Wolfbrae Custom Hatters

Discussion in 'Hats' started by deadlyhandsome, Mar 7, 2021.

  1. With the permission of @belfastboy I’m starting a dedicated Wolfbrae Custom Hatters thread.

    I know the regulars here already know most of this, but as we always have new folks showing up, members and lurkers, I thought I’d start at the beginning:

    The hero of our story @belfastboy has a love of hats. He has custom hats from many of the best hatters as well as a collection of custom hats. He’s enjoyed hats for many years so when he retried he decided to try out hat making (he makes hats for men and women). At this point he’s just starting out, but his work is solid and his hats are very nice. He can take on most any project from a complete custom build to a simple leather sweatband replacement. He has a decent, and growing, selection of blocks and flanges and vintage grosgrain ribbon. He has access to a wide range of felt hat bodies. The postage from Canada is a bit more than I’m used to with domestic hatters, but shipping from BC to California is only about a week, the his most reasonable prices more than offset the increased shipping. Hopefully @belfastboy will be able to post a price list at some point. I’ve done all my commissions via email and the responses are quick and progress updates are regular: just how I like it.

    I hope everyone who gets a Wolfbrae has work done by Wolfbrae on their hats posts it here. I’m happy to support a great guy and I’m very pleased with all his work.

    Here’s a hat to start off:

    This was a rebulid of an existing hat that really counts as a new build. The hat was reblocked to my size, the crown height was increased and the brim width decreased (stole from the brim to increase crown height). The brim was flanged, a new sweatband was sewn in, a new vintage ribbon and bow sewn on, and the original liner was put back in at my request:


    861470BB-6649-48A5-8D32-AB6FD418A6FC.jpeg AABCD6FC-6BF8-44C8-93A5-AE2793AB5AC0.jpeg 586E5401-8987-4A4C-9AB9-4C54386E86FC.jpeg 7792B20B-5F6A-41CB-97BA-72137EF607C6.jpeg E6CC1BAA-4CA4-49DA-B55A-E95FAE0B4F5A.jpeg 7CE557F1-BA3B-457F-BEDA-51889BFB73D1.jpeg E9F6AA91-60B5-421F-8EC9-5C475371C766.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
    Pellie, drmaxtejeda, Blare and 15 others like this.
  2. This is a Wolfbrae custom build from a bottle green hat body I bought from the Millinery Warehouse. It’s a firm/stiff western felt that really came out great. Throughout the process I was given updates and allowed to choose block profiles, heights, widths, etc. I went with a black ribbon because in certain light the felt looks black and the black ribbon contrasts and brings out more of the green. This was a hoot to see come together.
    9E02DE94-B1FB-4C2E-91E0-BA1FE1AF389E.jpeg 7ED78BDE-8746-40DB-9723-5F95AFC3480B.jpeg F2750BF6-5162-4805-8088-9E9FC99E5DBD.jpeg DE40D3EC-C26B-47EA-81E0-A693BAC21AEF.jpeg 6A9E85BF-BFA4-408F-8122-75580BD007BA.jpeg
     
    Uncle Will, Pellie, Blare and 15 others like this.
  3. This is my first Wolfbrae: It was a wide brim Borsalino made for the religious market. It was several sizes too small for me, but after reblocking to my size there was still plenty of brim with left for a fedora. I chose the ribbon for a bit of contrast and to move away from the orthodox look. This was my first time with a custom hat that required stiffening...I usually want them less stiff. @belfastboy added real hand mixed shellac until the stiffness was perfect:

    43883B79-1E4F-436B-9819-BC6506944295.jpeg 720E65D1-8DDD-4EA0-8866-B60A9899D2B9.jpeg 407C7C34-0CE9-4521-9FE5-865FBD14E38F.jpeg 04EC2C1E-FB66-4521-A638-44E155063C79.jpeg 869544D4-D469-452E-ACC6-8D79AE28AA7F.jpeg 28715108-1552-4B00-A66F-0B30C19E29D5.jpeg CDC0CF66-17E7-4B52-8B3F-D9C9BDFF46B7.jpeg 8E145BB0-7450-4F8B-934E-6609CE2978B9.jpeg
     

    Attached Files:

  4. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    Thank you to Brent for the introduction. This past year has been a 'go slow' process of introducing my hat making to the world. I have accumulated equipment and although I have learned it is likely a life time/never ending process I now have a selection of blocks and flanges in both long and regular oval. I was fortunate to buy a wide assortment of vintage ribbon from Art and if the Gods smile upon me I might be adding vintage European grosgrain too.

    I have access to all the felt suppliers. It would be great to settle on just 2 suppliers and bring in inventory but that is proving elusive. I will in the coming weeks set up an ETSY shop but in the meantime if you are interested in chatting about a new hat shoot me a PM and we can begin the conversation. Oh, and I offer a line of ladies hats as well so if the woman in your life wants a custom send her my way
     
    Pellie, Sexy Rexy, DOGMAN and 9 others like this.
  5. Rmccamey

    Rmccamey My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I'm already in the queue for a super lightweight!
     
    PanosChris and deadlyhandsome like this.
  6. I have two hats ready to ship and three more in queue. :)

    Jonathan @TheOldFashioned I know you have one to post here too.
     
    PanosChris likes this.
  7. Here’s a 1950s Stetson No. 1 Quality. It arrived with a sweatband that had severe dry rot and the felt had some soiling. Wolfbrae cleaned it, reblocked...well he completely remade it into a usable hat. The two-cord ribbon was replaced with a wider grosgrain contrasting ribbon and given a different style bow.

    CB77D705-6538-45C3-B546-3DA7FBFE973D.jpeg 23257A52-9484-43EA-8D48-BC2D75691ACC.jpeg BFB38E66-1ABD-42C1-ADF2-6A8251A6831D.jpeg 83700D9D-44A6-4D26-8F70-595D5312A49F.jpeg A89A3E42-59B9-4A24-9F1B-2BB8F8BC69CE.jpeg E0FDAF1A-00C7-4706-BC78-7205613D2648.jpeg 581D0D55-0ED6-48FF-A5DE-852509AEAEDE.jpeg

    The felt is still 65 years old and it didn’t come out looking brand new...and that’s how I wanted it. It keeps some character while not looking filthy.
     
    Pellie, Sexy Rexy, DOGMAN and 12 others like this.
  8. This O’Farrell looked to be in decent condition, but the sweatband shriveled up the first time I sweat wearing it. The dreaded dry rot. A complete rebuild by Wolfbrae got me an awesome hat:


    9A47A0A8-1617-4F20-A97F-66146BB68D72.jpeg D3701903-B536-40F3-9938-E953E853F3F8.jpeg 6075B860-FD2E-4383-B4D1-EADFFED605AF.jpeg BA89FAE8-594D-4906-8CC4-520EBB4790FA.jpeg D369DB8B-CF09-482E-AEE4-8462FCC271D9.jpeg
     
    Pellie, DOGMAN, Zombie_61 and 11 others like this.
  9. This is an interesting hat. It’s an American Hat Co. 3X Clear Beaver. I’ve yet to find anything conclusive as to what “Clear Beaver” means from this company. It’s a typical western from its era and rugged and in great shape...aside from the sweatband! :(
    It was completely rebuilt and the two cord ribbon replaced with a wider grosgrain ribbon.

    46AD1DA0-40A3-420C-9B76-1357B3A66AC2.jpeg C22CA9A3-836B-4E7B-B947-F1E0621F0DF8.jpeg A2A5E2A9-FF5A-463C-87E2-204C9FC632B9.jpeg 5796DD33-0252-4866-A3AC-E2F1188DE896.jpeg 155D0809-B5CC-463A-BCF5-3134270E8221.jpeg E36E61B8-FD37-487A-8AE6-0ADB3CAB89C1.jpeg
     
    Pellie, Sexy Rexy, DOGMAN and 9 others like this.
  10. TheGuitarFairy

    TheGuitarFairy Practically Family

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    Nice of you to create this thread, Brent, these hats are incredible!
    I've always appreciated Wolfbrae's contributions to Lounge threads and loved his hats since the first time seeing one. I'm going to write him now actually about working on that old Arminto I recently grabbed!
    Btw Brent I didn't realize that particular Stetson embossment stuck around into the 50s?! Is that true?
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
    deadlyhandsome likes this.
  11. Snowman

    Snowman One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    260
    Great looking hat, and I can see why you wanted to keep the liner.
     
  12. My last (for now) Wolfbrae. This is a 150g 100% nutria felt in the color called “gunmetal.” It’s a gorgeous blue-gray. The felt it very soft, but also thick and dense. It’s definitely a winter weight felt.

    6D010C85-85AD-42B6-BF1E-527D2DED70D0.jpeg 1B6A19D0-E115-420D-9023-5541899543B6.jpeg B9437EC9-0724-4F69-9700-77EB72558F81.jpeg 8A14BCE7-76A4-44BC-8858-4715A9D3DA7E.jpeg CE29E720-4124-4AE6-8BE0-FCE98DA302BE.jpeg 088DE808-5540-4FD0-9451-F1B87AFD0660.jpeg 05A076A6-D9C1-433A-8698-27E55D28D7F0.jpeg
     
  13. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    I have finished your Knox....just touching up the repair of the hole in the crown.
     
    Tukwila and deadlyhandsome like this.
  14. And the the Smithbilt is ready too, right? Very excited to see how these turned out!
     
    Tukwila likes this.
  15. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    Smithbilt is close just doing the brim binding today...ribbon/bow tomorrow.
     
    deadlyhandsome likes this.

  16. :)
    Very cool! Let me know when the suede finish felts arrive; I’m really interested in your initial impressions.
     
    Tukwila and belfastboy like this.
  17. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    Here is a picture of the one Grey Tonak heather felt I have in stock. The close up picture is closer to the true colour light to mid grey
     

    Attached Files:

    deadlyhandsome and Rmccamey like this.
  18. The heather looks nice.

    My next hat will be the suede finished felt in silverbelly.

    37301923-C66C-47B5-813B-2427F39EB148.jpeg

    Waiting on an initial blocking to see how much brim we’ll have to work with.
     
  19. I’m not sure when that debossing went out of use. The labels behind the disintegrating sweatband and the size tag looked 1950s to me, but I’ve repeatedly proven that accurately dating hats is not one of my strengths.
     
    TheGuitarFairy likes this.
  20. Rmccamey

    Rmccamey My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    A Bone super lightweight in the queue. Robert has been very patient as I struggle (again) with binding and ribbon color options.


    thumbnail_CIMG2251.jpg
     

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