Author Topic: Flattening a Hat Brim  (Read 43757 times)

Offline Delmonico

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Flattening a Hat Brim
« on: October 04, 2006, 03:25:03 PM »
Often folks have a good quality hat with a modern shape that they want to rework.  If the hat is decent quality that will add another hat to the collection.  Saterday a customer brought in a hat he had bought at a thrift store for me to rework, nice fur felt, grey with a 3 inch brim and a 6 inch crown.   

The first picture is a store bought brim flattener, but one could make one out of a couple pieces of masonite or plywood.  This one has Velcro to hold it shut.  If someone is in a hurry I steam the hat and put it in there.  This one I have a week till they are back so I sprayed the brim with a spray bottle of water and put it in.

The second picture shows it in the device and I have placed boxes of horseshoe nails on it to weight it down more. 
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Offline Delmonico

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Re: Flattening a Hat Brim
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2006, 03:34:59 PM »
After sitting overnight it had dried and I took it out.  This is what the brim looked like before I shaped it.  On the crown I worked all the previous shape out of it and made an open crown out of it. 
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Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

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Offline Delmonico

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Re: Flattening a Hat Brim
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2006, 03:39:52 PM »
After spraying it well with hat stiffener I shaped the brim with a bit of curl and put the pinch-slope crease in the crown.  The customer is going to find a hat band he likes and I have a new liner I made that I will give him. 
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Re: Flattening a Hat Brim
« Reply #3 on: Today at 10:50:35 PM »

Offline Silver Creek Slim

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Re: Flattening a Hat Brim
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2006, 04:29:43 PM »
It's the horseshoe nail box henge.  ;D

What is the green "press thing" under the hat? A hat stretcher?

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Offline Delmonico

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Re: Flattening a Hat Brim
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2006, 04:34:05 PM »
Yep it is, more on that in the next thread. ;)
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Offline Will Ketchum

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Re: Flattening a Hat Brim
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2006, 04:42:31 PM »
Del, thanks for the post.  I still have a hat that resists having the crown line up with the brim ::).  If you ever an make it to the NCOWS convention before Sunday I'd like to have you look at it.

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Offline Kid Raven

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Re: Flattening a Hat Brim
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2006, 04:45:26 PM »
The first picture is a store bought brim plattener, but one could make one out of a couple pieces of masonite or plywood.  This one has Velcro to hold it shut.  If someone is in a hurry I steam the hat and put it in there.  This one I have a week till they are back so I sprayed the brim with a spray bottle of water and put it in.

The second picture shows it in the device and I have placed boxes of horseshoe nails on it to weight it down more.  

Back when I was in the US Army during Basic the DI's had masonite hat presses with a hinge at one end and a catch at the other end to store their smokey bear hats in, so they always had that nice flat brim.

Offline Ozark Tracker

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Re: Flattening a Hat Brim
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2006, 04:53:19 PM »
Del, this is a good post, I have an old hat,  I've had it 25 years, that needs the whole works, straightening out and reshaping, may give it a try

Del, thanks for the post.  I still have a hat that resists having the crown line up with the brim ::)

Will Ketchum

Will, I have one hat that just looks off no matter what,  it just doesn't line up. never did.
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Offline Delmonico

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Re: Flattening a Hat Brim
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2006, 04:59:22 PM »
Are your heads crooked, not that uncommon. 
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Offline Delmonico

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Re: Flattening a Hat Brim
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2006, 12:16:04 PM »
My customer picked up his hat last night, we did a little minor tweaking on it, he was surprised how well it came out for what we started with.  Anyway here is the liner I made for it, after he put in on a few times and we tweaked it a bit, the wrinkles came out of it.

I have to make some more liners soon, that was my last one.  They are simple and I'll take pictures and post a how to when I make some more.
Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.

Offline Steel Horse Bailey

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Re: Flattening a Hat Brim
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2006, 12:04:09 AM »
Cool, pard!
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Offline Professor Honeyfuggler

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Re: Flattening a Hat Brim
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2009, 01:57:51 AM »
I learned something interesting about flat hat brims while talking to hatmakers about a special hat I was looking for. If you happen to want to keep a brim really flat, ala the Wyatt Earp hat in movie Tombstone, its important that the crown be the correct shape to fit your head. If you have a long oval shaped head, like I do, and put on a hat that's shaped to fit an oval or round head, the front and the back of the brim will droop. No amount of brim pressing will correct that

That's why to get a real custom fit, the best hatmakers measure the shape of your head, along with the size, with a device that looks like a medieval torture hat. Then they block the hat form to the dozens of measurement it takes, so the hat will conform precisely to the shape of your head without stressing the brim to cause it to deflect or buckle.

And learning that fact solved the mystery of why most stock hats, at least the stiff ones, don't fit me well, even when the tags say they're the correct size. Pulled down tight against the front and back of my head there's sometimes a 1/4" of airspace on the sides where it doesn't touch my head at all.

 

Offline Buffalow Red

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Re: Flattening a Hat Brim
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2009, 05:21:19 AM »
so were is the hat store Delmonico
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Offline Shotgun Franklin

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Re: Flattening a Hat Brim
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2009, 10:27:33 AM »
I worked with a retired Soldier who had been a DI for awhile. He really missed his hat. He told me about that press they used on the brim and said that they'd spray the brim with starch, like you use for ironing. He claimed that the starch helped hold the shape.
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Offline Angel_Eyes

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Re: Flattening a Hat Brim
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2009, 01:43:19 PM »
Del, what do you use as 'hat stiffener'?
Is it commercially available or is it your own recipe?
One of my hats resists all attempts at shaping, (I think it may be wool felt and I may be wasting my time).
It looks like something a hillbilly may have thrown away.

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Offline Professor Honeyfuggler

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Re: Flattening a Hat Brim
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2009, 09:49:03 PM »
Del, what do you use as 'hat stiffener'?
Is it commercially available or is it your own recipe?
One of my hats resists all attempts at shaping,

I've heard tell that some of the special forces folks that wear berets, with an upswoop for their insignia, swear by hairspray. They say it's more water resistant than starch.  ;D

Offline Delmonico

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Re: Flattening a Hat Brim
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2009, 05:20:53 PM »
I work at The Fort Western in Lincoln Newbrassky in The Old West Shop.

Hat stiffener is nothing but white "natural" shellac mixed with enough denatured alcohol to make it go through a spray bottle.

Hat fit is very important, got a thread around here ot that somewhere.
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Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.

Offline Delmonico

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Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.

Offline GunClick Rick

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Re: Flattening a Hat Brim
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2010, 09:29:37 PM »
I just did this one for KT ;D





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Online St. George

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Re: Flattening a Hat Brim
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2010, 09:21:03 AM »
The 'upswoop' seen on a beret is actually the cardboard stiffener as installed by the maker.

It supports the flash and distinctive unit insignia or rank, if worn by an Officer.

They sometimes get trimmed by the individual trooper in order to better fit their head.

The flash is sewn through the stiffener.

I've never resorted to anything but water to stiffen and shape my beret - wetting, shaping and letting it air-dry has always ensured a neat appearance, and rolling/folding it properly aids in that.

As an aside - during and after WWI - soldiers would stiffen the brims of their Campaign Hats with a sugar and water mix - letting the hat dry near the stove.

They'd also put snow on the curling brims overnight - again setting them near the stove to dry them.

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