Installing Wind Cords

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Stoney, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. Stoney

    Stoney Practically Family

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Currently on the East Coast
    I've been asked to post some tips for installing wind cords. I'm not really a subject matter expert, but can pass on how I do this at home. If anyone has anything more to add, or modify, to this procedure please feel welcome to do so.

    I use stretchrite beading cord for all of my new and replacement wind trolleys.
    The elastic provides a shock line effect if the hat is actually blown off when the cord is being used , much like shock lines used by rock climbers. The size of the cord is correct for a wind trolley, it can be colored or dyed to match the hat ribbon and the elastic provides a snug fit that does not droop after it is installed.

    [​IMG]

    Of course this is the black variety. use the same type of cord in white if you are doing colors other than black. I use RIT dye to color the elastic cord. You can also use fabric markers , thanks for the tip Spatterdash , although they will not get down into the grooves of the elastic as easily as dye so you have to go over the cord more than once to get complete coverage.

    The following cords were all colored using dark brown RIT brand dye. For very light colors you can just soak the cord in cold dye or, place the dye in a glass and microwave for 5 minutes for a slightly darker shade. For medium and dark shades you need to simmer the cord in a pan full of dye for 30 seconds , for light to medium, and up to an hour for a very dark shade.

    [​IMG]


    The next step is the button for the cord. You can use a plain or fancy shank back button like this one.

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    A faux pearl snap button for a western shirt makes an interesting button and can be crimped onto the cord using a pair of channel locks and a towel to prevent marring the finish. These are available in most any craft or fabric store.

    [​IMG]

    The side view of the western shirt snap button.

    [​IMG]


    The most commonly seen buttons are covered with a bit of matching ribbon fabric like this one from one of my vintage Borsalinos.

    Front
    [​IMG]


    and Back . Notice the nice finished back plate on this button.

    [​IMG]

    Ribbon covered buttons are challenging to make, but it can be done in about 30 minutes. This is my method for making them.

    Start with a plain shank back button fig 28. Cut a circular piece of ribbon as shown in fig 29 below, you need to make the circular cutout slightly larger since the Grosgrain ribbon will fray at the edges.

    [​IMG]

    Sew a single thread all the way around the circular patch. Use the dot pattern shown in figure 29 above. You should have two ends of the thread coming out of the fabric from opposite directions when you are done.

    Place the button in the center of the circular piece of fabric and pull both ends of the thread to enclose the button face in the fabric. as shown in fig 31. Tie off the thread so the cinch stays fairly tight.

    At this point I sew all around the back of the button once again, just behind the back edge, and pull this thread tight in order to tighten the face of the fabric over the button. Once this thread is tight you need to glue the ribbon to the back of the button using superglue. It helps to press down on the ribbon using a round toothpick as the glue is applied. Work your way around the back side of the button with the superglue and toothpick. Once the glue has dried you can use an exacto knife or razor blade to trim off the excess fabric. the button should look something like this one.
     
    Ross Young, ChicagoWayVito and rclark like this.
  2. Stoney

    Stoney Practically Family

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    977
    Location:
    Currently on the East Coast
    Front

    [​IMG]

    and the back, Notice that the finish is not as nice as the Borsalino button above, but hey who is going to be looking at the back of this button anyway.

    [​IMG]

    Note that a loop is made in front of all of these buttons and the cord is passed back through this loop before it is attached to the hat. The wind cords on my vintage hats appear to be sewn to the felt just under the ribbon. I'm not taking the ribbons off of them to verify this :eusa_doh:

    I thought a better approach, for a functional rather than decorative wind trolley, was to terminate the cord inside the hat, so it could not easily come off. What good is a wind cord that lets the hat get away?

    This is my method for attaching the cord inside the hat.
    Thread the cord onto a large needle and place the needle through the hoop as shown below:

    [​IMG]


    Flip the sweatband down before proceeding. Insert the needle under the bow and pull the cord into the hat.

    [​IMG]

    Once the cord is inside the hat lift the looped cord over and onto the hat.

    [​IMG]

    place the cord just under the bottom edge of the ribbon , all the way around the hat and pull the cord from inside the hat until it is snug, but not overly tight.

    [​IMG]


    Use a small thin button to terminate the cord inside the hat, just at the edge of the sweatband beeding. Select a button small enough that you will not feel it when it is installed under the sweatband.

    [​IMG]

    Tie off the button, glue the knot with superglue

    [​IMG]

    and trim off the excess cord. Then pull the button tight against the beeding using the cord outside the hat.

    [​IMG]
     
    Ross Young likes this.
  3. Stoney

    Stoney Practically Family

    Messages:
    977
    Location:
    Currently on the East Coast
    The finished button can be worn at the front or back of the bow knot by changing the direction that you put the loop over the hat as shown below:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The finished cord removed from the hat and ready to attach to your jacket.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. fletch31

    fletch31 Familiar Face

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Rexburg, ID
    Hey good job with this Stoney. I like seeing this solution from beginning to end. Thanks for posting!
    Fletch31
     
  5. Stoney

    Stoney Practically Family

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    Location:
    Currently on the East Coast
    Thanks Fletch31. I had hoped that this would prove useful for someone.
     
  6. J.T.Marcus

    J.T.Marcus Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,354
    Location:
    Mineola, Texas
    Stoney, That is one of the most helpful do-it-yourself posts I have ever seen! Thank-you for taking the time to work it up and share it with us! :eusa_clap :eusa_clap :eusa_clap :eusa_clap
     
  7. Spatterdash

    Spatterdash A-List Customer

    Messages:
    310
    It proved useful to me.

    One day, soon I hope, I will show just how useful.
    Stoney, you are a madman and a genius, and I am really glad for this tutorial.
     
  8. jimmy the lid

    jimmy the lid I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,647
    Location:
    USA
    Stoney -- thanks a million for taking the time to put this tutorial together. Very useful, and much appreciated! :eusa_clap

    Cheers,
    JtL
     
  9. bolthead

    bolthead My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,901
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, United States
    Once Again.....

    Great Tutorial Stoney.....you Da Man. :eusa_clap

    PS. Just a thought on using the markers. You say it doesn't go into the grooves, how about stretching the cord out 1st, making it taught...then coloring it, you think that might help? [huh]
     
  10. Matt Deckard

    Matt Deckard Man of Action

    An excellent thread... I love wind cords, have them on most new hats I have made as well... Wear them when on ships or boats mostly, they are pretty snazzy
     
  11. Zarniwoop

    Zarniwoop New in Town

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I just got a Akubra Fedora on the weekend and lo and behold it had a hat chord. I had never used or seen one before. After a little research on the web I found this great thread and forum. Wikipedia on this page on Fedora's seems to refer to the wind chord as a "wind trolley". Anybody know the origin of such a useful device. I would love to see shots of people using there wind chord.
    The usefullness of a wind chord reminds me of skirt lifters (see another one here).
     
  12. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    21,984
    Location:
    London, UK
    There are a coupel of threads on this from a year or so ago if you do a search - there were photos of one in use if you look on those. Definitely a useful device; when I can summon up the nerve, I may well follow these instructions to put one on my Feds - the only thing they lack, IMO!
     
  13. Bob Smalser

    Bob Smalser One of the Regulars

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Hood Canal, Washington
    Just to add a bit to Stoney's fine tutorial, Dritz and others make kits for producing fabric-covered buttons where no sewing, knots or glue are required, and the metal button loop can be neatly removed before assembly using needle-nose pliers:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Finding grosgrain ribbon in matching colors can be difficult, but bias tape comes in a wide variety of colors and also dyes more uniformly than millinery ribbon for an exact match to a tough ribbon color:

    [​IMG]

    And here are some home-installed wind cords...my wife really likes her horse fly Open Road ;):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Splitcoil

    Splitcoil One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    San Diego
    Glorious!

    Very helpful. Thank you very much for posting this. I've been having wind trolleys added to my hats, and it'll be nice to be able to do it myself now. I'll be bookmarking this one.
     
  15. Borsalino Fan

    Borsalino Fan New in Town

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    USA
    windcords

    Hello:

    I have several vintage Borsalino's. All the wincords are a single strand. On one if the hats, the windcord came loose..and I can't seem to put it back in placev without resulting in a couble strand of cord. I can take it to the store to fix it ..but ..I'm sure it's asimple procedure to do it myself. Can anyone help in how to properly adjust this thing?

    thank you
     
  16. Big_e

    Big_e Practically Family

    Messages:
    654
    Location:
    Dallas, Tx
    An old post but worth bumping! I think it's time for the Return of the Wind Cord. Watch, just as soon as I install one on one of my Stetson Sovereigns, We won't get anymore wind. That'll suit me fine.
    Ernest
     
  17. The Wiser Hatter

    The Wiser Hatter I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,764
    Location:
    Louisville, Ky
    I wonder if someone sells Wind Trolleys. I know most custom hat builders will make one for your hat. But does anyone just sell the replacement?
     
  18. mayserwegener

    mayserwegener

    Messages:
    15,717
    Location:
    Maryland
    Optimo will sell individual Wind Trolleys.
     
  19. bloc

    bloc One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    195
    Location:
    Llandovery, Wales, UK
    Great tutorial, cheers.
     
  20. Hercule

    Hercule Practically Family

    Messages:
    787
    Location:
    Western Reserve (Cleveland)
    Could have used one last week. Now I'm hatless until the tax return arrives!
     

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