- Central California
Maybe I have joined the Brotherhood?... ???...
Got this pretty little black trilby with a Qualita Superiore liner and gold print on the sweat that seems to be that of Borsalino, plus a cute little "feet" pin on the bow.
(Hat sits a a little high in the photos because of being too small, but pretty sure it's close enough for stretching.)
There are some very weird things about this hat though. Is it altogether fake? pretending to be of higher quality than advertised? or is it only victim to a half-assed repair? I am too new the learning about good hats to know what I've got here.
The liner says Qualita Superiore, and the sweat says XXX. So, I am expecting an extremely high quality felt with a fair amount of beaver. Seemingly in line with that:
The felt is in great condition, with rich black color and only some extremely minor indications of use and aging. Namely there is shrinkage compared to the indicated size (we'll get to size labeling later), very few moth bites that are quite shallow, some discolored matting on the bottom of the brim in the back, and bleaching of the surface level felt along the raw edge.
(The black color shows up better in the selfies, but here are some close-ups.)
I can measure 2.5mm thickness at the edge of the felt. It feels exceedingly sturdy, yet also flexible. I can twist the hat in pretty much any direction, and it will pop back into shape instantly.
But not yet having touched any other hat "beaver" hat, nor any other Borsalino, I don't have a clue whether this is what 3X Borsalino should feel like. And so this is where it starts to get awkward.
First is the "XXX" even existing on the sweat. From what I can gather, Borsalino is not currently X-labeling anything. Was that something they did in the past?
Combine that with the gold paint being ridiculously blurry, and I've got myself what looks like a red flag.
So I'm going to blindly assume for a moment that there is no problem there, and continue with describing the the strange repair.
With the size label missing, we've got the size now hand written (in ballpoint pin?) on the liner.
We've got non-uniform, light-colored stitching that seems to be aimed at securing the wrapper around the reed. Totally mystifying, because the reed it is supposed to wrap is missing in action.
Also the sweatband is held to the hat by quite sparsely stitched, very uneven, black thread, but I forgot to get a picture of that.
Big long, visible thread securing the ribbon.
We've got the lazy stitching of the liner to the hat. (I would expect pretty loose and sparse stitching here once the liner has been out, but this looks super-extra-lazy to my eyes.)
The wackiest part is in the liner. Sewn in behind the logo, we find what appears to be a page from an Ecuadorian newspaper stacked on what looks like perhaps a business' Financial Report sewn behind the cap.
If there were any paper labels in here, they are now lost to history, and no printing on the inside of the crown.
I definitely think I have a high quality hat here. And it seems like someone trying to fake something would have avoided such obvious attention-grabbers as the newspaper+financials sewed into the liner. What do you think?
There was a time when the Bollman Hat Co. had the license to make Borsalinos in the US. Those hats were pretty horrible and a stain on the Borsalino name. The poor sweatband printing looks a lot like the Bollman Borsalino I once had.