Sourcing Hat Bodies Wool, Straw, Blends?

Discussion in 'Hats' started by airforceindy, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. airforceindy

    airforceindy One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    263
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    Sources for unblocked felt

    I've tracked down a few online sources courtesy of Google, but none of them appear (at first glance) to carry that great of a product. Is there a place that makes higher quality hoods or capelines available to 'Joe Schmoe'? I'd like to get as close to Akubra as possible in the rabbit department, especially starting out in my hat-building hobby, but beaver would be much nicer down the road...

    Regards, Andy
     
  2. Spatterdash

    Spatterdash A-List Customer

    Messages:
    310
    Now here's where someone comes in and callously dismisses the curious fellow hat-lover with a "Use the Search function, it's there for a reason".
    Me, I'm not that guy. I spent hours checking and double checking before I finally was able to nail this one, and doesn't seem to be any big secret... once you find it. You've just got read most everything the searches turn up to spot it in the commentary - and I've just quit smoking.

    I wouldn't wish that on you, so here's the Holy Grail. Don't pass beyond the Great Seal and remember, He who won't make his own blocks must suffer the bids of others.

    Winchester Hat Company. Ask for Greg.
    931-967-0686
    He carries rabbit and pure beaver. Tell him you're making a dress hat, he knows what to do. Yes, he sells single capelines and hoods.
    I'll leave the rest of the details to Greg himself.
     
    Milpro likes this.
  3. RBH

    RBH Bartender

    Im glad spatter was able to help. I was going to holler at Major Moore and get the info from him.
     
  4. barrowjh

    barrowjh One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,398
    Location:
    Maryville Tennessee
    There is no source of unblocked fur felt - all of the 'blanks' have a basic block already, although the hatter can change that a great deal within 2 or 3 hat sizes, the blanks are not a 'one size fits all.'

    The folks at Winchester are very nice - pay them a visit if you can.
     
  5. airforceindy

    airforceindy One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    263
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    Spatter, you are a gentleman and a scholar! Usually (in my family, anyways) that would be followed by "and your IQ can only be exceeded by your shoe size!" But, I don't know you well enough for that...:D Thanks for sharing your research, I will be sure to give Greg a call.

    Barrowjh, please pardon my ignorance or the appropriate terms. :eusa_doh: I just assumed 'unblocked' would refer to any hat body not in it's final shape, ie: hoods and capelines. Another lesson learned!

    Regards to all, Andy
     
  6. Marcus Brody

    Marcus Brody Familiar Face

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Haha, actually, I believe you can actually buy pieces of felt that are flat so I guess those are not blocked.
     
  7. airforceindy

    airforceindy One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    263
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    Point Taken:rage: :D
     
  8. Roadrunner

    Roadrunner One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    NW PA
    Thanks for asking this, I was getting ready to do the same thing. Google wasn't helping me out any.
     
  9. airforceindy

    airforceindy One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    263
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    Jumping in with both feet...

    In an attempt to glean some more tips from some of the best minds in the business (ahhh... flattery:) ), I'm going to pose a few more questions as I prepare to try building my own hat for the first time.
    I've sourced raw bodies from a highly reputable US felter (allegedly the same fellow that makes felt for Art, and a few others; still have to call him, though), but I'm at a loss for decent sweatbands. Optimo used a great 'generic' sweat on my Fed Dlx, I'll probably see if I can beg/buy some of those from Graham; can any of you suggest any other reputable mainstream suppliers? Those that I've found online appear to be of low quality, and whether they are made of actual leather or not is dubious.
    I'd like to build this thing from the ground up; every stitch done by my own hand. That said, I want to be able to sew the reed/tape to the sweat myself, with a higher stitch-count than what is typically available (closer to Marc's, Steve's, Graham's, Art's, etc.), so aquiring them separately is a must.
    Also, I've searched for a tutorial on stitching, specifically the lock stitch. No dice. I dismantled my Dobbs this afternoon to get some ideas, and learned only that they did crappy job of it.
    Finally, ribbon. Is it a huge deal? Grosgrain or petersham? Is anything labeled 'grosgrain' going to be the right thing, or does it vary? I'm comfortable with the sewing of it, but it MUST be the right type. If I'm going to this, I'm going to do it right!
    Some tutorials here and on COW have offered priceless advice, but I'm hungry to learn the craft, if only for my own gratification. Any further help and advice any of you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

    Regards, Andy
     
  10. Brad Bowers

    Brad Bowers I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,187
    All of the sweatbands I've seen for sale online are already reeded. However, I'll bet if you give JW at JW Hats a call, he could cut you a sweatband or two, and sell it to you unassembled, since he makes his own. They're goatskin, but the sample I got from him a couple of years ago was nicer than most production hats.

    Never have found a good stitching tutorial online.

    Don't get Petersham, as it's not proper hatband ribbon, though I think it's used on women's hats. Even much of the grosgrain you find online isn't good, but whatever you buy, make sure it's a rayon/cotton blend.

    Good luck with your project.

    Brad
     
  11. airforceindy

    airforceindy One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    263
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    update on material search

    Ok, so I've sourced felt and sweatbands. Talked to Greg at Winchester Hats this morning; great fella to talk to, and sounds like he'll be really easy to work with. His prices are outrageous, way less than I was expecting them to be, especially for 100% beaver. I'll probably practice a bit with the rabbit before I get to that, though. Just got off the phone now with a guy at JW Hats (pretty sure it wasn't JW himself), and was quoted $5 apiece for sweatbands without any markings or anything on them, which is what I want to start out with. Shoot, I forgot to ask about ribbon. Back to the phone again...
     
  12. airforceindy

    airforceindy One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    263
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    continued...

    Ok, I guess that WAS JW! I figured on him having an 'older' sounding voice, based on the pictures. Asked about ribbon, and it sounds pretty reasonable. Trick is, I gotta get a roll at a time, and grosgrain isn't something you can just go pick up at Hobby Lobby, I don't think. So THAT'll be a little more spendy than I thought it would be. Liners I'll probably just buy from Leko at hatsupply.com. A liner's a liner, right? I'm trying to think how I'll do the labeling, since I don't have access to a high-speed printer like the one Mark Brody used for his. Mark, you wanna go into business a la Steve and Marc of Adventurebilt? :D There, that's sourced my logo!lol Things are shaping up nicely now... just gotta get that block done. I got brushed off today in the woodshop at work since they were having the 28 Bomb Wing safety inspection. Couldn't get on the saws and sander just in case the inspectors came in, so I'll have to wait until next week. I'll photo-document and post as I go along. Once the wife gives me permission to buy the materials this thing should go like clockwork (I hope!).

    PS- Thanks, Brad, for the referral to JW.

    Regards, Andy
     
  13. Brad Bowers

    Brad Bowers I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,187
    You're welcome. JW's a good guy.

    Brad
     
  14. indycop

    indycop I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,325
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    :mad: You youngsters!!! OLDER voice!:eusa_doh: :eusa_doh: lol lol lol lol
     
  15. Mark Brody

    Mark Brody New in Town

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    AF Indy, if your base has an Arts & Crafts center, you could get access to their woodshop without worrying about the IG. I know I got a full day's use of the woodshop here and it only cost me $6 and a 1 hr safety video.
     
  16. airforceindy

    airforceindy One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    263
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    Yeah, I checked that out. Unfortunately, Ellsworth doesn't have a wood shop so I'm left begging to use the tools in the Structures shop. Good thing I deployed with their NCOIC a few years ago! I did hit another timing snag, though; got stuck on nights for an ORE this week. Ugh! The block project will probably have to wait until Thursday or Friday now. Had a great conversation with one of our resident hatters here on the Lounge yesterday, got some good info on various block types and what effect they'll have on the final bash-product. I'm sure I'll be bugging him some more, though!

    Regards, Andy
     
  17. ChicagoWayVito

    ChicagoWayVito Practically Family

    Messages:
    562
    Hi,

    Anyone know of suppliers for hat bodies. Looking for Wool, Straw, and Rabbit/Beaver blends or other blends as well. Especially those that would deal in small quantities of 2 or 3 at a time?

    Cheers!
     
  18. alanfgag

    alanfgag

    Messages:
    14,389
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
  19. ChicagoWayVito

    ChicagoWayVito Practically Family

    Messages:
    562
    Thanks @alanfgag, I forgot about fepsa. Fepsa works some 100% fur and blends but shipping is a bit prohibitive. Any one know of other hat body manufacturers. I already buy my 100% furs from Winchester.

    Would like a good lead on Panama (Straw) hat bodies from Ecuador if anyone has suggestions.
     
  20. tropicalbob

    tropicalbob My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,956
    Location:
    miami, fl
    For straws, Tom Gomez has a very good reputation. He has a web site, an Etsy site, and to get a look at some possibilities check out "Panama Hat Works of Montecristi: Genuine Equador," which has some very nice and interesting variations.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.