My custom hats start out as felt that has been pressed from real beaver fur, rabbit, or other fine furs including beaver/mink mix and longhair beaver.
The hat is then blocked and sized using a turn-of-the-century machine so rare that fewer than ten exist in the world!
A Rounding Jack is used to hand-cut the brim to its correct size.
The brim is flanged using a special wooden flanging form and a high-pressure steam iron.
This machine below is called a Pouncer. It is used to sand and smooth the finish of the hat. Once this step is completed, final finishing of the felt is accomplished by hand-pouncing with special finishing powders.
The final shaping of the hat is provided by special wood forms. Many of the forms seen in this collection are nearly 100 years old!
The satin inner lining and sheepskin leather sweatband are hand-cut and hand-sewn- never glued- into the inside of the hat. Then, using the finest grosgrain ribbon, the outer decoration is similarly hand-sewn into place.
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