Sewing in a sweatband

Discussion in 'Hats' started by dlgilbert, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,641
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    Yes, there is the whole 'bespoke' or 'couture' mystique. I have removed the sweat bands from many a hat and resewn in the sweat and the process of tearing out the old did not seem to distress or weaken the felt in any way and some of them were crappy old beat up westerns. It would be an interesting discussion. I took heart in reading his post that it took him an hour to complete. I am down to about 75 minutes for both the baste and the final sew so I am perhaps not as clumsy as I think i am. And lately I am not drawing much blood from my fingers either!
     
    carter and Yamahana like this.
  2. humanshoes

    humanshoes One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,311
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I've heard the claim that machine sewing a sweatband will "tear up" the felt. This has not been the case for me. Granted, the dedicated sweatband machine does take some fine tuning to set up properly. Thread gauge, thread tension, attachment spacing, and feed dog height all have to be spot on, but when it's right it turns a 1 hour job into a 3 minute job. I've sewn the same sweatband into the same hat at least 5 times due to operator error and noticed no apparent ill effect to the felt. That's just my experience though and others may have had different results.
    I hand sewed sweatbands for years and always found that tactile, hands-on method to be quite satisfying if somewhat tedious. It definitely becomes easier and less time consuming with practice. Still, with my aging hands and diminishing eyesight, I wouldn't trade my 1107-1 for a barrel of beavers.
     
    carter, hatsRme, T Jones and 3 others like this.
  3. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,641
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    Yes, I too enjoy the hand sewing now. It is out of the land of vexation and I can relax and get into the process. Plus the fact I no longer have bleeding fingers...well for the most part.
     
  4. Kell-Hammer

    Kell-Hammer New in Town

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    NC
    I think this becomes an issue with a hat when you try to reblock it. Pull it down onto the block can some times reveal that weaken that was done with a machine and rip the felt on the brim break where it meets the crown. Not always, but it can weaken it to this degree.
     
  5. ChicagoWayVito

    ChicagoWayVito Practically Family

    Messages:
    501
    Any damage to felt from a machine stitched sweat would to me indicate one or two issues in the setup. The first and maybe most important is the stitch length. We want long stitches and not something that you would find on say the brim binding. The other would be thread tension, if the tension is too tight then it could cut into the felt. So I can see it happening but to @humanshoes point, the operator must take great care to setup the machine just right. I have done this operation both ways by hand and on the ASM clone of the Singer machine for sewing in the sweats. Reblocking would only expose an issue if proper setup wasn't performed.
     
  6. suitedcboy

    suitedcboy One Too Many

    I am a doubter of felt damage from needle piercing felt. If the needle is sharp I don't see it cutting through hairs as much as dodging around them. Like what happens when you sew buttons on a shirt. I will say that I have had some long worn, heavily sweat stained hats torn in that area. They were lesser grade hats and I would think the felt was fragile from some organism that liked hair and human protein carried with skin cells in the sweated area. I would be very suspicious of moderate or higher beaver content felt that is new and was damaged by sweatband sewing.
     
  7. Mustang Mike's Hats

    Mustang Mike's Hats A-List Customer

    Messages:
    393
    Location:
    Southern California
    I agree with the last couple of replies. I get a fair number of used hats for refurbishing and have only seen one hat with damage to the crown. That hat was inexpensive to begin with, old, and WELL worn. I too think the issue was most likely poor quality manufacturing (Heavy thread tension) and too close a thread pattern.
     
    carter, humanshoes and deadlyhandsome like this.

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