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Hat History
PO Box 995
Angel Fire, NM

History of Felt hats & Straw hats - Felt hat making

History of Straw hats and Felt hats - Hat makingBased on a customer's order, a felt hat body is steam blocked to a specific head size, crown shape and brim width. Then a stiffening machine is used to apply shellac to the brims for firmness. The crown iron machine is used to tighten and to smooth the felt before finishing.

The brim is cut to the customers desired width before finishing. The brims are greased and pounced many rounds, using very fine sandpaper to achieve the proper finish. D-machines are used to grease and pounce the crowns. This is the finishing operation where the felt is sanded down to create a very smooth and fine finish for the felt hat.

A specially mixed powder, matched to the hat color, is hand rubbed into the body to enhance and even the tone.

Crown press machines are used to shape the crowns. Steam is used to restore the smooth finish and to clean the hat in the inspection line before a sewing machine is used to sew the lining into the hat.

Boxes uniquely designed to protect the hat in transit receive the finished product.

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History of Straw hats and Felt hats furnishes enlightening detail, beginning with interesting accounts of dress hats in the early years, through the roaring 20's gangster fedoras, includes features on golf and movie celebrities' hats, and highlights some original and contemporary hatmakers.