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Toppers Unite

Messages
17,188
Location
Maryland
Thanks! I have two Toppers. The other is an old Mayser but it isn't in very good condition. I was suprised I was able to get the P. & C. Habig + case for under 100 EURO. The silk was brushed in the opposite direction so that might have helped. :)
 

Charlie Huang

Practically Family
Messages
612
Location
Birmingham, UK

Charlie Huang

Practically Family
Messages
612
Location
Birmingham, UK
One of my friends in the UK has in his possession a brown silk topper.

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Brown on on the left compared to the black one on the right.

Currently at Patey's being restored.

He also told me that they also have a vintage grey silk topper in their possession, size 6 7/8, costs £2000. I have the pics but probably can't post them here for permissionary reasons. He also said Lock's has another grey silk example in their possession.

I'm currently skint at the moment so have to sell one of my toppers than was one size too small for me (the new rule I now apply is: if it doesn't fit, sell it; if I'm never going to wear it, sell it; exception is if it is of high value and rarity). I'll probably invest in another one that fits once I've sold that one!
 
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mercuryfelt76

One of the Regulars
Messages
209
Location
London, England
Mayserwegene: under €100? Wow, that's a fantastic deal. It's great when someone doesn't know much about what they're selling, like when I bought 3 vintage grey Lock & Co homburgs for £35 each because the seller advertised them on ebay as wool felt - I was the only bidder.

Charlie: wow, thanks for the picture, that brown silk must be so rare. Also I've never seen a grey silk before, that would be a sight. Also, I totally with your philosophy on keeping a hat. If it doesn't fit and it's not a fantastic collectors item I don't keep it. If ever I find an early Victorian stovepipe top hat like Brunel used to wear (I think they called the tall ones a "Sky-high Dandy") I'm going to buy it, even if it doesn't fit me - don't think I'm ever likely to find one in a 7 1/4 but I'm always looking.
 

mercuryfelt76

One of the Regulars
Messages
209
Location
London, England
I found this great condition 7 1/4 in a vintage shop in Bath, England. Having already bought a top hat and had it conformed properly, I knew how to do it myself. This Tress & Co now fits me absolutely perfectly. It has a 6" high crown and just enough of a bell for my liking. I'm not keen on the straight sided or stovepipe look.

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mercuryfelt76

One of the Regulars
Messages
209
Location
London, England
Having molded so many bowlers, I've had a lot of experience just steaming a hat, putting it on my head and squeezing it around to fit my head wherever theres a gap between my head and the sweatband. But you can't use steam on silk so I simply held the hat by the brim over an oven hob until it softens. Then I roughly re-shape it into a long oval and when it's not too hot, I put it on my head and squeeze out the gaps. Crude but no real need for a conformateur. When I had my first top hat conformed properly, the shaping block was only used as a primary mold until the hat cools enough to put on your head. That's when you get the true shaping done which makes it hug your head all the way around. It usually takes repeating this process to get it exactly right. I know my own head shape and have spent many years making hats fit me. But I am so proud of the fit I've got with this topper.
 
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mercuryfelt76

One of the Regulars
Messages
209
Location
London, England
Plus very importantly for anyone who hasn't had a top hat fitted before or anyone who hasn't read Charlie Huang's blog (link above) you must know exactly where the hat should sit on the head before attempting my home method.
 
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Messages
14,982
Location
Buffalo, NY
1915 Crofut & Knapp nutria top hat

According to the seller, this hat was from the estate of a 91 year old woman. The hat belonged to her father (in photograph)... it was purchased for his wedding in 1915 and stored afterwards. Condition is pristine, construction is superb.

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Charlie Huang

Practically Family
Messages
612
Location
Birmingham, UK
My word, that hat is mint! Wear it with pride. BTW, may I use some of the images for my blog as I've never seen a nutria fur hat before now and it would be useful information.

In other news, I have discovered from a corresp. of mines that you can get pure silk grosgrain ribbon of exactly the same kind used to trim silk toppers of yore (brim binding and hatband) from a place called Mokuba, the Japanese ribbon retailer with branches around the world (NY, Tokyo, Paris, Toronto, etc but not the UK pisstakingly!). They call it 'silk taffeta ribbon' (sku no: 20000) and it comes in many widths. Rather expensive though but at last there is a source of silk grosgrain ribbon which we have all been searching for.
 
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Brad Bowers

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,187
My word, that hat is mint! Wear it with pride. BTW, may I use some of the images for my blog as I've never seen a nutria fur hat before now and it would be useful information.

In other news, I have discovered from a corresp. of mines that you can get pure silk grosgrain ribbon of exactly the same kind used to trim silk toppers of yore (brim binding and hatband) from a place called Mokuba, the Japanese ribbon retailer with branches around the world (NY, Tokyo, Paris, Toronto, etc but not the UK pisstakingly!). They call it 'silk taffeta ribbon' (sku no: 20000) and it comes in many widths. Rather expensive though but at last there is a source of silk grosgrain ribbon which we have all been searching for.

Thanks, Charlie! I may give them a call, as I need to replace the ribbon on my C&K topper, and this would also work for Derbies.

Brad
 

Not-Bogart13

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,501
Location
NE Pennsylvania
FINALLY! I get to join all you Topper guys! I have wanted a top hat since I was a kid, specifically THIS style. When I finally got into hats as an adult, I never could find top hats to try on in person. I only ever found the lower, straighter crowned ones. So, I never took the chance on a mail order.

This one I bumped into at the PA RenFaire (for the Steampunk crowd, I'm sure). It fit perfectly, it was wool (I didn't want silk) and felt it worked ok on my noggin. So... here it is. The end of a 30 year quest:

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newturnofphrase

One of the Regulars
Messages
251
Location
Canada
Hey everyone,

My name is Andy, I live in Canada and I'm new to the lounge. I've always quite enjoyed top hats and bowlers, and Charlie Huang's blog inspired me to try my hand at restoring one. The hat I got had a number of major problems, the most obvious being that the brim binding was shredded. But for a 23 inch circumference hat, I figured it was worth it to properly replace the binding, even though it's a little small on me. So i went on a long and frustrating search for the proper ribbon, which took almost a month to find. I believe Charlie mentioned the find in an earlier post. Well here is the story behind it, as well as detailed instructions on how to replace the brim bindings on your own hats (with instructional photographs of my own topper)

http://torontotophats.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/how-to-replace-a-damaged-brim-binding/
 

Brad Bowers

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,187
Thanks so much for your post, Andy, and welcome to the Lounge! Now that I've seen the Mokuba silk taffeta in action, I know I've got to get some for my top hat and Derbies. It looks fantastic compared to other modern grosgrains.

Brad
 

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