Want to buy or sell something? Check the classifieds

Hat Cleaning Repair & Restoration: Where?

Messages
17,672
Location
Funkytown, USA
I just had an exchange with this guy through Etsy. His parting comment after half a dozen messages was as follows:

“You can believe what you want but I’ve been restoring Borsalino hats as well as many other pre 70s hats for over a decade.
Take a hike”

Followed by

”You come to me asking qs and pricing and I gave them to you. Then you wa t to insult me about my knowledge restoring hats .
Screw you and your hat.”

YMMV.

How I “insulted” him (I’m guessing) is by sending a link about the definition of Petersham ribbon.

I've always had a good relationship with Scott. Sorry it didn't work out for you.
 

Monte

A-List Customer
Messages
463
Location
North Dakota
I definitely can believe that there are few old school hatters, even in metro areas. For instance, I was so excited to go to Goorin Brothers in Denver since I was in town maybe 8, 9 years ago. Shortly after arriving at the century old hat shop, I discovered they didn't carry felt hats anymore, only wool among other warm weather options.
 
Messages
15,830
Location
Central California
Optimo announced in their newsletter that they are offering a "Historical Preservation Service," to "sanitize, service, and restore your fine vintage, heirloom, or collectable non-Optimo hats. If your father's or grandfather's priceless fedora, a 1930's Borsalino, or early 1900's Stetson is something you want to get under, this is the service for you. Or simply restore a precious collector hat to museum grade. This service is priced from $300."


I’m surprised that the service isn’t more. If they are reproducing debossing etc. (thinking of Max’s Mac One-Humdred), then $300 is more than reasonable.
 

marzony

New in Town
Messages
9
Optimo announced in their newsletter that they are offering a "Historical Preservation Service," to "sanitize, service, and restore your fine vintage, heirloom, or collectable non-Optimo hats. If your father's or grandfather's priceless fedora, a 1930's Borsalino, or early 1900's Stetson is something you want to get under, this is the service for you. Or simply restore a precious collector hat to museum grade. This service is priced from $300."
When did you receive this newsletter? Haven't seen any dropping to my mailbox (or junk email) for a while.
 

Peter_E

Familiar Face
Messages
61
Location
Oklahoma
I’m surprised that the service isn’t more. If they are reproducing debossing etc. (thinking of Max’s Mac One-Humdred), then $300 is more than reasonable.

A few years ago, before they achieved the renown that they currently enjoy, Optimo did repairs and restorations. I sent them an old Stratoliner. The work they did was fine, but they replaced the sweatband with a generic black one. Not even the same color as the tan original. The Royal Stetson logo and so forth was, of course, missing. The hat is now wearable, but I am sure its value is diminished from the collector’s point of view.

Then Optimo got busy enough that they no longer did work on hats other than their own.

Within the last few weeks I contacted them about repairing my old Borsalino. It originally had an unreeded sweatband sewn directly to the hat, i.e. not using the reed tape. Optimo said that they could not replicate that and would use a modern, reeded sweatband. They quoted the $300 price for the work. Again, “originality” would not be preserved.

i am sure that their work would be as good as, or better than, most; but to call it “museum grade” seems a bit of a stretch, to me. $300 is more than the hat is worth, so I did not go ahead. I am not a collector. I just wear a hat for its practical purpose, so I see no point in dropping that much cash into an old hat when I can buy a pretty nice new one (not one of Optimo’s customs, of course) with the money instead.
 

dkstott

A-List Customer
Messages
471
Location
Connecticut
A few years ago, before they achieved the renown that they currently enjoy, Optimo did repairs and restorations. I sent them an old Stratoliner. The work they did was fine, but they replaced the sweatband with a generic black one. Not even the same color as the tan original. The Royal Stetson logo and so forth was, of course, missing. The hat is now wearable, but I am sure its value is diminished from the collector’s point of view.

Then Optimo got busy enough that they no longer did work on hats other than their own.

Within the last few weeks I contacted them about repairing my old Borsalino. It originally had an unreeded sweatband sewn directly to the hat, i.e. not using the reed tape. Optimo said that they could not replicate that and would use a modern, reeded sweatband. They quoted the $300 price for the work. Again, “originality” would not be preserved.

i am sure that their work would be as good as, or better than, most; but to call it “museum grade” seems a bit of a stretch, to me. $300 is more than the hat is worth, so I did not go ahead. I am not a collector. I just wear a hat for its practical purpose, so I see no point in dropping that much cash into an old hat when I can buy a pretty nice new one (not one of Optimo’s customs, of course) with the money instead.
Ben @ Delmonico Hatter told me recently that he's been working with a local ( new Haven CT) person who is doing some hat repairs. If you call the shop, he'll refer you to her contact information to discuss repairs and alterations on hats.
 

Mighty44

A-List Customer
Messages
481
Ben @ Delmonico Hatter told me recently that he's been working with a local ( new Haven CT) person who is doing some hat repairs. If you call the shop, he'll refer you to her contact information to discuss repairs and alterations on hats.
If you’re near NYC, JJ’s does repairs. Van is the guys name and they have a price list on their website. $75 to replace a sweatband, which is expensive, but for me I end up saving on shipping so use them sometimes. Van’s a solid guy and does very nice work. https://www.jjhatcenter.com/pages/repair-price-list

David
 

Peter_E

Familiar Face
Messages
61
Location
Oklahoma
If you’re near NYC, JJ’s does repairs. Van is the guys name and they have a price list on their website. $75 to replace a sweatband, which is expensive, but for me I end up saving on shipping so use them sometimes. Van’s a solid guy and does very nice work. https://www.jjhatcenter.com/pages/repair-price-list

David

They recently quoted me $81.66 after tax. Add shipping and it’s a hundred bucks or more. Ouch!
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,566
Location
vancouver, canada
And , of course, our own @belfastboy does some great work—though it does require shipping to Canada.
Yes, I think if I lived in the US I could make a full time business of hat restoration. Postage rates are moving up a lot....Canada Post has a 'fuel surcharge" that keeps rising. The border does not pose much of an issue as long as the declaration states it is "Used Goods, for Warranty/Repair." The hats invariably come direct to me and likewise directly back to the owner. It has been taking just 7 days to cross the continent. Not bad really. But if you have a hat shop in striking distance that saves $$$.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,566
Location
vancouver, canada
They recently quoted me $81.66 after tax. Add shipping and it’s a hundred bucks or more. Ouch!
If you will accept a reeded sweat I can mail you a sweat band cut and sewn to your size and you can sew it into the hat. Not that hard just requires time and patience...I can walk you through it. . $20 plus postage for the sweat.
 

jlee562

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,882
Location
San Francisco, CA
When did you receive this newsletter? Haven't seen any dropping to my mailbox (or junk email) for a while.

Optimo Insider Club newsletter that got sent out yesterday.

I don't know anybody that replaces un-reeded sweats, so I'm not necessarily going to hold that against Optimo.

I actually am tempted to set aside some cash to send my nutria Boss Raw Edge over....
 

Peter_E

Familiar Face
Messages
61
Location
Oklahoma
Optimo Insider Club newsletter that got sent out yesterday.

I don't know anybody that replaces un-reeded sweats, so I'm not necessarily going to hold that against Optimo.

I actually am tempted to set aside some cash to send my nutria Boss Raw Edge over....

Oh, I am not holding anything against Optimo. In my recent quest I have not found anyone who can replace the original Borsalino band with a replica. My estimation is that Optimo does good work. Not a bargain basement shop by any means, though. As for my old, unreeded Borsalino, I am pretty much resigned to it becoming my Jed Clampett hat and I will put the $300 Optimo quoted towards a new one. I am looking into a Herbert Johnson, actually. We’ll see..
 

Peter_E

Familiar Face
Messages
61
Location
Oklahoma
If you will accept a reeded sweat I can mail you a sweat band cut and sewn to your size and you can sew it into the hat. Not that hard just requires time and patience...I can walk you through it. . $20 plus postage for the sweat.
Hey, thanks. I’ll take you up on that. I actually tried to sew my own sweatband together, but I don’t have a sewing machine or much skill with a needle so the zig-zag stitching at the sweatband seam that I attempted by hand looks awful.

My head measures 57.3 cm, call it 57.5, i.e. annoyingly between sizes. A 7-1/8 (or 57) is usually too snug, and a 7-1/4 flops around and I have to pack it with felt. This old Borsalino (my new Jed Clampett hat) fit well, but won‘t win any beauty prizes any more.

How would I pay you? Paypal?
 
Messages
15,830
Location
Central California
A few years ago, before they achieved the renown that they currently enjoy, Optimo did repairs and restorations. I sent them an old Stratoliner. The work they did was fine, but they replaced the sweatband with a generic black one. Not even the same color as the tan original. The Royal Stetson logo and so forth was, of course, missing. The hat is now wearable, but I am sure its value is diminished from the collector’s point of view.

Then Optimo got busy enough that they no longer did work on hats other than their own.

Within the last few weeks I contacted them about repairing my old Borsalino. It originally had an unreeded sweatband sewn directly to the hat, i.e. not using the reed tape. Optimo said that they could not replicate that and would use a modern, reeded sweatband. They quoted the $300 price for the work. Again, “originality” would not be preserved.

i am sure that their work would be as good as, or better than, most; but to call it “museum grade” seems a bit of a stretch, to me. $300 is more than the hat is worth, so I did not go ahead. I am not a collector. I just wear a hat for its practical purpose, so I see no point in dropping that much cash into an old hat when I can buy a pretty nice new one (not one of Optimo’s customs, of course) with the money instead.


I don’t know of anyone who will replace an unreeded sweatband. I wish there was someone too.

Optimo’s use of “museum grade” could be hyperbole, but they do have the ability to reporoduce the original sweatband markings (or a reasonable approximation). The Mac Lachlan One-Hundred they refurbished a year or two ago for Max @drmaxtejeda was really something special.

There are several places you can get a sweatband replaced for a reasonable price. Several shops will clean, reblock, and replace the sweatband for $150 or less.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,566
Location
vancouver, canada
Hey, thanks. I’ll take you up on that. I actually tried to sew my own sweatband together, but I don’t have a sewing machine or much skill with a needle so the zig-zag stitching at the sweatband seam that I attempted by hand looks awful.

My head measures 57.3 cm, call it 57.5, i.e. annoyingly between sizes. A 7-1/8 (or 57) is usually too snug, and a 7-1/4 flops around and I have to pack it with felt. This old Borsalino (my new Jed Clampett hat) fit well, but won‘t win any beauty prizes any more.

How would I pay you? Paypal?
Yes, PayPal is fine.....ergault@telus.net. I will get it cut and sewn in the day or two and get a postal rate. Do you have a colour preference? I have dark brown, mid brown and I think I have a few natural in stock. I will cut it to 57.5cm What is your physical address?
Thx, r
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,566
Location
vancouver, canada
Thanks. Mid brown sounds good.
my address is 12619 Bear Paw Path, Skiatook, OK 74070.
Don’t tell it to the IRS though! . Or any of my ex girlfriends.
My lips are sealed. I have never been to Skiatook but I have stopped in many small towns in OK. My head office was located in OK City. I would fly into Dallas, rent a pick up truck and meander up to OKC on a Sunday ready for the Monday meetings. Once the factory was missed by a tornado by about 100 yards, tore through the back side of the parking lot. One of the OKCity salesman had just bought a house in tornado alley.....young children. When I asked him why in the hell would he do that??? His reply......the deal was tooo good to pass up.
In 2019 we travelled to Texas via NMexico and planned to head north through OK, Kansas, Nebraska but it was storm season. The lightning, the tornado warnings and baseball sized hail scared the hell out of my wife (me too!). She made me change plans and head back west to the safety of New Mexico.
 
Top