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Look What I Got

K.D. Lightner

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2,354
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Des Moines, IA
James -- It is quite soft and feels great. I was surprised because I thought that Akubra hats were hard. I was basing that on my white Snowy River hat, which is a cowboy style and is hard as a helmet (well, not quite), and also on comments from others on the Lounge. Maybe it was softened when it was styled as an Indy hat. (?)

It states inside the hat that it is pure fur felt, I am assuming that it is rabbit, which I think is what Akubra uses in all its hats.

The leather sweatband is soft and supple, the inside is silky, top portion has a soft plastic covering over the logo.

The only flaw is some very light staining on the lining, just above the sweatband on one side. You have to look to see it. Someone must have worn it on a hot day, or something.

The photos shown in the ebay ad show the hat a little lighter, truest color is in the side view; it is a darker brown than most of my brown hats and the ribbon is black, though it seems like an even darker brown to me. The ad says it is black, though, so maybe the light is playing tricks with my eyes. I should take it out in bright sunlight and look.

I am very pleased with it and am wearing it in my office while I write this. (They are used to my eccentricities).

karol
 

Feraud

Bartender
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17,193
Location
Hardlucksville, NY
7 1/8? That's my size too....(where is the jealous icon when you need it?)

Congrats!! I have an Akubra Fed. in the 'deluxe' version. It is a fine hat! Tough as nails...
My Akubra was helmet hard when it first arrived. The more you use it the more supple it becomes.





Put that bad boy on yer head and take some pics.
 

K.D. Lightner

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2,354
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Des Moines, IA
Yes, yours looks like my hat's big brother.

It does not say that mine is a Deluxe. It states Akubra "Imperial Quality," whatever that is. And it states that it is a Federation.

Whoever had it styled, it is very nice, the most "Indy" of the hats that I have.

I will try to get my friend to get some photos of it; the Indy style looks better on me than most of my fedoras.

karol
 

K.D. Lightner

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2,354
Location
Des Moines, IA
Look What Else

On the other hand, you win some and you lose some.

This one looked intriguing and is not a bad hat, for the price I paid.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=8315363863

Problem 1: advertised as my size, it is not. It's too tight, though I could have it stretched if I decide not to give it away.

Problem 2 (for now): I am allergic to it! Honest. I am deathly allergic to cats and this hat evidently was not in a cat-free home. I didn't think about it, was handling the hat, trying it on, and the next thing I know I am sneezing, sniffling and my eyes turned red and itchy. I looked closer at it and found some hairs on it. Bet my paycheck they are kitty hairs....

karol
 
Cat hairs?! Oh no. Take the vacuum cleaner to it so you don't have to dust or brush it. You may not even have to touch it if you are careful. :p
I remember you mentioned bidding on that hat. Interesting. It doesn't fit? Gee, that should not bee too hard to fix if it is not too small. I am going to be working on a size 7 soon. :p
Your Akubra sounds like a unique model if it isn't very stiff and has an Imperial marking. I have never heard of that. Someone told me that they took their new Akubra out to their drive way and ran it over a few time to soften it up. Yes, the hat was in a paper bag first and not on gravel. :p

Regards to all,

J
 

K.D. Lightner

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2,354
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Des Moines, IA
Yes, I am going to stuff the hat in a bag, take it home and have my housekeeper vacuum it, maybe brush it off with a damp cloth.

I have to remember, when buying things off ebay, to check. Many sites will say they are pet-free and tobacco-free homes. I didn't comprehend how much it mattered until I bought a stuffed toy that smelled like a sour old ashtray. Yech! Now, I have the Finafelt safari hat that makes me sneeze.

What, by the way, is Finafelt, does anyone know? It says on the sweatband: Superfine Fur Felt, Finafelt (which might be the brand name), Regd. Made in Australia. It also states Slouch, which is the style of the hat.

It has a little leather wind/stampede strap, and rather than a snap on the side, it has a metal clamp. It also has two grommeted airholes on each side.

The pugaree looks like the kind they are trying to find for Art's Bwana hat.

I do not know how the Akubra hat got softened, but the seller did say he had it styled in Indy style, which saved me some $$. I just assumed it was softened at that point.

What does "Imperial Quality" mean, as opposed to, say, "Deluxe?"

karol
 
K.D. Lightner said:
I may have it stretched, but first I have to have it decontaminated!

Quarantined and fumagated. :p Maybe having it pulled through the air by a Stratoliner would get rid of the cat dander and hair. ;)

I don't mind the cat hair since I am not allergic but my wife has the same reaction you do. The tobacco smell is ok because it saves me the effort when I wear it while smoking my pipe on the deck when we have nights like the past few. ;)

Regards to all,

J
 

K.D. Lightner

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2,354
Location
Des Moines, IA
James, you have mentioned many times that you are able to stretch hats quite a few sizes up. I have had two size 7's stretched, plus a cap that was supposed to be 7 1/8 but wasn't -- and none of them fit me that well afterwards. I swear one of them shrank back again.

What do you do to stretch your hats that the hat shop folks do not do?

karol
 
K.D. Lightner said:
What do you do to stretch your hats that the hat shop folks do not do?

Well, I learned from one of the best actually (he knows who he is ;) ). You have to be careful during all steps of the process and make sure that you do not expect too much. One or two sizes should be quite easy for any qualified hatter. I have never tried to stretch a cap though. Felt hats are where my experience ends.
Doing it right also requires a bit of an outlay of greenbacks too. The heated hat stretchers that do the best job and "set" a stretch are not cheap. Even junk ones go for over $100---then you have to fix them. They look like this:
Hat-Tools.jpg


This used to be a 7 1/4:
Stetson-Privateer2.jpg


The process I used is described here:
http://www.thefedoralounge.com/showthread.php?t=3232&page=1&pp=15&highlight=hat+stretching


Regards to all,

J
 

K.D. Lightner

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2,354
Location
Des Moines, IA
Thanks, James -- wow, that things looks like something out of Bride of Frankenstein. Guess I won't be getting one of those.

The hatters who do stretching here must be conservative or something. Maybe they are afraid of over-stretching? Who knows.

Well, I can try with the Australian Slouch hat (I have been reading about them, a long tradition) and see if I can get it to fit. I have always liked those Aussie hats with the brims snapped up on one side and thought I looked pretty good in them.

I found out that thing I called a wind strap is called a chin strap and it goes under the chin. Has a tiny buckle on it to adjust to your head.

karol
 
K.D. Lightner said:
Thanks, James -- wow, that things looks like something out of Bride of Frankenstein. Guess I won't be getting one of those.

The hatters who do stretching here must be conservative or something. Maybe they are afraid of over-stretching? Who knows.

Well, I can try with the Australian Slouch hat (I have been reading about them, a long tradition) and see if I can get it to fit. I have always liked those Aussie hats with the brims snapped up on one side and thought I looked pretty good in them.

I found out that thing I called a wind strap is called a chin strap and it goes under the chin. Has a tiny buckle on it to adjust to your head.

karol

Well gee, I could repaint it and polish it up real good but that wouldn't make it work better. The first time I used it after doing all that it would probably end up looking the same. :p
I think stretching a hat as much as I do probably scares some people. This doesn't mean that I haven't screwed up a few hats in the process of learning though. They were mostly stingy brims though. ;) Adam regular grade and Champ regular grade hats are tougher to stretch. They do not stretch five sizes and hold it. Three is more like it. It just depends on the felt.
You really need to stretch that Aussie hat. I want to see pictures of you wearing it with one side up and the chin strap on. :p

Regards to all,

J
 

K.D. Lightner

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Messages
2,354
Location
Des Moines, IA
I recall, now, one hatter who was stretching a cowboy hat for me. It was a 7 and needed to be a 7 1/8. He stretched it, it was a teensy bit looser but that was all, still too tight, but he would not stretch it any further because he was fearful of damaging it.

I guess when it is your own hat, you can stretch all you want and, if you ruin in, well, then you do. When you are getting money from a customer, I suppose it is a different deal. Best to be cautious, unless the customer says "stretch it more."

Yes, I will get the Slouch hat stretched (and cleaned!! Especially if Ms. Thomasina has been curled up in it). Maybe I will even find a little Emu feather to put on the side of it. Or ... maybe not.

karol
 

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