a very nice Byron hat. I was wondering who made Byron hats.

Thanks for any help.

Neal Lewis

First, pics or it didn't happen.

What kind of hat is it? There are a few mentions of Byron hats on the FL, including a newsboy from the 1920s. If you can show some detail on the hat, it could provide some clues. If the sweatband is supple enough, you may find a tag behind the sweatband with some information.

The ones I've been able to find on the interwebs seem to be mostly 60s stingy brims and some have the "Kasmir Finish" logo often found in Champ hats.
 

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