Western Straw hats...not Sunbody

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Yahoody, Jul 29, 2020.

  1. Yahoody

    Yahoody Practically Family

    Messages:
    902
    Location:
    Great Basin
    I have a big appreciation for palm leaf hats and Sunbody hats in particular. The old saying is "straw from Memorial Day to Labor Day", decent felt the rest of the year.

    IMG_5394 (3).JPG


    I've worn and wore out a few Sunbody hats but they are still my go to "field hats" most summer days. One of the things I really appreciate is wearing a water soaked palm leaf hat on a hot day.

    IMG_5385 (3).JPG

    But this is thread is about a hat that is relatively new to me. Nice straw with a synthetic coating on the straw (water or oil based) and a decent leather sweat. Not typically the kind of straw hats that I'd have any interest in. The leather sweat is what perked my interest on a 2nd look. Frankly the coating on the straw turned me off as the coating keeps the straw from breathing as well as a palm leaf hat so they add a multitude of vents woven into the crown to get a hat that is actually useful again. I bought two of them with 5" brims and open crowns from Resistol last summer. Wore them some (limited by how well they breath in warm weather) and just recently made the effort to shape one more to my liking. I have some really nice all beaver hats but have to admit these new straw hats are "something" in between a nice felt and a cotton sweat band, palm leaf. I like these a lot. Surprised at just how much I liked one after I put a little effort into shaping it. Decent leather sweat, a 5" brim and decent ventilation on the crown are all hard to beat for most of the summer here. Just like the other two, a palm leaf or a nice felt, any one of the three might be the right choice depending on the day. Rare for me to wear a different shaped hat other than an open crown. I am however liking the minimal effort and change of a CHL crown ( likely seen it but never heard of it prior, "cool hand luke" crown shape) for my big noggin. I like these hats some. More than expected.

    IMG_1873 (3).JPG
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
  2. mark balen

    mark balen New in Town

    Messages:
    48
    Just curious, what model of Resistol straw did you get. Nice to hear that the crown cann be shaped.
     
  3. Yahoody

    Yahoody Practically Family

    Messages:
    902
    Location:
    Great Basin
    Hey Mark, the one I am wearing above that is shaped it the Resistol 20x Point Rider Shantung. Took some looking last year to find then at just under $100 on line. The other Resistol I bought is a Clayton Vented Open Crown, the Twin V 20x is another 5" brim hat. I suspect Resistol is also using a similar oil based synthetic like American Hat's coating that reacts well to a heat gun and steam. I'm looking to find a 5" brim American now to make that comparison. The video helped me a lot dorting out these nice straws. Either way the straws I have are a LOT easier to shape than a decent beaver felt.



    Seems the 5" brim hats are hard to find come August every summer. Found the American Hats version here https://www.lazyjranchwear.com/ with a 20% off coupon and free shipping.


     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
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  4. mark balen

    mark balen New in Town

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    48
    Thanks for the video- good to know a heat gun would work. I don't have a heat gun. Any idea if a hair dryer with a high wattage power would do the trick?
     
  5. Yahoody

    Yahoody Practically Family

    Messages:
    902
    Location:
    Great Basin
    Hair drier should do nicely. Easy to light a straw up with a proper heat gun. If not the hair drier or heat gun, a tea kettle on the stove and a good head of steam will soften a expensive straw for sure. If there is no coating on the straw just soak it in hot water till get gets pliable and full of water. Best way to do a palm leaf I think. But it works on any straw hat that isn't totally water proof from the coatings. Hot water would likely work on most of the coated hats as well. Easy to do.
     
  6. mark balen

    mark balen New in Town

    Messages:
    48
    Thanks for your helpful information. A number of years ago I attempted heating/steaming a straw hat to re-shape the brim. It must have had a waterproof coating on the straw. There were a few areas that took the heat and steam, but other areas were too waterproof and it didn't work at all. I'll be interested to see how it goes if you get an American. I didn't know that oil based coatings made a difference. Thanks for sharing your experience.
     
  7. Yahoody

    Yahoody Practically Family

    Messages:
    902
    Location:
    Great Basin
    You're welcome. I like a open crown hats so wasn't bothered about shaping what I had until the other day. Four years and too many days changing sprinklers had made my favorite Sunbody a little long in the tooth. Been a good run for that hat. Another Sunbody had died on me in half that same time frame. On a lark I googled how to form a straw and came up with the yourtube video. I liked how easy the Resistol was to form. 20% off convinced me to try another one. So got this American Hat coming next week.

    https://www.lazyjranchwear.com/collections/straw-hats/products/1011s

    I'll update with the results.
     
  8. Yahoody

    Yahoody Practically Family

    Messages:
    902
    Location:
    Great Basin
    The American Hat's straw showed up today. Impressed in a couple of ways. Really nice leather sweat to start with as well as the packaging. But like good felt, most felt makers buy from Winchester, dtraw is clearly the same story just as Mr Strein says in the YouTube video posted above. This straw (Risistol and American) looks to be from the same place and same patterns. I have two of the Resistol's and just the one American, but if I were grading the straw blanks I'd say the Resistols were a rather large step ahead in quality. Almost like the American blank could be called a 2nd for finish work on the weave and edging. ?! The American leather sweat is better than the Resistol, which Resistol says is leather. I does absorb water when pressed, surprised I couldn't tell for sure that it was leather! I would be really disappointing for the price if the Resistol wasn't actually leather for the price. But the coating on the Resistol is IMO a lot better than the American version. American's is clearly a much thicker coating and makes good straw feel like a "plastic" hat.

    I had planned on forming the American body today once it arrived. And likely wearing it the rest of today. I won't bother for a while now as I know the "plastic helmet", American Hat's, version will be much warmer and uncomfortable compared to a simple palm leaf Sunbody in the 98F+ temps this week. Be a heck of a rain hat though if you needed one. Not much use in the desert :)

    IMG_1922.JPG IMG_1924.JPG IMG_1925.JPG IMG_1926.JPG IMG_1929.JPG
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
  9. Yahoody

    Yahoody Practically Family

    Messages:
    902
    Location:
    Great Basin
    Interior and sweat on the Resistol and a brim comparison with the Amercian Hat.

    Resistol

    IMG_1931.JPG IMG_1933.JPG


    and the American Brim edge

    IMG_1936 (2).JPG

    and the Resistol brim edge

    IMG_1938.JPG
     

    Attached Files:

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  10. Yahoody

    Yahoody Practically Family

    Messages:
    902
    Location:
    Great Basin
    Update after doing some more research on these two hat makers. Both Resistol and American use a leather sweat in their expensive straw hats. 20X and better for Resistol and the better (retails around $125+) American Hats both use a leather sweat. My perspective? I've only seen what I ordered (2 Resistol and 1 American). From the three hats the Resistols here now do have a better coating and a much higher attention to detail on their coating and trimming, than the American hat bodies. It is easy to see the difference so I would not disagree with the original video I posted.

    Either hat brand can be easily formed with steam and or a heat gun. I've both on all three of these hats. Easy hats to form.

     
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  11. Yahoody

    Yahoody Practically Family

    Messages:
    902
    Location:
    Great Basin
    Another bit of trivia on these higher quality of straw hats.

    [​IMG]

    Resistol likes the moniker of "self-conforming". True that! I've been wearing the American Hat straw version off and on for a week now, including some warm days and a lot of sweat. More time than I ever sent in the Resistols on one go. Sadly the American Hat is no where close to being self conforming. I have a long oval + some head. And while the American fits for size it isn't the best long oval. Even a professional hat jack hasn't made this one fit any better as it stretched the hat and made it a might too big it was at least a long oval more appropriate to my head shape. Next morning...the dang thing had shrunk back up and was round once again. Round enough to give one a head ache.

    So here are some of my current thoughts. I bought an American Hat Co straw after seeing the youtube video linked about and the recommendation of hatter Craig Strein.

    What I found in the one American straw hat I own is the straw body was sub par in several ways by comparison to the two slightly less expensive but same original quality straw from Resistol. Poor finish of the actual raw straw body and the extra thick lacquer finish are stand outs for me as symbols of poor workmanship and materials on the American version. For fit, comfort and over all quality the Resistol is head and shoulders better for my head than the American Hat Company product.

    I'd sure be interested in other's experiences with these high dollar straws.
     
  12. I only have the one to comment on. A Resistol 20X Conley (a gift from a fellow Lounger). I love the hat. 4-1/4" of brim, good ventilation and a comfortable sweat. Comes optionally as an open crown and long oval.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

  13. Shade and ventilation: the big 2 for a summer hat. Looks good too!
     
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  14. Yahoody

    Yahoody Practically Family

    Messages:
    902
    Location:
    Great Basin
    Finally decided to put some shape on the American 20x straw hat body I picked up last week. Heat gun pretty much turns these American "plastic hats" to putty so pretty easy to shape. I like the end result. Should make a good beater hat for around here and a heck of a rain hat!

    Got it finished just as the sun was about gone. IMG_E2089 (2).JPG
     
  15. Yahoody

    Yahoody Practically Family

    Messages:
    902
    Location:
    Great Basin
    The American hat Co 20x straw. 5" brim and a crown that finished at 5" as well. IMG_2090 (2).JPG
     

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