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Discussion in 'Hats' started by alanfgag, Aug 28, 2012.
These are later (mid 1950s - early 1960s) so that has to be taken into account.
Steve, thank you. It could very well be they have (a possibly large) hare content. I wouldn't know how to assess that. The density of the felt combined with how thin it actually is, is striking on a number of these German made hats.
Here's some comparison pics I've been meaning to do for a few weeks. The Stetson Boss Raw Edge hats have been among my favorites for a long time. There's something about brim curl and proportions that make them easily my favorite western hats. So I wanted one for a long time, but those vintage ones aren't easy to come by. So when JJ Hat Center introduced their limited version in 2015, I picked one up. These are described as "vintage" felt, although of what vintage is unclear (maybe if I tag @Matt Deckard he'll chime in). I don't know if this is a dyed color or not, but there's a nice mix of tones that seems to fit in the "natural" category in terms of felt colors.
Its companion is a vintage version I picked up in the past few months. I got a pretty decent deal on it. I think because the seller photos were not great. It spiffed up pretty nicely with some steam. There is some light mothing in parts. but nothing too distracting. Based on the store imprint for The Golden Rule, I'm thinking this hat has to be from around 1910, give or take a few years.
To beat a dead horse, the modern version is afflicted by Hatco's tacking technique, which is not nearly as neat as in the past. But the frayed end is a nice touch. The other most significant different between the two hats is of course the felt. Unfortunately I lack a precise scale and calipers to exactly quantify the difference. But the closeup pic hopefully shows the nutria felt to be much thinner, and as one would expect, easier to shape.
If I have my terminology correct (which is not always the case), the nutria version sports a full kettle curl, while the modern version is done in a pencil roll.
The modern version is a very nice example of a Hatco Stetson. The vintage version is one of the nicest hats I've ever handled. Which isn't necessarily saying much, because I haven't really handled a lot of pre-war hats, but it's certainly one of the hats which makes the differences between vintage and modern fairly clear.
Jared, Great comparison!
Stefan, It's just a guess but they are very dense.
Mine too, Jared. I'd take either of those hats in my size. Good job on the comparison.
Thanks Jared for the pics and comparison. Well done.
This may be my fav thread. Best, Eric -
Great post up Jared. I would be proud too, to own & wear either hat in my size.
Great comparison, Jared. Thanks for that. Nice to see the differences between hats that are similar and yet so many years apart.
Very enjoyable comparison Stefan. All of these gray hats are beautiful in their own right, but together...wow! Quite a show.
Very informative and educational Jared. The side by side with modern and early century is incredible.
Thanks for the kind feedback, everyone. I'm glad others found it an interesting comparison. Now I just need one in black!
Stefan, As a follow-up I decided to ask the last technical director of Ebreichsdorfer Filzhutfabrik / S.J. Fraenkel Wien and he told me the following regarding Wild Hare content.
"Wild Hare (Hasenhaar) was widely used for very good qualities. Especially when high density and good grip* was required."
*Could be "good feel / texture". I asked for clarification. The German word "Griff" has a number of meanings.
Clarification from Mr. Menschel.
"Under good grip ("Griff" in German), the hat specialist understands a pleasantly soft feel of the hat surface."
My guess is that is the case with these higher density Smooth and Chamois finished German felts.
Steve; Thanks for the follow-up. As usual you are a fountain of knowledge. Question: Good grip?
Thanks, Eric -
Eric, Thanks! I think he means "strength of felting". Wild Hare produces high durability.
"Good grip" it can also be referred to the qualities of the felt in keeping the color.
One of the problems of dyeing certain felts is their ability to keep the color "gripped".
I am rereading an Italian historical treatise on the production, mixture and composition of the felts and the problems to obtain density, surface finish and effectiveness of the color is known by the experts. Many current felts have colors that were impossible until about thirty years ago, like some dyes of fifty years ago are impossible on modern felt, without mentioning the finishes that are increasingly "poor"
Hello Daniele, Thanks for the great information. I will ask him for clarification. I asked for clarification but now that I look at it again it might be "good feel".
I asked for clarification but it could also be "good feel". Hopefully I get a reply.
A bit Black and Blue today. This may be an odd comparison. However, as I had many of my hats out the other day I couldn't help notice the distinct similarities between my vintage Black Huckel "Flexible" Hagen and my new Blue Worth & Worth Venezia. Each have a 4” crown and a 2 ½” brim and a nearly identical creases in their 1 ½ ribbons. Each have about the same weight felt, the Venezia is 100% hare but not sure of the Huckel. But, the Huckel has a noticeably more rich / velvety feel to it. Also, the leather sweat in the Huckel is like soft butter vs the Venezia which is a bit more stiff. (new?) The Venezia was custom made for me and the Huckel appears to be an "off the rack" 58cm. Both are great hats, but truth be told, the Huckel feels more elegant on the head.
The Hückel "Flexible" was made in Weilheim, West Germany probably late 1950s. It's highly possible it has Hare content too. Please post it on the German - Austrian thread if you haven't already. Thanks!