Half Sizes? How do you handle those?

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Melkat88, May 2, 2021.

  1. Melkat88

    Melkat88 New in Town

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Berlin
    Hi everyone,

    I love this lounge and you all with all your amazing wisdom.
    I have come to the problemof half sizes (working with the metric system) I need to make a hat with a 56,5 cm head size...I have a 58 cm hat block but this would be to big. Getting a 57 would be to small? When the sweatband comes in.
    How do you manage?
    Do you also have hat blocks for oval and round shapes?
     

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  2. I think the differences are so small it doesn’t make much if any difference. Optimo of Chicago carries sizes out past the decimal, and decades about there was Knox and its “Ovalized Sixteenths.” Do you go to the 1/4 size? How about 1/8? 57.25cm? 57.125cm? Such “tolerances” don’t make sense for a hat. The reason hat companies and hat makers size by the whole centimeter is that this allows for a great fit for everyone. If it’s a fraction of a size too tight then a bump in a hat stretcher or a couple of days in a custom made band block will have it fitting perfectly. I just don’t see the need to go to fractions of a size...unless I’m in the hat block making business and then it makes all sorts of sense. :)

    Now shape (round, wide oval, oval, long oval, extra-long oval) that does make a meaningful difference in fit. The stiffer/firmer the felt the more important it is to match the oval. The hat should ideally be made on the correctly shaped block.
     
  3. Scooterz

    Scooterz Practically Family

    Messages:
    691
    Location:
    The Great Plains
    You may have to ask the custom hatmakers on here. I have seen some offer in between sizes. Maybe some of them will chime in.
     
  4. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,536
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    I answered this in the other thread. I have 4 sets of blocks, 3 Long Oval and one set of Regular Oval. All are in 1 centimetre increments (with a few in 1/2cm increments)....this is where hatting gets expensive on the capital equipment front. I still find I don't have enough blocks or flanges.
     
  5. Size does matter. I have no pic handy to post & my hat is boxed for the summer months, but I have a custom made & fit to me hat that is 61.2 (or 61.3 cm can't remember which) & marked accordingly. I was custom fit with a conformateur. As far as the block goes I assume a 61cm block was built up to match the reading and the paper shape that was taken. Had the reading been a 61.250 or 61.275 I'm sure it would have been built up accordingly. It's no different than a custom bootmaker building up a standard boot last to fit & conform to the measurements he has taken of your feet.

    That's why some custom hats are $290 & some are $1200.
     
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  6. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,536
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    AND I am learning that one skill a hatter must master is making up "workarounds". Learning how to get something done when you don't have and/or can't afford the right piece of equipment is a big part of the craft of hatting. To me it is the frustrating/maddening aspect but also one that at the end of the day I love. Learning to enjoy the process, enjoy the journey is an integral part of the learning curve.
     
    Melkat88 likes this.
  7. I doubt that blocks are built up to the 1/10 of a centimeter. More likely that a custom band block was used along with a standard size block. I have a custom band block made via a comformateur that measures between sizes. While it makes great fitting hats I don’t think they fit better than than some of my custom hats made on whole size blocks and whole size band blocks. When we’re taliking about a millimeter or two the act of wearing and perspiring in it will cause the hat to shape to the head and expand or contract in those small amounts. I’m of the opinion that a couple full days of wear will allow the hats to conform for a better fit then if you had a block made to within a 1/100 of a millimeter of your true head circumference. Hats aren’t spaceships and such precise tolerance are not needed. However, I reiterate my strong opinion that the shape/oval is important for a good fit, and even more so when you are talking about stiff western felt.
     
    belfastboy likes this.
  8. @belfastboy

    Robert, your blocks are sized in centimeters so I assume when you say you have some blocks between in the half size range you are still talking cm, right? I'm getting confused by the guerrilla tape with the painters tape underneath. Isn't that adding more than 1/2 cm?

    PS: I don't know about you but I wouldn't order a custom hat within a "millimeter or two" & expect my perspiration to make it fit. I can get that from Akubra.

    And once again my memory fails me. It's actually 62.3 cm, definitely not a half size up.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
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  9. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,536
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
     
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  10. I think most of the times we can take 10 measurements of our heads and come up with several different sizes if we go to the millimeter. Some hatters request several of the same measurements and take the average. Also, a millimeter or two is the difference in a couple weeks of hair growth for me. It’s ridiculous to think that a hat fits fine now but after two weeks won’t until I get get a haircut. Our heads also expand in the heat; it’s part of homeostasis and involves dilation and shunting blood so if you go to the millimeter it’s saying that this hat fits me the first five days after my preferred haircut and between the temperatures of 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m not buying it. Sounds like marketing to me. It’s tantamount to the hatter saying he uses triple distilled water for his steam or bottle fed virgin beavers for the felt.
     
    Rmccamey likes this.
  11. "One layer of painter's tape and duct tape adds about 1/2 centimetre to the block."


    That surprises me that it wouldn't be thicker than .195".


    "I don't know of hatters that own blocks in increments smaller than 1/2cm....many only have blocks in full cm sizes and that translates into NAmerican sizing (perhaps Optimo is one of the exceptions)."


    Thus my comment about building up the block, as you do with the tape. Custom Bookmakers build up standard lasts with epoxy or plaster, & so I never thought of tape. Once they have obtained the correct shape according to their measurements they retain those built up lasts for your future Boot orders.
     
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  12. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,536
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    I have heard various ways from different hatters....some use a damaged felt to upsize a block. Others have used rubber swim caps over the block. I think it is all part of a hatter's "McGyver 'ing" a work around. A block maker in the UK recently posted a picture of an entire shop filled with new blocks destined to be shipped to Optimo in Chicago......If I could only dream it still would be a pipe dream.
     
  13. With his own measurements & the paper pattern from a conformateur I see no reason why a custom hatter could not build up a standard last for a pretty good fit. And I agree on the importance of the fit & quality of the sweatband, even preferring a 2" sweat in a Western hat. Much more important to me than the felt.

    I'll leave it at that before I get accused of making a derogatory post about someone's wife again.
     
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  14. Bamaboots

    Bamaboots

    Messages:
    10,110
    Location:
    Alabama
    You too?
     
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  15. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,536
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    Art at VS for $25 cut a band block to match the shape of your head based on the conformateur. But he used the standard blocks that the rest of us use....Long Oval, Reg Oval perhaps he might have had Extra Long Ovals and from these base forms would build you a hat. He would use the band block to insert into the hat to help form it to your head shape but unless you are an extreme shape the standard blocking gets you close. ....as long as the sweat is cut to your exact size. That is where it gets tricky.....if you cut the sweat on the inside of the line you might be out 1 millimetres or if you relax just a tad when measuring around the band block then that can be the difference between a comfortable fit and one that is just a hair too tight for the client. Sizing a hat with an online client is an excercise in stress...I cut it, I sew it, I ship it and pray.
     
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  16. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,536
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    This is why I prefer to work in centimetres. It allows a very precise measure when cutting/fitting the sweat. Otherwise I would make Small. medium and large sized hats.....that would be sooo much simpler.
     
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  17. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,536
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    It is OK, my wife can return fire with the derog with the best of them......I have learned that one the hard way.
     
    deadlyhandsome likes this.
  18. You & I both know the accuser was not you; no bad blood there. When accused anyone with half a brain could check with the bartender to document that the post had Not been taken down by said bartender, & that infact no such post had been made by anyone. It was guilt by insinuation, lies from the get go. Any totally off topic at the time.
     
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  19. Why can’t people have and express differing opinions on something without it getting personal? Civil discourse is at an all-time low. Not everyone is going to agree with “you.” These aren’t hard scientific truths, there are opinions and personal observations. I don’t expect that everyone will see things my way, but I’m not going to be cowed into not participating.
     
    Melkat88 likes this.

  20. Interesting that you feel the need to inject yourself into something that does not involve you. Someone did post a comment on my wife (I never mentioned a child as he later alleged). That person cowardly deleted the post and denied making it. Shortly thereafter, I offered an apology that I did not been to make to put it behind me, but some folks like to stir up contention and over a year later won’t let it go.

    I get many PMs agreeing with me and offering support, but some people here are such bullies that few are willing to to confront them. Some folks have told me they have left because of those caustic members.

    I recall you said you were going to leave TFL when you hit 10,000 posts and later you said you’d leave come January 1st...of 2020. Be a man of your word.
     

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