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Straight 1930's hat blocks

Fedora

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I read a bit on the Dillinger thread, but could not respond to this, due to it being locked down. I just need to clarify my side.

Penman and Adventurebuilt have straighter blocks, yet for some reason they seam a bit wonky. In an attempt to replicate the Indy hat, in person the hats always look very round oval. The finish on the felts from what I've seen is a bit patchy.
Their ribbon treatments haven't been as clean as Optimo and Art's to my observations.


For everyone's information, the block I used for the Indy 4 fedora was a very old block, with "fedora" imprinted on the bottom of the block. I did not make it myself. That was for the brown hats. So, if it was wonky, it was wonky back when they used it. lol And, it was a regular oval block. I don't own any round ovals.

The gray hat used another old vintage block, the number which I will keep to myself, for obvious reasons. ;)

Now, I cannot speak for John, I make only Indy fedoras, and in doing so, I try to replicate the first 3 film hats. Warts and all. That's my niche. The last hat was my own, or rather, Bernie's pick of what I sent. He picked the old vintage blockshape over our handmade Raiders blocks. He picked the block with "fedora" imprinted on the bottom. And, from what I know, this is a very rare block, as I have found only one hatter who had this exact same block in his stable. ( I was looking to buy a full set after Indy 4, could not find it, and had a set replicated at Lamodes Blocks.)

Regarding the ribbon work, again, I replicate the Raiders bow work, as this is what my customers want. Warts and all. But back when I used to make other hats, I used the hidden stitches that don't show, instead of the ones that do show, i.e. the Indy fedoras.

On the pounce, while I do pounce finer than the film hats were, prior, again, I am replicating, but do offer finer pounced hats, if requested. I just don't get any requests. lol But on my own hats, I pounce those finer than anything from the other hatter mentioned. I know, since I once bought 3 of his hats.

Personally I don't think comparing Graham to me is fair. I am not in his market. I am an Indy hatter only. And, my gig is to give my customers what THEY want. Sometimes this falls outside the realm of a fine hatter. But, everything I do is intentional, and for a purpose.

I know that I can make hats on the level of that other hatter from the Midwest. I have done so in the past. That just isn't my niche market. As I said, I replicate old HJs, and then made my own contribution to the Indy series. Personally, I would not have chosen the block Bernie liked, but he made the calls. I did like the gray hat block that I used though. If it would have been left up to me, I would have used that gray hat block, for the brown, just shortened the hat up, as that gray hat was 5 3/4 open crowned. The brown hat was 5 1/2, but one 5 1/4 with a bit larger brim accidently got into the film. Thanks to Western Costume who aged the hats prior to sending them to the set. They accidently grabbed a sample, as I sent different blocks, different brim widths and crown heights in as samples.

Later on, after the film was in the can, Bernie expressed to me, that when he recieved my hat, the first one, he had been in a panic, on finding a hat suitable for Steven. My hat put him at ease. He finally found a hatter who knew basically what an Indy hat should look like. Afterall, he had many samples in from other hatters, and all came up short. So, my specialization in Indy fedoras paid off, in a really big way.

So, those big hatters with nice shops, containing high production factory equipement, could not "out do" a guy who handmakes his hats in a 30 foot gutted out camper. And that supercedes ANYTHING said about me, and my hats. ;) If my hats were good enough for Steven to pick them, my quest was realized. At the end of the day, that trumps everything. And, insures me making the Indy 5 hats, IF, that does happen.

And again, and I cannot say this enough. I make replications of a film(s) hats, but use better materials. I am not in the general hat market. How many hatters dust up their new hats with Fuller's Earth??? lol How many move up the stitch points that hold down the ribbon, to match the bespoke Raiders hat? Not something I would do on a regular hat, that is for sure. At least on the CS fedora, I placed them low, at the very bottom of the ribbon. But, that was the only Indy hat that did so.

I come to this site when I have time, just to partiscipate, and NOT to sell hats. I don't want your business. I don't need any additional business, and do not seek it here. I am just a member, and that is how it will remain. As I said in another thread, any inquiries I get on non Indy hats, I recommend my friend Art Fawcett. I don't have the time to make non Indy fedoras. Plus, I have this hat down pat. Making non Indy fedoras would take me 3 times as long to do so. Because I don't have that high production equipment, used by the big boys. Everything I do is manual. By hand. And, I would have it no other way! I don't have girls to do the ribbon work, I do it all myself. In fact, no one touches my hats but me. Good or bad, that's just the way it is.
If the point ever comes where I have to invest in hatmaking machines, I will stop making hats. To me, those machines belong in a high volume factory, not some small shop. But mass production never was my thing anyways. You do get a real consistent product, good or bad, but it's consistent, with little leeway for personal quirks that identifies your hats. Most who own my hats, could pick it out from a pile of other brands, without looking inside. In fact, most who know my hats, could pick it out just by looking at the bow. I happen to like that. lol

If I am to be compared with other hatters, at least let's compare apples to apples. Compare me with H.J. and the hats they provided for the first 3 films. Compare my workmanship to theirs. I know I will win this comparison every time. If you don't believe it, buy an HJ, and then put my hat next to it. ;)

I hope this post does not sound harse, as that is not my intention. I just wanted to set the record straight, and from the horses mouth. I have to admit the 'wonky" comment actually made me laugh. Here was a hat made from a real deal really old fedora block, that was used at one time for fedoras, and it was deemed wonky. And I can't take any credit for it. It was made for some old hat making company, who used it for one of their fedora styled hats. A genuine real deal vintage block, created for a fedora. Perhaps the name of that hat back then, was Wonky. lol But from the look of this block, I do think it was made for the Homburg type top crease, instead of the teardrop or C dent. It is a really straight block on the sides, but does have front and back taper. The mistake made for this hat in the last Indy film, was Benrie wanted the creases to be put in too high. Both the front and back creased height, should have been lower. It completely changes the look of the hat, if you did so. And, pulls in the sides a bit, the way it was designed to be creased. Just this one tweak would have changed the look, for the better, IMO. But a hatter does what he is told to do, when working with costume designers. And I did. Fedora
 

Mulceber

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:eusa_clap :eusa_clap :eusa_clap :eusa_clap

Well-said Steve! That was, as always, a good read, and it cleared up a lot of questions. I was trying to help defend you on the Dillinger thread (although Matt never responded so it wasn't a very involved defense), but it's nice to hear the actual reasons, from the horse's mouth as you said, instead of just having to speculate as a customer. Thanks again for clearing this stuff up. -M

Ps. I didn't know that you'll do finer pouncing. If I had, I would have asked for it on my hats. Oh well. I love them just fine as they are.
 

Fedora

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Well-said Steve! That was, as always, a good read, and it cleared up a lot of questions. I was trying to help defend you on the Dillinger thread (although Matt never responded so it wasn't a very involved defense), but it's nice to hear the actual reasons, from the horse's mouth as you said, instead of just having to speculate as a customer. Thanks again for clearing this stuff up. -M

Ps. I didn't know that you'll do finer pouncing. If I had, I would have asked for it on my hats. Oh well. I love them just fine as they are.


Sure and thanks. Like I said, I serve a different market than the hatter mentioned.

On the pouncing, sure, I will do any finish, even taking all of the nap off, so the hat appears to be made of something like leather. Generally on my Indy fedoras, I just use 320 grit, which is the same grit as used at the factory who makes the bodies. If you want a finer finish, I just use a couple more finer grits to arrive at that finish. My hats are finer pounced than the other film hats though, even with the 320 grit. So I exceed the originals in that aspect already.

I spend alot more time when making my hats stabilizing the felt body while still on the block. And therin is how I am different from most. All my hats start life as 6 inches tall. I then shrink them up to the desired 5 1/2 open crown height, while still on the block. So, the felt which will inevitably shrink, does most of it while on the block. It aids in longevity of maintaining the original shape. Fedora
 

Garrett

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Well said, indeed, Steve. Perhaps this thread will make bartenders and members alike THINK a bit more before posting.
 

HATCO

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191
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Just for clarification we turned down the offer to provide a sample of the Indy hat due to it's license being owned by dorfman and the possible legal ramifications. I doubt any large hat manufacturer except Dorfman would do so as there is no positive outcome. We wouldn't be able to market it as the "real movie hat" as that would certainly cause legal problems. I'm sure Adventurebilt has some sort of agreement or permission from the movie studios or something in order to offer his wonderful hats.

We did send a number of other hats and caps to the film for some of the other roles.
 

Fedora

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Just for clarification we turned down the offer to provide a sample of the Indy hat due to it's license being owned by dorfman and the possible legal ramifications. I doubt any large hat manufacturer except Dorfman would do so as there is no positive outcome. We wouldn't be able to market it as the "real movie hat" as that would certainly cause legal problems. I'm sure Adventurebilt has some sort of agreement or permission from the movie studios or something in order to offer his wonderful hats.

We did send a number of other hats and caps to the film for some of the other roles.

Wow, I didn't know we had a Hatco rep here. Great! At least back when Stetson got the rights for the after film hat, you guys at least were able to place a Stetson in the film(s) For advertising purposes later on. DP did not get to do so. And no wonder. At least you guys knew how to make the right fedora, for the films you were in.

I guess since I was such a small hatter, with no ability to produce volume, they let me slide. I signed no agreements, and it never came up. In fact, I was actually helped out at the end of the day by those folks. They mentioned where I was from and my name when talking about the costume for Indy 4. The same with Tony and the jacket he made. All of my competitors were small hat companies, who actually made their own hats, except for HJ. If the HJ sample had been even close to what they had from Lucas and his warehouse(from prior films), I may not have gotten this gig. Glad they no longer made the same hat as they did prior. That they did not use the DP is funny, but I am not surprised. When a company that makes the Official hat doesn't even use the right top crease, we are in trouble! At least Stetson knew enough to get the top crease right. But you guys can see these things. Apparently DP doesn't care if their hats are accurate to the films. Being able just to use the name Indiana Jones is enough to sell em. I have seen Stetson Temples that were creased to The Last Cruade specs, and they were dead ringers for the hat at the end of the film, when going after the Grail. Can't do that with a DP. The thing is, there is a good market for an accurate Indy fedora, and all DP would have to do is to get the hat right, and they would sell many more than they currently do. There are actually people who can tell the difference!! And those folks buy hats. They are my bread and butter. And it's not like I am gonna do this for that much longer. I am limited by the way I make hats. I could have sold a heck of alot more if I could produce them fast, and sell them at a good price. But, then I may have had to sign papers if I were capable of that, not really sure. But, I don't imagine old George would have allowed me to take away from his pocket book. So, I can fly under the radar I guess. At least for now. Ha, ha. If Indy 5 comes to be, there may be a book of legal papers I will have to sign. They may have just slipped up this time. Course I could do like another vendor, and accidently lose the papers, and then have the filming start before I found them.....but I am sure I would not be that lucky. I guess time will tell.

Back a few years ago, when I called your 800 number to enquire about your Indy fedoras, the Temple, there was none there that knew much about it. Employee turnover, I guess. But it shocked me at the time. I bought plenty of those Nostalgias and Temples way back though. Probably a dozen or so. I did find out from you guys at the time that your original Indy fedora was called something other than the Temple. And you changed it's name when you did not renew the licensing of the hat, and I guess DP got it. I liked the Stetson a whole lot more than the DP, that's for sure. Too bad you guys don't make em now. Afterall, DP actually makes no hats, or so I have been told. They just distribute them, but are made by various factories. I know I read in the Stetson book, the Indy fedora sales was a little boom for you guys at the time. So much so, you had to sub out some of them, like in the old days when a factory could not make enough. Then with Urban Cowboy, you folks were helped again. Seems like films help out quite a bit! We need more films that feature hats!! Fedora
 

HATCO

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Oh I've been on here for awhile. The lack of knowledge of the temple leads me to believe you called Stetson in NYC. If you actually called our offices and were asking for the old Indy hat as opposed to the "temple" than yes, you probably would get little information about it. There's only a few people still here from that time when that deal happened.
Dorfman Pacific does make their own hats. Some, I'm sure they purchase as well.
 

Fedora

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828
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Mississippi
Oh I've been on here for awhile. The lack of knowledge of the temple leads me to believe you called Stetson in NYC. If you actually called our offices and were asking for the old Indy hat as opposed to the "temple" than yes, you probably would get little information about it. There's only a few people still here from that time when that deal happened.
Dorfman Pacific does make their own hats. Some, I'm sure they purchase as well.

Well, there ya go. I had been told by a reputable source(one of my suppliers) they actually owned no factory for hatmaking. Glad you cleared that up, now I can tell him!!

And yes, I was asking about the old Indy hat when I called. This was about 15 years ago. Seems like I got a bit of info, but man, it has been a long time and the memory is lagging these days. The girl I spoke to, put me through to a guy who knew a bit about the old hat, but not much. He was the one that said, you still sold this hat, but it was renamed the Temple. Seems like the first one was the Ark? I may have that wrong.

Related to this, I just got in one of your old Indy hats, for a reblock. Totally different felt than the Temple I bought a few years ago. And, this hat while a few decades old, still looks good! I generally don't reblock other brands, but relented this time so I could see what you guys made way back, for the Indy hat. Very nice!! Even the color is different from the newer Temple. Got more red in the brown. Or this one does. Fedora
 

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