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Hat Cleaning Repair & Restoration: Where?

drmaxtejeda

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,904
Location
Mexico City
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.
Yes. Scott, of Finevintagefedoras does it on Etsy. I believe he charges 100 dollars.
Optimo also did an excellent job of restoring my Stetson Ermine. It was mouldy, and it smelled. Graham put it in an Ozone chamber for six weeks, cleaned it several times, reblocked it to its original shape, and resized it for me, adding a small piece of leather to the original sweatband.
This last bit he was reluctant to do, but I convinced him by asking him to return the sweatband with the hat.
He knew I was going to ask Ignacio to do it, so he just did it himself.
He worked on both the MacLachlan and the Stetson when Optimo did not restore non-Optimo hats, because they were so rare and magnificent felts. He said he had never handled a felt like the Ermine's.
He only charged me 200 dollars each time, and they each took over two months to restore.
I am very grateful to him; he said he did it for the love of the rarity of the hats, and it is true.
Graham Thompson is a great hatter, and Optimo is, to my mind, the greatest asset to modern hatmaking.
Yeah!
 
Messages
15,882
Location
Central California
Yes. Scott, of Finevintagefedoras does it on Etsy. I believe he charges 100 dollars.
Optimo also did an excellent job of restoring my Stetson Ermine. It was mouldy, and it smelled. Graham put it in an Ozone chamber for six weeks, cleaned it several times, reblocked it to its original shape, and resized it for me, adding a small piece of leather to the original sweatband.
This last bit he was reluctant to do, but I convinced him by asking him to return the sweatband with the hat.
He knew I was going to ask Ignacio to do it, so he just did it himself.
He worked on both the MacLachlan and the Stetson when Optimo did not restore non-Optimo hats, because they were so rare and magnificent felts. He said he had never handled a felt like the Ermine's.
He only charged me 200 dollars each time, and they each took over two months to restore.
I am very grateful to him; he said he did it for the love of the rarity of the hats, and it is true.
Graham Thompson is a great hatter, and Optimo is, to my mind, the greatest asset to modern hatmaking.
Yeah!


There’s no doubt Graham did great work for you. I’m sure you being such a great longtime customer played a part too.
 

drmaxtejeda

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,904
Location
Mexico City
There’s no doubt Graham did great work for you. I’m sure you being such a great longtime customer played a part too.
Well, it helped in the sense that he took my phone call when I told him about both projects, but I think it was mostly "A Stetson Ermine?? I have always wanted to handle one!! Could you send it over so I can feel it?"
And then "A MacLachlan Golden Beaver Hundred? Sure!"
 
Messages
15,882
Location
Central California
Well, it helped in the sense that he took my phone call when I told him about both projects, but I think it was mostly "A Stetson Ermine?? I have always wanted to handle one!! Could you send it over so I can feel it?"
And then "A MacLachlan Golden Beaver Hundred? Sure!"


I’d love to have the chance to see and feel those hats too. It means a lot to me that Graham is so passionate about hats. His store is on my must see list if ever in Chicago.
 

drmaxtejeda

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,904
Location
Mexico City
I’d love to have the chance to see and feel those hats too. It means a lot to me that Graham is so passionate about hats. His store is on my must see list if ever in Chicago.
Ohhhh! Not just the store, but the factory! There is an article about it on the internet.
He bought an old abandoned firehouse from the City of Chicago for 1 dollar and had one of the best architectural firms in the world remodel it for his purposes. Amazing place.
 

jlee562

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,884
Location
San Francisco, CA
Yeah that ozone chamber treatment is included "as-needed" in the restoration. Apparently it sanitizes all germs, mold, and moth eggs.

It's not a cheap service for sure, but honestly doesn't strike me as too unreasonable, given that a regular clean and block is around $100. Add on to that the labor by skilled professionals. I dunno what Optimo pays, but surely it's at least $20/hr, with at least 5 hrs, another $100.

Is it obvious I'm trying to talk myself into it?



It would be nice to know that the sweat band on this one was properly treated...and if it got some TLC on the crown and curl.
 
Messages
10,674
Location
Alabama
Is it obvious I'm trying to talk myself into it?
I understand. I’ve thought for some time about contacting him on this #1 with the mothing.
B92E8FB2-80DC-4157-83E3-68DAEAB48476.jpeg
3603DEB0-BDB9-4E6C-A9D9-921A1BCA9F1B.jpeg
 

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