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Determine the type of fur used in a felt hat

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Raybuntu, Sep 14, 2018 at 11:02 AM.

  1. Raybuntu

    Raybuntu New in Town

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    So I was thinking about a method to determine the type of fur used to make a certain vintage hat. I was thinking it has to be possible to look at the hair under a microscope to determine if it's rabbit, beaver or some kind of blend.

    So I gave it a try and used some scotch tape to stick hair from inside the hat under the lining.
    Here are 3 of my Hats. My Optimo 1000 undyed belly beaver fur hat, my brown 50s Dobbs Twenty and a 70s (20$) grey Cavanagh hat. All images are with 80x magnification.

    50s Dobbs:
    50s_Dobbs_twenty.jpg

    70s Cavanagh
    70s_Cavanagh.jpg

    2018 Optimo Silverbelly
    optimo1000_silverbelly.jpg
     
  2. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax

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    And do you have any conclusions to put forth?
     
  3. Raybuntu

    Raybuntu New in Town

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    Not really yet. I'm a bit limited with hats. I still have a Art 100% beaver hat I need to make a photo. But as you can see it's hard to tell anything. I could only try to go by hair diameter. I don't have a pure rabbit hat yet.
    What you can see is the smaller finer beaver belly hair on the Optimo.
     
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  4. mayserwegener

    mayserwegener

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    I think it's going to be difficult. I did some experimenting myself but don't have any photos. I could see Wool vs Rabbit, Hare but not Rabbit vs Hare. I didn't look at Beaver. I think it might be better to look at the fur prior to felting. I have some information on the topic but I haven't gotten around to posting it.
     
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  5. Raybuntu

    Raybuntu New in Town

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    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018 at 1:02 PM
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  6. mayserwegener

    mayserwegener

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    The following is "Chapter 3 Leporid (Rabbits and Hares) Hair" of "Experience with (Fur) Hair Quality" from "Animal Hair of the Hat Industry, Herbert Rosenthal, Saxon University of Applied Sciences Textile Industry, Chemnitz, 1929" from Gotisches Haus (Gothic House) Bad Homburg, Germany collection. The book is 283 pages of technical information. Rabbit, Hare and Wool are covered. Beaver was rarely used in Europe because of cost. I haven't completed the translation of Chapter 3 but I hopefully finish in a few days.

    Click on Photos to expand.

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    Animal Hair of the Hat Industry, Herbert Rosenthal
    Saxon University of Applied Sciences Textile Industry, Chemnitz

    [​IMG]

    Charges approved by the Technical University of Munich in order to obtain the dignity of DOCTOR OF TECHNICAL SCIENCES (Doctor of Agriculture) treatise.

    Presented by Agronomist Herbert Rosenthal born in Luckenwald, Germany.

    1. Reviewer: Professor Dr. Philosophy Heinz Henseler.
    2. Reviewer: Professor Councillor Dr. Philosophy Theodor Henkel.

    Date of filing of work 11th, February 1929
    Date of acceptance of work 27th, February 1929

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    3 Leporid (Rabbits and Hares) Hair

    Composition. Discrimination. Marking the hair shapes. - Cross-sectional shapes. Furrowing. - Microscopy of the leporid hairs. - Erdl: Description of rabbit hair. Goette. Müller. - Microscopy of hair types according to Abeler. - Hare Hair. Wild Rabbit Hair. Tame Rabbit Hair. - rind. Litterscheid. Lambardt. Fiebiger. Tables of microscopic images. Desired properties.

    - Felt ability. Strength against the stress. - Structure. - Colour. - Properties of the fur association.

    Creating the desired properties. - Ecology. - Climate and coat. - different weather conditions. Dryness. - Color change through climate and nutrition. - Consequences for the attitude of the animals. - Food for hair formation? - Influence by breeding. - Healthy genetic material. - Outbred desired properties? - Representation of latent static coloration purely somatic - - Artificial modification of properties. - Goldschmidt. Schultz. - Inactivation of deceased genetic material. - Research results of Schultz.

    Inheritance of hair color. - What is color? Kruger. - Phenotypes of rabbit staining. - Table of the various names for the most important rabbit colors. - Table of genetic factors. Long. Cuenot. Hurst. Castle. Pap. Dancer. - Erb formulas. - Color zones in Leporid Hair. - Example: Hare Hair. - Drawing after usurer: Wild Rabbit Hair. - Various tame rabbit breeds with zonal coloring. Inheritance Theory on Staining. - factors of inheritance of colors.

    Continuation of the studies on the Leporid Hair. - value of such investigations. - Preparation of the study material for future investigations.

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    Construction and Composition

    Composition

    The coating of the Leporids (Rabbits and Hares) consists of four groups of hair:

    1. Wool hair,

    2. Awn hair,

    3. Guard hair,

    4. Tactile hair (Facial Whisker).

    These are usually clearly differentiated and recognizable. Sometimes, however, you can not find exactly different transitions. These intermediate forms are mentioned by Toldt, Bodmer-Giger and Wucherer. And Wucherer even gives a special distinction table for the same:

    Distinction

    Fluff, Awns-Fluff, Awns, Guard Hair

    Length in cm A: 2.1, 2.7, 2.9, 3.7

    B: 7.5, 9.0, 12.0, --

    Thickness in my A: 16, 20, 65, 65

    B: 12, 18, 45, --

    Thickest point 16, 64, 104, 150

    12, 79, 115, --

    Crimping Yes, In the end, No, Bristly

    Number per 1/4 sq. cm 2970, 90, 39, 2

    1500, 57, 22, --

    This table is only partially available. Because there is no consideration for the differentiation of Leporids (Rabbits & Hares) hair is taken. Species and race have been ignored except for the A-type (short) and B-type (long). But that there are still other distinctions, has already been established and should also prove in later investigations. For example, Bodmergerger found various distinguishing features of the hair coat in Lepus europaeus Pall and in Lepus varroni Miller. And Wucherer recognizes once even on 1/4 sq. cm of skin on hair:

    [​IMG]

    9650 when Dwarf Rabbit

    3400 when Wild Rabbit

    3300 when Field Hare

    3100 when Average Furrier Rabbit

    1600 when Angora Rabbit

    So according to the number of hair a distinguishing feature. The arrangement of these hair forms has already been investigated by Heusinger. He refers to the "strange connection" that a root, prickly or light hair with a number of surrounding woolen hair takes in. Later, in separate hair follicles, Leydig thinks he has found the tufts around a prickly hair, as an example He explains: "Here the separate hair has a separate bellows, but the bellows of a number of woolly hairs arranged together around the bellows of a prickly hair are surrounded by a firm connective tissue-like sheath." This assumption in the case of Leporids is unlikely. It speaks already the mode of operation in the finishing industry of these skins - plucking the rough - enough against it.

    More interested in the further knowledge of the hair forms. In the adjacent drawing the distinction of the four types of leporid hair according to usurer is shown. Consistent with Toldt, he finds the Guard Hair in the apical half not or only slightly reinforced. Toldt emphasizes the guard hair as particularly pronounced. It shows itself quite uniformly strong in the whole length and only slightly thickened at the most towards the top. Often it ends long and fine. The awning we recognize well by a significant thickening (the awn). It lies between the middle and top of the hair shaft. Otherwise, this hair type is long and stiff and stand alone after Tänzer.

    The undercoat of the hair dress form the wool hairs. They are thin and more or less curly. Tänzer indicates his thickness with 10 to 30 my. I have found in all my studies on leporid hair wool hair generally of 6 my, sometimes already at 4 my. The transition to the downy tuft type is not always easy to find. But it rarely showed a larger wool hair thickness than 26 my.

    The percentage of all hair types to each other would be in the hair of the Leporiden according to Wucherer's table:

    Wool Hair, Downy Awn Hair, Awn Hair, Guard Hair

    100, 10, 1.3, 0.7

    Salatiman (after Tänzer) gives the ratio for all short - haired rabbits, for wild rabbits and for some angora rabbits:

    Wool hair 20, Awn hair 1

    Leporid hair, drawings by Wucherer

    A Fluff type

    B Awn - Fluff type

    C Awn hair type

    D Guard hair type

    Cross-sectional image of the thickest part of the hair

    A Fluff type, B Awn Fluff type, C Awn hair type, D Awn or Guard hair type

    Cross-sectional shapes of the leporid hair (according to Wucherer) Fig. 33

    Form

    The cross-sectional shapes of these types of hair can be drawn in a very schematic manner, as they were taken from Usurer's statements in the figure above.

    The cross-section of awn hair was described nearly 70 years ago by ErdI. The same examines a variety of pet hair. From the hair of the hare, he reports on the cross-sectional shape: "The cross-section of the thicker hair is greatly swollen on both sides, the thinnest in the middle, more or less concave on the front and back surface.From the more concave surface rise the swollen ends as dull, hook-shaped appendages. "

    Not to be confused is this image of the awns or leihaars with the furrow studied by Toldt. Toldt distinguishes an external furrow, which consists in a guttural sinking of the bark substance together with Oberhäutchens from the outside. The internal furrowing is caused by ridge or larnellenförmige protrusions of the bark substance into the marrow. Externally furrowing is also evident in Leporids (after Toldt). It is usually found on the side of the hair turned to the outside. Toldt says that it serves to better dissipate water, particles of wood and soil, facilitate the hatching of the animals and probably contribute to increasing the suppleness of the hair.

    A kidney-shaped cross section of awned hair is also described by W. v. Chr. Natusius stated. The Toldtian corrugation confirms Bodmer-Giger at the hare. However, the round shape of the woolly hair after Wucherer is supplemented by Salaman that this cross-section shows round, square or oval.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018 at 2:29 PM
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  7. mayserwegener

    mayserwegener

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    Continued.

    [​IMG]

    Construction

    One of the first researchers to comment on Leporid hair microscopy was Erdl. He characterized the hair of the lepus glacialis: "The bark substance is easily recognizable and consists of very small cells. The pith, which has the shape of the whole hair, is filled with rather large, usually roundish cells, whose vaginal walls have a spongy, distended appearance. "

    More thoroughly, Goette describes the rabbit hair. He imagines the formation of the medulla on the basis of these points of view: Where the papilla remnant fades, cells gradually move over one another. They form a pillar. When they dry up, they turn into small cavities, which are the essential components of the formed Mark. He continues: "Depending on whether they are narrow and long or low and broad, depending on how they are connected like a string of pearls or separated by fixed spaces, the changing images of the marrow arise." Furthermore, he already distinguishes doubled or tripled rows of marks in the He concludes his research on rabbit hair:

    "At the papilla tip, where the pigment forms, it covers and overhangs the cylindrical cells in larger patches. Farther up, it is forced between the same in smaller particles, so that at first it is distributed in short strips, but finally appears as dark transverse bands in the interstices of the marrow cells. "Such a marrow-strand then appears alternately with air pearls and black discs.

    Shortly before the turn of the century, Moeller reports on his investigations. It is interesting that he indicates the construction of the rabbit hair equal to your construction of the hare hairs. In the order of the rodents it emphasizes as particularly characteristic for the hare its very thin layer of bark and the wide row-wise characteristic Markstrang. It distinguishes diffuse and coarse-grained pigment. It is grouped like a ladder in the wool hairs and alternates with the air gaps of the single or multi-rowed marrow cells. He compares the pith in the awns with a plant saving enzyme. Clear marrow nuclei are recognized by him. He sees broad cuticle flowers, often covering the hair shaft, blurred in awn-like hair, often protruding coarsely on the edge of fluffy hair, sometimes peg-shaped. The cuticle is composed of tender, broad, swollen scales. At Wool hairs he finds no mark at the bottom. Apical show Mark in ladder-shaped cells. The fine tip is again marrowless.

    On the other hand, the recent investigations are clearer and more thorough. A comprehensive microscopy of the leporid hair is the work of Abeler. Separately, he describes the hare, Wild rabbit and tame rabbit hair.

    While working with Leporid's hair, I was able to review and confirm some of Abeler's researches, so that, following the strict conclusion of Abeler's result, the following is the description of leporid hairs:

    Microscopy of Leporid hair

    The awn hair shows clearly elongated cuticle cells at the basal part. One observes smooth edges and tooth-like projections. The cell shapes are irregular, with four to five corners. In the middle of the hair, the cell is a bit flatter. Their height is about 0.03 mm after Abeler. Here, the cells cover roof-brick-like and are irregularly stored like rubble next to each other. The bark layer cover measures Abeler with 1/20 to 1/12 of the hair width. Medullary chambers arrange themselves in longitudinal rows. Here the cells are small and square.

    At the basal portion of the guidewood, the cuticle scales are elongated in the longitudinal direction of the hair or at least as high as wide and 0.02-0.04 mm high on average. After the tip, the scales gradually flatten themselves, laying irregularly over and next to each other. They appear wavy and have strongly arched free edges. At an obtuse angle or rectangular they collide.

    The last and most important hair type of Hare fur shows up in the wool hair. Here, the cuticula cells form extensive, long bands in a regular arrangement. Medullary chambers are usually single row. Their shape appears either higher than broad or stretched in the hair axis.

    [​IMG]

    Together with Litterscheid, Abeler published a paper in which he used the marrow cylinder, which was at most buried in the hair root or hair tip, as a typical feature for Hare and Rabbit in a determination table. The thickening at the tip of the awn hairs should correspond to an increased deposit of marrow at the beginning of the hair growth. Schwarte distinguishes in the mark of the hair inland columns in undulating course and smooth marginal columns. The longitudinal diameter of the medullary cells increases with the number of longitudinal rows. Schwarte clearly recognizes only two cells of multi-row medullary strands in Hare hair.

    Microscopy of Wild Rabbit hairs can be described in strict accordance with Abeller's research:

    The cuticles of the awning hair appear at the lower part of the shaft as a single shed, which are clearly stretched in the axial direction. They cover themselves like a roof tile. The average height is 0.02 mm. The cells cover only 0.008 to 0.01 mm distance to Abeler. Around the hair, they arrange themselves band-like. Medullary chambers seem to be clearly arranged in rows. The marrow cells are narrower and usually larger than the Hare. They also run in longer, quieter rows.

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    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018 at 11:36 PM
  8. Raybuntu

    Raybuntu New in Town

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    Thanks for this valuable information. Fortunately I understand german :D
     
  9. mayserwegener

    mayserwegener

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  10. Raybuntu

    Raybuntu New in Town

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    I don't know how this could help. The main idea is to identify the fur type of a finished (ebay) vintage hat. I don't know if that's possible but I will look more into beaver and also try to get some samples from pure rabbit hats.
     
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  11. mayserwegener

    mayserwegener

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    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018 at 1:48 PM
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  12. mayserwegener

    mayserwegener

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    My main interest was Rabbit vs Hare which I wasn't able to determine and I have a professional video microscope. Within fur type there will be some mix of Wool Hair, Downy Awn Hair, Awn Hair, Guard Hair (see what I posted above). Also how to tell Wild Rabbit vs. Tame Rabbit vs Wild Hare! :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018 at 1:55 PM
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  13. alanfgag

    alanfgag

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    I tried a similar experiment some years back. It's a study that deserves more research.

    https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/felt-micrographs.73279/
     
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  14. Raybuntu

    Raybuntu New in Town

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    Nice. I guess it all comes down to a good microscope. I have access to a good one at work (where I made the fotos).
    So the question is how easy would it be for anyone to do it with "home" equipment.
    I'm guessing it would be possible to distinguish between say rabbit and beaver and it should be easy to spot blends.
     
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  15. alanfgag

    alanfgag

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    The microscope I used is an antique instrument. I have experience capturing streaming video through optical instruments in my other hobby. I did not find it easy to identify differences between felt hairs. Beaver fur is noted to have a barbed structure that makes it favorable for dense felting. I could only guess at this from my photos. I think processing the images using software that would combine images to increase the depth of field would yield a better result.
     
  16. mayserwegener

    mayserwegener

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    Maybe next week I will take some photos. I seem to recall seeing similar barbs with Rabbit and Hare. It could be due to the felting process. Also what is interesting is how the dye has penetrated the fibers.
     
  17. Mustang Mike's Hats

    Mustang Mike's Hats One of the Regulars

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    I just read through the thread this morning. YIKES! Talk about over my head!! :eek:
     

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