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Discussion in 'Hats' started by Scott Wood, Dec 29, 2009.
What's the worst that could happen?...
My first true horror story
I had an occurence that I wanted to share with my fellow Loungers and, not knowing where to relate it, I opened this new thread to fit the most awful and untoward stories we should share somewhere...
About a week ago I received a few hats and one of them was a NOS Stetson XXX Beaver. Never creased or worn, NIB.
I read the threads and worked it into a passable if not razor-edged diamond.
In an effort to make this a bit more permanent I set to steaming it a touch and, over an open pot, was working the crease and bash with bare hands in the steam and thinking it was looking well when I felt the sweat band rubbing my wrist.
Due to a fellow running a red light while talking on his cell phone about 6 years ago I haven't got really accurate feeling in my hands... the steam had to have been hotter than I felt... and the sweat band, not leather it seems, disintegrated in my beautiful hat :rage: :eusa_doh: (five stages of death)
It happens I have a similar hat to this that is paint splotched and well worn but has a good sweat band in it and, I guess, I will pray to the hat gods that they will guide these numb hands in an ability to sew this sweatband into the new hat[huh]
I find no sport at all in learning of that misfortune, but I have read several 'I steamed my fedora til the sweatband was ruined' posts over time here and I always give the same advice:
There is really no reason to expose the sweatband to steam. If steam is one's preferred method for shaping an already blocked and trimmed hat, then just bathe the hat - upside down - in the flow for a short while and not too close to the kettle, then take it away and shape it, repeat.
The best method, however, in my experience, is simply to brush the hat then wet the crown with clean water from a spray/mister and then sculpt away. When wet, the felt on a good hat moulds much easier than when steamed and it retains that crease when it dries.
I know, I know. Where was this advice before you cooked your lid? Well, I've written it before a couple times but here it is again as an option for others to consider.
G'luck replacing the band, bud.
The reason that I wanted to relate this is simply to make clear the warning that, even though my hands were in the steam, just the little loss of sensation that I suffer made the difference between shaping the hat and destroying the sweat. Basically "Playing with fire!"
The sweat in the other has a little even wear on it but other than it having other stampage I think it will work very well. I will take the having to sew it in as a learning experience[huh]
Sorta reminds me of my teens when I used to take a couple cars apart and make one from them.
Will start photoing tomorrow and maybe put together a step-by-step on the procedure (stumble-by-stumble)
the photos are gone from this one, but it was quite bad
this one is also pretty ugly
my own story:
2 years ago, I got a VS for Christmas and wore it for the first time to a family Christmas party. My uncle took the coats and my hat. Afterward, when he brought them back, the coats and the hat liner had cheesy-finger stains. I ruined the liner by trying to clean it when I got home using a toothbrush and either peroxide or alcohol - it's hard to remember as I was really angry.
The next day, I contacted Art, sent him the hat, and got it back as good as new the next week. For shipping and a few bucks for the liner, it wasn't exactly a catastrophe, but it sure felt like it on Christmas night.
That Whippet definitely brings a tear to your eye.
I hadn't seen the Hat-astrophy thread before oops,
I guess I should find contact info and get in touch with Art myself before I go any further, just not sure this hat really warrants all that. NOS with a price of $18.95 under the band, I really don't know it's actual value. Can't tell if it would be a waste of funds to farm the repair out rather than try and DIY it.[huh]
Maybe I should thin down my collection and then just get Art to build me the hats I need.
Really have to get some pics of the disaster taken and posted.
Bet it was the peroxide because it does tend to eat/bleach things and I have never had a problem with alcohol.
don't know if this counts as a horror story,.. I went to sleep after re-blocking my one and only favourite Stetson-Playboy.. I was rather succesful by using lots of water and a hatshaper (plastic hatblock), and finally i creased the hat in the best shape ever, then to bed I went. That night, I got up, took a shower and dressed my sundays best.. 'where's my Playboy, i thought, to finish the whole look', I found it lying around somewhere, on the ground, horror, horror, there was paint (shellac or something like that) all over the hat, and when i picked it up the paint crumbled of the hat taking all the beautiful colour with it leaving me with a flaky, moldy, shapeless woollen hat (!) that, how hard I tried and tried, never got back the fantastic crease that it had the night before.. I was yelling and calling myself names for being so careless with such a fantastic piece of headwear and I pulled the damn playboy apart when I woke up bathing in sweat.... it was my first hat-nightmare and thank god, the Playboy was resting on my ironing-board in all it's magnificent glory..
I think we're all in danger of a few nightmares after those pics Lefty!
An irretrievable tragedy
About 5 or 6 years ago, long before I discovered the Lounge, I had a nice Stetson Chatham that I wore all the time. Well, I got out of a cab in Brooklyn one day, paid the guy, and as I stood there on the curb, realized that my lovely hat was sitting on the back shelf of the cab, as it drove off into the night. Bye bye hat!
WHEW! You had me scared for a minute there!
This story is rather mild, but the only one I can think of at the moment. My second fedora was a Biltmore Bogart I had probably about five or six years ago. I was eating at a restaurant with my parents, and had my hat sitting on a spare seat at the table. We were just about through with the meal when a glass if iced tea was accidentally spilled all over the chair with the hat. :eusa_doh:
It cleaned up well enough (it was only iced tea after all), but I was freaked out for a little while.
gtd needs to chime in here with the story of how he managed to run over his Stetson with a Brush Hog.
My worst, my Blue Tick coon hound chewed up a 3X Stetson western that I carelessly left within his reach.
Since Evan called me out...
This is a relatively modern Open Road that I took the alpine crease out of & never was happy with the end result. It became my beater/work hat & what I wore when I bushhog the pastures. Getting up next to the fences, I have to dodge a few low hanging limbs. I was coming down hill, ducked under such a limb but came up too early. My hat was knocked off & I couldn't stop the 1963 MF 35 fast enough so my lid went under & quickly came out the other side. I stitched it up & put a 2 ply ribbon on it & back in service it went...
Battle scars add character
No Fedora Mishaps
I've never had a hat-astrophe with a fedora so far, but I've got a collection of fine Stetson and Resistol and custom made westerns that are stained with cranberry and vodka, horse urine, and other things that don't ever come out. My favorite hat foul-up occurred when I was in my early twenties. A few of us had been out on a cowboy campout, and it had rained on us all day long. When we went to bed by the fire, two of my buddies left their Stetsons close to the fire so they would dry out. In the morning, they looked like doll hats. They had shrunken not just one or two sizes, but what seemed like 3/4 scale. My hat stayed away from the fire, and was wet, but still fit, and is still usable twenty years later. I've seen cowboy hats get stamped on by cattle and horses, impaled on tree branches, and inadvertently covered with manure. Maybe that's why they make them so stiff and thick? Frank
I left my first serious hat, an Akubra Stylemaster, on a train in Czechoslovakia in 1990. It was a beautiful hat and I miss it, Oh well...
The T&J mentioned in an earlier post (where the pictures were missing) was mine. I dug up the picture and here is a shot of the damage. Still breaks my heart!
I had (operative word had) a gorgeous Churchill western hat in beaver with a pheasant hat band that fell off the rack one day. Came home to find that our new puppy really enjoyed the delicious treat. It was my best hat. The dog passed away Christmas morning at the age of 17 and I'd feed her a Borsalino to get her back . . .