Author Topic: Authentic Hat Bands  (Read 4622 times)

Offline 1961MJS

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Authentic Hat Bands
« on: April 18, 2018, 01:16:54 PM »
Hi

I'm getting a new Bone felt cowboy hat, more or less Quigley style for summer.  In the movies, Tom Selleck wears leather hat bands in some of the movies.  In looking at 1870-1890 pictures, I've only seen ribbons.  I'd like to get something a little different, but still be authentic to roughly 1880.  I would guess that the more simple the band, the more likely it would be on a cowboy's head.  I searched on Leather Hat Band on this sight and didn't come up with much.  Quigley's is basically a one inch or so band, tied around back.  I've also seen bands made out of twisted or braided leather (shoe laces more or less).  I've seen the modern / movie bands with brass dots like on knife sheaths. 

Comments, links, etc would be appreciated.

Thanks

Mike
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Offline Will Ketchum

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Re: Authentic Hat Bands
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2018, 02:06:21 PM »
I believe that many wore hat bands made from braided horse hair. Apparently it was a favorite pass time when not out with the herd. Sitting around the bunk house in their spare time or at a line shack.  it wasn't like they would run out of material to use. Similar to sailors making ship models or carving whale's teeth.

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Offline Professor Marvel

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Re: Authentic Hat Bands
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2018, 07:12:51 PM »
I myself favor Northern Plains beaded hatbands, or my home-made bone-chokers with glass and copper beads interspersed.
both need a serruptitious stich here and there to prevent loss.

in each case, width is dependendant upon the desired look on each hat.

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Offline Buck Stinson

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Re: Authentic Hat Bands
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2018, 08:37:11 PM »
1961MJS,
All I can say is forget everything you see in the movies and concentrate on the vintage photos you mention.  I have collected vintage (1849-1900) cowboy gear for 50 years.  I have had many hats from the 1870-1885 period and NONE of them had anything other than their original silk band.  Horse hair became popular in the 1930's with the early movie serials.  I'm not saying that beads, horsehair and other stuff didn't exist, but when looking at a thousand vintage photos, how many of these do you see?   No more than can be counted on one hand.

Offline 1961MJS

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Re: Authentic Hat Bands
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2018, 12:46:45 PM »
Thanks guys

1.  Buck, when DID any sort of leather hat band show up?

2.  I had a link to a website with hundreds of cowboy pictures and I can't find it again.  What good links are there for looking at cowboy hats, and I'll extend that to 1870 to 1910. 

Thanks again
Mike
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Re: Authentic Hat Bands
« Reply #5 on: Today at 03:33:27 PM »

Offline Buck Stinson

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Re: Authentic Hat Bands
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2018, 01:35:16 PM »
It would be difficult at best to figure a time period when leather bands first showed up.  To my knowledge, none of the big three, Stetson, Davis or Bailey put anything on their new hats but silk.  By this, we can assume that horsehair and leather were added by the user and who knows when it might have been added to the hat.  There is a book on cowboy hats, but it deals almost exclusively with contemporary hats and hat makers.  The book "Cowboy Culture" by Michael Friedman has a number of "old" cowboy hats pictured.  All have silk and some with horsehair or leather bands added.  This is an old book and very expensive on the collector market.  Best to see if you can find one at the library.  Good luck.

Offline 1961MJS

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Re: Authentic Hat Bands
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2018, 05:09:40 PM »
Thanks Buck

Not sure yet what I'll do.  I want a white (light colored mainly) felt hat for summer in Oklahoma.  The palm leave hats are heavy and not that great.  The Straw hat I have is fragile, and not really that great looking.  I have between 5 and 10 decent cowboy felts and fedoras that I wear when it's cooler.  All but one have ribbon (one is a John Wayne from the Shootist) and that one will have a snakeskin (probably copperhead) hatband but will have a horse hair at first.  I want to stay as authentic as I can on one hand, and want to do it myself on the other.  I'm betting on a Silverbelly 9 linge in a rough rider style bow but I don't have to decide yet.

Thanks a lot, oh, I ordered the hat you mentioned, $30 including shipping on the second edition.
Mike
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Offline 1961MJS

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Re: Authentic Hat Bands
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2018, 09:36:11 AM »
Hi

I got the book, and a lot of the hats pictured do show leather bands with tacks and horsehair braids.  These hats are also labeled as circa 1900.  I think I have 1870 to 1890 covered so I'll make a few leather tacked and otherwise embellished bands.  It IS shaped like Quigley's.  Considering that the tacked sheathes were common earlier than 1880, the tacked hatband shouldn't be that surprising.  I'll look in the Koslov's sheath book for dates.

Later
Mike
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Offline Chance

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Re: Authentic Hat Bands
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2018, 12:12:08 PM »
Thanks guys



2.   What good links are there for looking at cowboy hats, and I'll extend that to 1870 to 1910. 

Thanks again


Go to Pinterest and search for 'Old West' or 'Cowboys' and the like. Thousands of old photographs.

Chance

Offline LongWalker

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Re: Authentic Hat Bands
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2018, 04:25:08 AM »
Two data points regarding braided horsehair. 

Charles Russell (the western artist) had a braided horsehair hatband; he died in 1926. 

I've seen two horsehair hatbands that had strong provenance to Tom Horn during the period he was in jail awaiting trial and execution.  That would date them to January 1902-November 1903; they were apparently made as gifts.
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Re: Authentic Hat Bands
« Reply #10 on: Today at 03:33:27 PM »

Offline 1961MJS

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Re: Authentic Hat Bands
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2018, 02:02:35 PM »
Hi

Koslov's book on Old West (mainly Indian) knife sheaths states that tacked sheathes were in use from the time people started taking pictures of Indians in the 1850's, so a tacked Hatband would at least be in the realm of possibility from that point on.  The book "Cowboy Culture" by Michael Friedman shows a few tacked hat bands, but they are all labeled as circa 1900.  I'd like to keep period correct for SASS and GAF by keeping in the 1860 to 1890 era, but I bought the hat for everyday summer wear, not just match costume.  I'll put up pictures in a few weeks when I get the hat.

Later   ;D
Mike
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Offline 1961MJS

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Re: Authentic Hat Bands
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2018, 10:27:30 PM »
Hi

I picked up the hats last weekend.  I have a decent picture of the Quigley one.  The band is Horsehair.  I worked on a few leather bands, but I'm not done yet.

Later
Mike
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Offline Dave T

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Re: Authentic Hat Bands
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2018, 09:57:05 AM »
Good looking hat. I've always thought the maker's silk band was most authentic. Maybe with a leather chin strap wrapped around the crown and then through the brim to keep the hat on in a wind storm.

Dave

Offline 1961MJS

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Re: Authentic Hat Bands
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2018, 12:37:41 PM »
Hi Dave

I agree on the silk, but this isn't my first hat by any means.  I have a pecan shaped a lot like the Duke's in Shootist waiting for a snake killing and the rest  have ribbon right now.  My plans are to put a leather band on this one, but I can't cut straight for anything this week.  I don't like the wind strings, too many ripped hats.  The new ones I have are tight anyway.

Later
Mike
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Offline 1961MJS

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Re: Authentic Hat Bands
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2020, 11:09:07 PM »
Hi
This hat is from a snake that a lady I work with caught, the black stitching on the hat band is to keep the hole where the hoe went through him closed.  Getting a copperhead with enough length is sort of tough.

Later Y'all
Mike
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Offline Niederlander

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Re: Authentic Hat Bands
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2020, 08:52:10 PM »
First off, Buck is an excellent resource, and I agree with his points.  I also agree that looking at photographs of the period (NOT REENACTORS!) is the best source for what was actually there.  With that being said, we need to remember that just because we don't see something in a photograph does not necessarily mean something wasn't there.  A very, very small percentage of people of the time had photographs taken of them wearing what they would have worn while working.  While it's obviously dangerous to use the attitude of "Well, it COULD have been there, even if I have no evidence of it.", because of the extremely small sample size, it can also be dangerous to assume something couldn't or wouldn't have been there because we don't see evidence of it.  We can be very accurate in general, but it's very difficult to be completely accurate with specifics.
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Offline 1961MJS

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Re: Authentic Hat Bands
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2020, 02:46:57 PM »
First off, Buck is an excellent resource, and I agree with his points.  I also agree that looking at photographs of the period (NOT REENACTORS!) is the best source for what was actually there.  With that being said, we need to remember that just because we don't see something in a photograph does not necessarily mean something wasn't there.  A very, very small percentage of people of the time had photographs taken of them wearing what they would have worn while working.  While it's obviously dangerous to use the attitude of "Well, it COULD have been there, even if I have no evidence of it.", because of the extremely small sample size, it can also be dangerous to assume something couldn't or wouldn't have been there because we don't see evidence of it.  We can be very accurate in general, but it's very difficult to be completely accurate with specifics.

Hi Ned

My GAF hats are all darn close to Military (Except my Cavalry Trilogy square topped one).  I have a few 1900 type cowboy hats that have leather some with leather and dots, one (obviously) snakeskin one, but most of mine have a ribbon.  I buy most of my stuff from Mike Moore in Covington Tennessee and he'll be in Oklahoma for the Land Run at the end of October.  I'm trying not to buy anything, but several of my local friends probably will.
Later
Mike
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Re: Authentic Hat Bands
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2020, 07:11:52 PM »
I think that I read somewhere that cowboys that couldn't afford a top quality fur felt hat bought a cheap wool hat only to find that it stretched (probably in a rain storm) and got loose. The fix was said to be a leather band that would cinch the hat back to the correct size. I can't remember which of my books I saw this info in, so you can take it for what it's worth and/or pick it apart.

Rev. Chase

Offline 1961MJS

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Re: Authentic Hat Bands
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2020, 01:07:43 PM »
Howdy Reverend

My experience (with a whole 1 hat) was the opposite.  I had an Aussie Slouch hat that got soaked and it went from almost no taper to having loads of taper. 

Later
Mike
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