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Discussion in 'Hats' started by Lucia Agnese Sciarra, Dec 27, 2018.
Question: if you bought a $700-800 body and had someone like Art or Mike block and finish it do you think it would be comparable to these multi-thousand dollar hats? I don’t think one person in a hundred would be able to say which was the better hat.
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It's all going to depend on how nice that hat body is, of course. There aren't a lot of weavers putting out 36-50 weaves per inch... and fewer still that can do it well.
Mike was shocked when he got my grade 10-12 Cuenca body. He said it was nicer than his Montecristi.
It still doesn't compare to a Brent Black MC, though.
I've been trying to get to Montecristi since 2012, and we were supposed to go this year but family had to change plans last minute so we all headed to Cuenca again. I was disappointed, as were the people who asked me to find them something, but I still had a great time. I love Cuenca, and met several people who visited and never left... who knows, we may retire there someday.
That’s exactly what I did for the Panama hat to wear to my daughters’ Wedding. Sent a “Special Reserve” to Vince Corvelli in Bethesda for blocking and finishing, and knew I had done the right thing when Mr. Corvelli received and commented on its quality. He said it was nice to work on a real quality piece again. He was about 80 years of age, and had seen a hat or two.
Side note, a small part of my decision to use Mr. C. was the fact that he had spent a lifetime working straw hats in the shadow of Baltimore, one of the two recognized straw hat capitals in the US. The other was Foxboro, Massachusetts. Those where the days!!
This guys is an artist for sure...but no hat is worth that much money.
Reminds me of my ex....beautiful.
No friggin way man....
THAT IS STRAW!?!?!?!
That looks like cotton or...something else...but not straw!
I've never seen straw like that...so small...
Now I see why it costs so much.
That one is only about 400 weaves per square inch. Now imagine 600, 900, 1200 or even 1600 weaves per square inch (wpsi).
Really? I'm no expert on these woven hats though I do own a very nice Diora bought in Palermo Sicily, I have read the best examples can take months to weave and the artisan himself has no other income.
Correct me if I am wrong on the above but the weaving is stunning, had I the money to spare I would pay the price.
One of our members made a small, but ultimately unsuccessful, business from traveling to Ecuador and buying directly from the weavers at a good price, trying the get the actual craftspeople a bigger share of what is a very profitable item. I believe it was a side effort while working as a missionary in the area. He would bring the blanks back and provide them to US hatters to block, where they would in turn be sold to clients at a reasonable price, far below the $10K price tag of some of the bigger vendors, like Brent Black. There were very finely woven monti Cristi hats like fine handkerchief linen, Cuencas and many grades in between. I have two such hats, one a Cuenca blocked in Central America which is basically a yard hat, and the other a decently woven and very nice hat blocked by Art Fawcett.
Indeed, weavers spend many, many hours hunched uncomfortably over the weaving stand, and see a tiny fraction of the ultimate sale price of the finished hat, a reason why few young people are learning to make the hat blanks. Who wants to spend weeks in tedious handwork for $100 or less? Buy hand woven fine straws now, because sooner or later, there probably won't be any more of them.