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Johnny Fedora's Penman Hat Co. Fedora

Johnny Fedora

New in Town
Klamath Falls, OR
Hey everybody! For those who don't know I'm Johnny Fedora over at CoW, and I've had this hat for about oh...a month now. I just wanted to review my new beaver Indy lid, hand made by John Penman. Anyway the Penman hat is too cool and uses the...well read on...


I thought I would start with some pictures and then get to a proper review. Everybody ready? Then lets go...






Ok. Review time kids! (and oh yeah, this is my original review from CoW)
First, I want to thank John yet again for making me a terrific Raiders fedora! It's exactly what I wanted and pictured in my head. It's perfect in everyway, and could only ever be surpassed (and I hope you'll forgive me for this John...by my Magnoli/AdventureBilt/Herbert Johnson, but then you of all people know how much I love that hat :oops: ) At the same time, this hat, the hat you've made for me, will go on adventures that particular rabbit can't go, and will take on a life of it's own. Again, thank you sir.
Ok, let’s see...where to start...ok, what I ordered.
I ordered a Penman Hat Co. Fedora in Indy Brown, styled in the manner of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Now, after talking at length with John about style, I found that he and I share a somewhat similar view on the style elements that make a great Raiders fedora, and so I simply asked John for his best Raiders fedora, and that’s what I received.
First, I gotta' say I loved the packaging. Now, I can't remember if John told me he was going to use the logo on a custom printed box, but it certainly was fun to see when it arrived. It was also fun to open up the box and find not only my hat but the pamphlet, and several business cards to boot. On a personal note, it was a thrill to pull away the plastic and see the bicycle logo in gold against white satin on the liner. John wanted something very "Him" to represent The Penman Hat Co. and I wanted something very old fashioned, that I could believe "could" have been on the liner of Indiana Jones' actual hat. I think we nailed both requirements, and finally being able to see it in person, in a hat, well, that was cool moment.
Ok, on to the hat. Wow! Is that soft! I knew going into it that being beaver, it wouldn't be as floppy as my rabbit hat, but I was unprepared for how buttery soft the feel of the felt is. I don't even want to know how long you spend pouncing this felt; I just know that it feels great!
The fit is spot on with a bit of play in the sweatband for it to shrink to fit. By the way, I did check out the stitching and it's really fine, nice work.
Color. At first, I was a little concerned that the hat looked just a bit too dark. Until I saw it outside. In sunlight, it warms right up to an awesome shade of brown with a touch of red; just like the felt of an Adventurebilt hat (in fact, if anyone out there that has an Adventurebilt and a Penman, could you compare felt thickness and color between the two. I have a feeling the felts might turn out to be closer than anybody suspects. Perhaps even the same?) Not only that, but as I understand it, this color was chosen as it would also mellow and lighten slightly with age into the perfect shade brown seen in Raiders.
And speaking of the perfect shade of brown, let's move on to the ribbon and bow. Perfect! The bow is awesome and John, I think you nailed it! It looks as if it could have been on Harrison's fedora as opposed to mine. The ribbon is a thing of beauty. Dark almost black, brown. It's just dead right, and it's exactly the same ribbon as on my Mags HJ. The only thing I can assume is that somehow you actually sourced the vintage ribbon just as Steve and Marc did. That's really the only answer, and bravo to you for finding it. I'll bet that was a real pain to track down. Good Indy hats are often brought down by a crappy ribbon, and your hats, made with that ribbon, puts you in an exclusive club with Steve and Marc being the only other members.
Block. Here is another area in which the Penman hat excels. Now, I've been wearing and scrutinizing this hat since receiving it and the only conclusion I can reach regarding the block shape of this hat is that it shares the same block shape, quirks and all, with my Mags/AB/HJ. A hat that was made using Steve's old Raiders block.
So...let's see, Adventurebilt felt? Vintage HJ ribbon? Oh yeah, same block shape as my HJ? No wonder it's a great hat, it's practically an Adventurebilt. But that stuff is only part of what makes a great hat. The rest, the craftsmanship, is all John. He put it together with all the care and attention to detail that I would expect from a hatter of no less than Steve and Marc's prowess, and I would easily throw this hat into the ring as a true successor to Adventurebilt USA when Steve retires. Not bad for a hatter who made his first hat in May!

To sum up...

Dutch_jones said:
so its basically an Adventurebilt at the old price withouth 12 month wait?
Dang ! People shouldbe all over this!
No kidding. My guess here is that John won't officialy go one hundred percent on record with alot of the details that go into this hat out of his (very well placed) respect for his mentors/teachers. Two master hatters who have helped guide him in his new venture and aided him every step of the way (except with sourcing the ribbon. That, I think they made him do on his own). But as a customer providing a review to my community I have to call a spade a spade (hopfully John will forgive my observations :oops: ), when I say that the Penman Hat Co. is truly turning out a product that is (and read this carefully) second only to Adventurebilt, and the only thing that seperates the two companies is the name and expertise of Steve and Marc. With all due respect to all of COW's hatters, Adventurebilt has been the gold standard in our hobby (and even my beloved HJ was hand made by Steve Delk), and The Penman Hat Co. is it's child. Felt, sweat, ribbon and blockshapes don't lie. If you can afford an Adventurebilt buy one (I keep trying to save for one myself), but if you can't, by a Penman. The value is almost prepostrus. John's skills has a hatter are growing, and the materials he's using are in the opinion of this reviewer, the exact same materials and tools (AB's original blocks) as go into a hat made by Steve Delk (Marc's materials are of course diffrent).
Somthing else to take into concideration, Fedora has said this about making the hats for Indiana V...
Fedora said:
If there was to be another film, I am NOT interested. We made the CS fedora. Let another hatter get some perks.
Now Bernie has said that one of the reasons he went with AB was that they were stateside, John is not only stateside but on the west coast. With his proximity to LA, the same felt (which Bernie loved), same ribbon, nearly the same blockshape (the CS block is somewhat diffrent), and the help and instruction of the two men who made the CS fedora, who else might make the next lid for Indiana Jones? :) Food for thought.


One of the Regulars
Welcome to the FL Johnny. Thats a beautiful fedora you have there. I ordered one from John about 2 months ago and i'm hoping it will be here very soon.



Johnny, I'm very glade you like your hat and I can tell you like it very much and I didn't have to read your review. I just looked at that big smile of your and can tell how much you like that hat. that makes all those hours working on that hat worth it.


I'll Lock Up
Sydney Australia
I'm no particular aficianado of ROTLA but the colour looks awesomely authentic and the felt looks like a vintage Borsalino...IMHO

Craig Robertson

One of the Regulars
That is a nice looking fedora, John...but, quite honestly, I have never been able to tell the difference between the various Indiana Jones fedoras...(now, if they were ukuleles, I could tell!)



Thanks everyone for all the kind words. I do have a question for anyone who can answer it.

Who do I talk with to get a vendor status and where do I post about my hat company? I have a few hats to show off.

Thanks in advance


Practically Family
Hello Oak, and welcome. I have read a lot about your hats on COW and I think the members here will like your work.

There is a merchant forum at the bottom of the index. One of the Mods (Zohar or Scotrace) should be able to hook you up.


My Mail is Forwarded Here
I live in Portland is why I ask. Good to know that both Art Fawcett and John Penman are in the same great state! Would be great to drop by and see a few of your hats some time.

handlebar bart

Call Me a Cab
at work
suitedcboy said:
Feeling stupid here now, I do not know what "COW" or "CoW" is when it isn't a four legged mammal that runs around in my pastures and bears calves.

Its another forum, and its for Indiana Jones nutslol . Club Obi Wan.

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