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Distressed Akubra

mercuryfelt76

One of the Regulars
Messages
209
Location
London, England
As any Australian bushman will tell you, an Akubra looks best when it's well worn. Unlike the USA where cowboys always have at least one hat in pristine condition, it's somewhat of a petty crime to wear an Akubra in mint condition in the Australian bush. I know because I went backpacking in my Akubra Stockman Jan 02 - Jan 03 and I was told my hat needed distressing. So I gave it a lot of punishment and a long time to get the distressed look. I stamped on it and slept with is under my pillow and did everything I could to distress it but it always seemed to gradually go back to it's original shape throughout the day. Eventually after being in Australia for almost a year it finally started to look worn and developed holes around the pinch - it finally looked authentic.

However on a reality TV show in which celebrities camp in a rainforest in Australia and take part in challenges to earn food for the camp, all contestants are given an Akubra Snowy River. Within a few days of the participants being in the camp, all of their Akubras looked distressed in their own unique way. How can this be? Is it just that I'm a perfectionist and never genuinely abused my hat in the way that someone who didn't care what their hat looks like would have? Has anyone tried to distress a hat and found only those who aren't trying get it right?



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herohat

New in Town
Messages
10
Location
Bath,UK.
Now that's my kind of hat!:).I wonder if the humidity in the Jungle has something to do with the Celebrity contestants hats ageing faster than normal?.Akubra Hats don't respond well to artifical distressing-I think they prefer real wear and tear!.I'm amazed at the punishment Akubra's can take.
 
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VitaminG

One of the Regulars
Messages
272
Location
Toowoomba, Australia
sleeping with it under your pillow is one thing. Sweating up a storm in the thing to the point that salt is forming outside the sweatband, wearing it in a dust storm of red outback dirt, taking it off your head with your hands still covered in dirt and mud and road grime, those things will give it a more 'authentic' wear ;)
 

RBH

Bartender
My well worn and well loved Akubra Campdraft.

bikes078.jpg
 

mercuryfelt76

One of the Regulars
Messages
209
Location
London, England
sleeping with it under your pillow is one thing. Sweating up a storm in the thing to the point that salt is forming outside the sweatband, wearing it in a dust storm of red outback dirt, taking it off your head with your hands still covered in dirt and mud and road grime, those things will give it a more 'authentic' wear ;)

I did all of those things, I worked on a few farms in Queensland (Gatton and then later Bowen) and my dirt-covered hands left a great natural-looking pair of marks on the pinch but I didn't wear it long enough in the "red centre" for the bull dust to collect on the outside. I think I'll take another pic of my Akubra so you can also see the sweat marks on the outside of the felt. It does look good but not as good as...

RBH: that looks beautiful, authentic, well worn and the open-crown gives a good asymmetric distressing. Thanks for posting the pic.
 
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mercuryfelt76

One of the Regulars
Messages
209
Location
London, England
Fmw: although I do like the look of a pristine hat, having been to Australia and seen the character of some of the beaten up Akubras, I really wanted an authentic looking hat. I'm just not capable of allowing it to distress naturally. I always straighten out the creases that don't fit my ideal look. I'm too fussy for imperfection, no matter how much I want imperfection.
 

monbla256

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,239
Location
DFW Metroplex, Texas
Fmw: although I do like the look of a pristine hat, having been to Australia and seen the character of some of the beaten up Akubras, I really wanted an authentic looking hat. I'm just not capable of allowing it to distress naturally. I always straighten out the creases that don't fit my ideal look. I'm too fussy for imperfection, no matter how much I want imperfection.

Would you by any chance be an American living in the UK? From what and how you have stated you sound like many Americans who want what they want NOW :) That's why we sell bluejeans that look wore out new , folks want THAT look NOW. :) Me, I just wear my hats and they continue to aquire the "look" as time goes on. Relax, wear your Akubra and stop fiddling with it and it will aquire that "look" alongside you as you both age :)
 

Orangegrad

Practically Family
Messages
918
Location
Northeast, OH
My first Akubra arrived on Friday - a Stylemaster. It was large enought that it needed both felt pads that DM provides. Everyone says not to baby an Akubra. So I went out in the rain we had yesterday. It got wet. I mean really wet, including the sweatband. Well, the brim got a bit wonky and the sweatband shrank far more than I would have expected - I'm glad I got that hat jack! Anyway, my brand new Akubra is already starting to get broken in. And I think I'm going to keep on wearing the hat in the rain, and whatever else I can find in the Cleveland area. If I want a hat I have to baby, I'll get another brand.
 

avedwards

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,425
Location
London and Midlands, UK
Personally I quite like my Akubra precisely because it doesn't look too worn despite all it's been through. It's been soaked countless times and I've worn it whilst walking in the moors and recently whilst felling a tree, yet it has no holes and no stains (on the outside at least, the inside could do with cleaning a little bit) and still looks smart enough to be worn with my best suits.
 

monbla256

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,239
Location
DFW Metroplex, Texas
My first Akubra arrived on Friday - a Stylemaster. It was large enought that it needed both felt pads that DM provides. Everyone says not to baby an Akubra. So I went out in the rain we had yesterday. It got wet. I mean really wet, including the sweatband. Well, the brim got a bit wonky and the sweatband shrank far more than I would have expected - I'm glad I got that hat jack! Anyway, my brand new Akubra is already starting to get broken in. And I think I'm going to keep on wearing the hat in the rain, and whatever else I can find in the Cleveland area. If I want a hat I have to baby, I'll get another brand.

Sounds like you're on the right track :) You'll find that the more you wear, it rain or shine, your Akubra will fit YOU. Onward thru the Fog :)
 

fmw

One Too Many
Messages
1,017
Location
USA
I really wanted an authentic looking hat. I'm just not capable of allowing it to distress naturally.

Mine is authentic looking. In fact it is authentic. I'm not capable of allowing a hat to distress naturally either. I replace them far before that would happen. I'm not a pauper and have no interest in looking like one.
 

mercuryfelt76

One of the Regulars
Messages
209
Location
London, England
Would you by any chance be an American living in the UK? From what and how you have stated you sound like many Americans who want what they want NOW :) That's why we sell bluejeans that look wore out new , folks want THAT look NOW. :) Me, I just wear my hats and they continue to aquire the "look" as time goes on. Relax, wear your Akubra and stop fiddling with it and it will aquire that "look" alongside you as you both age :)

No, I am British - I can't let my Akubras distress naturally because I don't live in an environment where wearing Akubra is appropriate. I would look a bit strange wearing a bush hat in London. But most of my family have migrated to Australia and I have been there many times. I saw so many Akubras that looked distressed and a lot of Aussies told me they deliberately beat up any new hat they buy because it's so unacceptable to wear it looking new. In some places I went in the bush, people wanted to take my hat off my head and stamp on it "to do me a favour". It seems to be the done thing. Some cattlemen told me when a new worker starts on a station (ranch) they let the cows run over their new hat to initiate the distressing process. I really developed a taste for a well distressed Akubra.
 

mercuryfelt76

One of the Regulars
Messages
209
Location
London, England
Mine is authentic looking. In fact it is authentic. I'm not capable of allowing a hat to distress naturally either. I replace them far before that would happen. I'm not a pauper and have no interest in looking like one.

Think John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Indiana Jones... not pauper, more action hero. I don't think distressed hats are as acceptable in the USA as it is in Australia.
 

dr greg

One Too Many
However on a reality TV show in which celebrities camp in a rainforest in Australia and take part in challenges to earn food for the camp, all contestants are given an Akubra Snowy River. Within a few days of the participants being in the camp, all of their Akubras looked distressed in their own unique way. How can this be? Is it just that I'm a perfectionist and never genuinely abused my hat in the way that someone who didn't care what their hat looks like would have? Has anyone tried to distress a hat and found only those who aren't trying get it right?
That sounds a bit bizarre, i live about 10 miles as the crow flies from where that series is filmed, and my hats take years to get beat-up ACTUALLY working on a farm...i think the set-dressers might be involved somehow!
 

mercuryfelt76

One of the Regulars
Messages
209
Location
London, England
That sounds a bit bizarre, i live about 10 miles as the crow flies from where that series is filmed, and my hats take years to get beat-up ACTUALLY working on a farm...i think the set-dressers might be involved somehow!

I'm guessing they get rained on and then thrown on the floor with proper neglect as opposed to the fake neglect I'm simulating.
 

fmw

One Too Many
Messages
1,017
Location
USA
Think John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Indiana Jones... not pauper, more action hero. I don't think distressed hats are as acceptable in the USA as it is in Australia.

I'm not an action hero either so there is no need for me to try to look like one. I'm content just being who I am. To me an Akubra hat isn't a statement. It is simply a good hat. Nothing wrong with that.
 

mercuryfelt76

One of the Regulars
Messages
209
Location
London, England
I'm not an action hero either so there is no need for me to try to look like one. I'm content just being who I am. To me an Akubra hat isn't a statement. It is simply a good hat. Nothing wrong with that.

No, nothing wrong with that at all. But you're wearing a hat because you like the style I assume. Well, the distressed look is a certain style, I didn't mean it was a statement. I just don't agree that wearing a distressed hat makes one look like a pauper.
 

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