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Discussion in 'Hats' started by strikershank, Feb 27, 2008.
Can people share their views on the brand, impressions, and quality of Biltmore products?
Stiff felt with an odd velour-like feel, and a plastic sweatband. I had the Miller Raider, and I think it's funny when people say they're the better than Stetson, because the quality is exactly the same.
It would be a great hat for $75, but not for the prices they charge.
I have owned 5 Biltmores since 1996 including one straw. All of mine had leather sweatbands. Never seen one without one. I would definitely rate them as superior to modern Stetsons. The colors on mine never ran, the sweatband never cracked into pieces, the felt didn't shed or flake apart and they did not severely taper after minimal exposure to rain. The two Stetsons I've owned since 1990 did all of those things. I would definitely rank Biltmore as a good lower cost hat but not nearly as good as Akubra. In the under $150 price range, Akubra is far and away the best value.
My Biltmore Straw has a leather sweat as well, I have no problems with it. [huh]
They may call it "leather", but their sweats look, feel, and wear like plastic. Perhaps they're made of "bonded leather", which is leather bits held together with epoxy. It's used for cheap "leather" book editions.
Borsalino has a real leather sweat that feels like leather, and so does Akubra. But Dobbs, Bailey, Stetson, and Biltmore do not.
Biltmore is a high end costume hat. I would buy a dozen of them if I was putting on a production of Our Town.
Maybe a dumb question
Are Miller brand hats manufactured by Biltmore? I've been eyeing the Miller Douglas lately. On the subject of tan, bound-brim hats, what is that nice looking hat in your avatar, Joel? Please tell me it's modern, not vintage...
The Biltmores I've looked at recently are pretty good quality overall, but keep in mind they are made at varying quality/price points. For example, the Polar Canadian Suede and Eleganza Soleil, which run in the $150 range, I'd rate a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10, and the fur felt is intentionally manufactured to have a plush, velour finish. The top-of-the-line 9/10 Rosellini Luauro, at a bit over $200, is a very fine fedora. All these models have nice, genuine leather sweats, not bonded leather or, gasp, plastic.
When you put price and quality together, none of them approach the value of the 'round-about-$100 Akubras.
The only Biltmore I've ever owned is the Golden Pheasant Tyrolean, a narrow-brimmed, tall-crowned model with the huge badger brush on the hatband, that is sometimes called an "alpine." It's loden colored and made of a very lush velour fur felt appropriate for that style. Though it's a bit over the top for me these days, I wore the hell out of it in my younger days, and it's still in excellent condition after over 30 years.
I took the plunge (over $50 - big money at this time) and acquired a Biltmore Rosellini recently. I don't know if there is any model name to this hat, but Rosellini is stamped on the sweatband. I purchased this based on the fact that Biltmore appeared on the "Top 10" list by several people for modern mass-produced hats. It has a nice soft feel to it and is probably my nicest modern hat.
I also have a nice older stingy brim Resistol in an XLO size I've been wearing alot. Don't remember where it came from, but most likely some auction site.
I'll post photos when I learn how to get them to this forum.
I bought a Miller "Trenton" a few years back -- a lid made by Biltmore. It is a "President finish" felt, and is actually a very nice lid.
Carldelo -- I've always wondered what the "Douglas" is like, as it is clearly Miller's version of the Open Road. It certainly looks nice, but I don't have any actual experience with Biltmore's "smooth finish" felt.
Biltmore makes some nice hats
I have 6 Biltmore hats, including 2 Miller Baldwin Fedora's that are made by Biltmor. (2 Biltomre Jazz, 1 Stingy Telescope and One Royal Telescope Porkpie). The two Miller Baldwin's are my favorites with the classic C Crown fedora look and customizable brim sizes from the seller. All in all, they are great hats. I have Stetsons and Akubra's and I'd stack them up against them any day.
I own several Biltmores and like any product they vary in quality and price. The Miller Hats are mid grade, well made, Fur felt hats. The Biltmore Rosellini is the Best Modern Day Production Hat I have ever had. Much better the my "Como".
Check out Henry the Hatter's Giorgio Cellini Line (Made by Biltmore)
I recently purched the "Dillinger" and I am very Happy with the Quality
i own a Miller by Biltmore which I bought for a song on eBay, and have been very pleased with it. The sweatband is leather. It has a wind trolley fitted as standard, which is a nice feature and I do use it. The feltg has softened nicely with use, and it has held up ell to extremes of weather without any noticeable ill effects.
I would say my Akubras are clearly superior hats, however they were also over twice what I paid for the Miller/Biltmore. At the same price, I'd go Akubra, but if I was looking for a hat and found a Miller-Biltmore that fitted the bill at a lower price, I'd jump on it.
FWIW, I have no experience of modern production Stetsons; I did look at some on the web but couldn't shake the notion that the prices looked rather high, quite possibly due to the brand. (The Gibson Instruments / Harley Davidson card).
With that ribbon and 2 5/8" brim, that one sure looks "Whippet-esque."
I have several hats made by Biltmore and have been very well pleased with them all.
strikershank, your profile shows you're in Canada. May I ask whereabouts? If in Toronto, the Biltmores that Rotman's (Spadina & College area) carries are of a much higher quality than the modern production line. Check him out.
A little tip, see if any of the hats in his display window are your size, he'll sell them to you at a huge discount.
That was my thought when I bought it. Also, at 7 5/8's it will probably be as close as I get to a real Whippet
Biltmore Canadian Suede finished fur felt.
My latest Biltmore arrived a while back. It’s a charcoal grey with blue undertones. The brim is 2 5/8” the crown is 4 1/2” at the front and the ribbon is 1 1/8” wide. The seller obviously didn’t know anything about hats since he listed it as being made of “suede leather” and had the feather under the ribbon on the opposite side from the bow. The suede finished fur felt is soft and in good nick. The build quality is acceptable, but not perfect. The ribbon tacking in particular leaves room for improvement. Like my other Canadian Biltmore hats, it’s solid and serviceable.
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Biltmore Senator in dark brown. My band block caused the brim to distort a bit and I just went with it and left it with the swoop and brim up.
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Biltmore President in black oak. 2 5/8” raw edge brim with felt that borders on suede finish.