Who is it for?
Almost 2 months of the new year has passed. Work has been steady with new orders and requests to fulfill. Its an exciting journey as a small business owner. Leaving a steady income job early last year has been the best decision of my life. Making dreams come true by crafting custom hats for others has taken all my time where every second of it has been enjoyable. A lot of sacrifices have been made but for what its worth I cant complain.
What other great way to begin the year than by making new styles in my collection with a bit more of vintage/ Hollywood inspired brims for my remake of the OLAFUR TRILBY hat.
Its a Trilby hat with 5 cm, or 2 inch, brim. Roughly 12 cm crown, close to 5 inches tall. With the spring/summer coming on fast what better to wear than a lightweight short brimmed hat with a light sand felt color? I made this hat for those who feel they don't fit in a wide brim hat, just like myself. I discovered quite late what size of the brim and height of crown that would actually fit my face and style. Its all matter of taste and what kind of look you are going for.
It looks familiar
The inspiration for this hat came from the famous Indiana Jones - Raiders of the lost ark - movie. With the wavy brim it would make Sinatra watch with awe as you parade down the street. Sand color is of our stock felts which we will keep on. It shines in the sun but won't shine up the living room as it rests on the table. The felt is a Rabbit & Hare mix felt which holds up well with weather and time.
The copper ribbon continues to be one of my favorite choices as the contrast with the felt makes it stand out without being too much.
Whats next this quarter?
There are a lot of changes going on in the studio. New tools and new ways of improvement. I want to bring back the vintage in hats. The way it was made in the past and specifically the details that could be found in various styles. Take a look a a march sneak peak of what is to come.
30X Beaver Felt coming up
Revisit a 1930s classic
Sweatbands of the past
Not revealing more than that. Just wait and see. Feel free to send me a comment or request of future hats in an email or private message on Instagram. Love the feedback that I have gotten so far. Thanks!
/ HUFVUD HATMAKER
RAGNAR FEDORA by HUFVUD, is the inner child that wants to get out. It's the weary traveller who stopped to take of the hat and placed it on a bench. It's the person next to you, your neighbour and you best friend. Simply put, its your story.
I make hats that are not predetermined to stand for something (except my attempt at Indiana Jones Raiders bash) but a preparation for your life. When you go somewhere you pinch the crown, you touch the brim and you dust the hat off in all kinds of manners. The result becomes a representation of who you are and where you have been.
The year of HUFVUD will start with RAGNAR. As you might have noticed I tend to take Viking names to my hats as they are a close part of my ancestry from both Iceland and Sweden. RAGNAR LODBROK (or LOTHBROK) is not as close as HARALD FINEHAIR is to my past but is yet a part of history. The color red has nothing to do with Christmas, it was the color that was missing in my collection. Its a very rustic red color that looks either closer to ruby red and blood. It's still a very Unisex hat.
2018 will start with RAGNAR in various colors as well as other newness that I am not ready to reveal yet. HATMAKING has been all about the journey. From the time I moved home, with a single block under my arm to the development of a full studio that just keeps on growing. You the beholder, the owner and the enthusiast is as vital as the felt itself. The hat that I want to take on my journey is RAGNAR FEDORA.
Thank you for being a part of my story, I wish I can be part of yours in 2018. Happy New Years!
Side note: The color in the first picture is the best representation of the fur felt.
Was making use of this week before Christmas to update our site with an order form. Its purpose is to make custom orders more straight forward. As it is only the beginning the selection of felts and bands are limited. If you order a custom hat for the first time then this will help you understand what can be customized.
Comments and suggestions are always welcome!
Merry Christmas everyone!
/ HUFVUD HATMAKER
This November - December has been all about Indiana Jones hats. I took on an exciting project to renovate a well worn Adventurebuilt (AB) Henry Fedora hat, made from 20% Beaver and 80% Rabbit fur felt. This hat has been to all the corners of the world, battling sandstorms in Iraq. Fittingly enough it belongs to a talented Archaeologist who shares a passion for well made hats, Mr Adam Fraser.
When the hat arrived it looked very beaten, in a way a hat should look like this after 7 years of use in various weather conditions. The front of the brim had a puncture mark from a bush and the crown tapered inwards, a usual impact of humidity and heat over time. Overall, its a beautiful hat as is.
The ribbon, or hatband, was in fairly good condition but the sweatband had started to give away on the inside. A sweatband is the foundation of a hat. It keeps the structure and maintains the size of crown. Once this one goes, the hat will lose its core. Only thing to do would be to exchange for a new one.
Carefully removing the hatband I started to pluck all the old stitches out which also helped to remove the sweatband on the inside. Under the hatband is the original felt color as the rest has been bleached by the sun. Next step was to clean and reblock the felt, using a hat block to get the desired shape and size of the original hat.
A finished hat has been stretched and treated to have a specific shape, going beyond this at this stage could lead to a tear in the felt. The area around where the sweatband was attached would be extra weak to additional pull in the fabric. I used caution and gently pushed the felt down on the block using my available tools with sufficient steam to keep the felt pliable for the wooden block.
As you can see from the result of steam and push, the crown color is back to a slight darker tone and the shape is back to its original form with straight sides leading up to the tip of the crown. The front puncture of the brim felt had been wet ironed to strengthen the hold. Still its an area that is weaker than the rest. This kind of damage is more or less permanent. The crown was extra treated to give it back its strength in order to shape it later on.
The process up to this point took a few days, mainly because there is a drying period which is very important.
Hufuvd handmade sweatband was stitched together and fitted into the crown which has a bit more structure than the original sweatband. What actually took the longest time was the waiting for the correct Ribbon to arrive in the mail. The old hatband was in a good shape but a new one would make the hat look like new. I found the same ribbon, used in the original hat, and fitted it onto the outside of the crown.
Final stage, shape the brim and crease the crown to get a slight mushroom effect as seen in the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Streets of Cairo.
Some damage is still apparent in the felt, however, the color is darker and the shape is back to a recognizable Indiana Jones Fedora hat. Thanks Adam for your confidence in letting me renovate this hat for you. Its an amazing felt to work with and the results speaks for itself.
I never met my grandfather, on my mothers side. A tall gentleman and industrial engineer working on the famous ship yard of Karlskrona city in Sweden. He passed 12 years before I was born, but taken way to early in life. I had the honor of meeting his friends and coworkers who knew him. Some parts of him have past on to me. He built his own house to his wife, my grandmother. Making everything from the stove to placing electricity and plumbing.
It was the generation that build everything by hand. If you didn't know a certain skill you would ask your neighbor for assistance and they would gladly help. Things was repaired and reused. Not thrown away and repurchased. Items lasted longer and was passed on.
Sadly, I do not have any of his hats. But he wore them like any gentleman at that time would. I have a picture of him from ca 1930s where he is wearing a homburg and a regular fedora. That's the reason why I dedicate the name of the hat to him, my grandfather, Sven.
HAND STITCHED, NO SEWING MACHINE
The little that I know about hats I do know that bounded edge hats were more dressy and definitely more expensive. I have seen several hats that have been made with this type of edge in many different ways. The easiest way, still need a lot of practice to get it right is made by a sewing machine. This one that I made, I wouldn't dare to make it with a machine. It's all hand stitched, two times. Basically making this hat takes an extra day to complete. The result, however, is amazing. The stitches are fairly hidden but if you look close enough you might just see them. For the record, making a hat takes around 2 - 3 days and this type of hat would need 3 - 4 minimum. Making hats have a stage where the felt needs to dry completely and you wont be able to move forward until you have finished a certain stage. I will probably do a series of post to show more details of how I make hats.
LOOKING FOR AN EDGED HAT LIKE THIS?
After weeks if not months of practice I am happy to be able to place this hat in my collection. Anyone looking for a bound edge brim such as this one will be able to order one from now on. By the time this is posted the Boutique page is perhaps not yet updated. I would be able to add this to any style of hats that I make. The structure it makes to the brim also makes the hat more stable on your head. An amazing piece of hat to wear.
My future projects will have variations of this bounded brim edge and also with different shapes. We will see what the future brings. We might just focus a bit more on western styles, not really sure yet. If you have any suggestions or if you want to see a certain hat, leave a comment below. Happy to take on a challenge to improve the craft and keep it alive.
/ Hufvud Hatmaker
When I grew up in the 80s and 90s (don't remember much of the 80s since I was too young) there were no fedoras around. At least there were no fedoras where I lived. I couldn't see a single hat worn on the street. Of course, there were people using hats but mostly you would see the occasional sports cap worn backward. I didn't use them. My family did not use them either. The only hat I would be able to see was the Raiders Fedora worn by no other than Indiana Jones himself on the big screen.
WHAT IS A HAT TO ME?
The first Indiana Jones movie I could remember was The Last Crusade which was how my love for hats ultimately began. Dr. Jones considered the hat as his most important piece of equipment. I say equipment because I shaped who he was as a person and what he stood for represented in a hat. The famous line close to the opening of The Last Crusade "it belongs in a museum" speaks a lot about how he would stand by his principles (if you don't know it, see the movie).
That's where I stand with hats. A hat is an extension of yourself, an accessory if you will. It won't change who you are but it will sure help to speak out for perhaps what you represent. Look at Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra, Davy Crockett, Guy Fawkes, Theodore Roosevelt, The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland and more. The obvious functional reasons for wearing a hat are endless. Protection from rain, cold and heat. It shades in the sun and it warms your head in winter. Pull the hat far enough down and it cushions the tip of your ears which tend to get cold and frozen first.
WHO IS IT FOR?
Nowadays hats are Unisex, which is amazing. A fedora or a bowler was once the most prized possession of a man. The price range of hats was huge. Standard hat felt, hat with a ribbon, hat with a specific crease to the crown, hat with a bounded edge, hat made out of Beaver felt mix and so on. More details, more work and ultimately higher priced. People would save up over months for a hat. I remember seeing the Peaky Blinders series where the detective meets Winston Churchill on the train. Their first conversation is about the hat. Winston tells the detective wearing a bowler hat "That's a nice hat" and the detective replies "yes, it's a beaver mix". Then on to business.
Hats are for everyone. Some might think that its not convenient or comfortable. Then you have not tried the comfort of a custom-made hat. Please prove me wrong.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
I also read the story about Stetson and his hats, how he came to become the most famous hat maker. Sitting by the fire he was making blankets out of felt to keep warm which ended up becoming hats to his friends. The Boss of the Plains ended up being his most famous hat, designed to be lightweight and protect from all-weather in 1865. I recommend the book, link below.
Two years ago I saw this picture to the left. I was browsing the web looking for inspiration I guess. This is a picture from New York before the turn of the century. Notice that handsome fellow at the right corner? That guy wearing a fairly tall bowler led me to where I am today. The curve and the fact that the hat is tall made it look amazing. It also makes the guy look taller. The rest of his outfit is not as amazing but very stylish for the time. "You can have any color you want as long as its black", Henry Ford..
From here I started to do my research on hat felting and what it takes to make a hat. Long story short, I ended up making my own bowler and I was hooked. I couldn't get enough. I quit my job, packed my bags and started making hats full time. I have asked several hat makers out there for assistance and it has not been easy finding the right information. But there were some very friendly artists out there whom I truly appreciate their help. Obviously, they did not share all detailed techniques but they gave me a nudge towards the right direction and I respect that. A hint towards your goal is more than enough to seek out the right answer.
FASHION OR VINTAGE?
Looking back 10 to 15 years hats are emerging back in fashion. There are tons of enthusiast that dress very dapper and wear a stunning fedora, my hats off to them because that is genuine care and a true gentleman style. Then you have the Hipsters of course. I am happy to see so many new hatters and millinery small businesses or hobbyist emerging in the market. They all have their own take on the hat and inspiration. Fantastic! In a way, it also creates a new market for hats and they won't be taken over by factory hats made with machines instead of by hand. Handmade is king! In any field. I, for one, supports handmade items. It might cost more, but it will last longer in many ways.
Which direction am I going? In my view, a hat should come to you as an open crown hat for you to create your own story. With your wear, the hat shapes to your head. It acts on your desires. If you always pinch the hat felt at the same spot it will remember what you did. The coffee stain on the side will remind you of that family gathering. That scratch on the side will remind you of your trip to Paris where you bumped into a tourist. A hat will become unique with you and by your experiences. A custom-made hat fits your head and your specific shape and size makes it fit you personally. Someone wouldn't steal a hat that doesn't fit them. They would have to go out and ask for your size first unless that person actually has the same head size as you do..
A hat represents your journey in life and that's why you pay more for a custom-made hat that fits and is made with higher quality material than the mainstream versions (no brands mentioned). Its also made to last longer and for generations. Old western graves have been dug up with nothing left except a few bones and a furfelt hat. That personal hat will remind you or future generations of who wore that hat and what that person left behind. Its an investment, an expression and most of all its a lifestyle.
My journey is just beginning but stay tuned for more.
We have been busy every single day since the middle of summer updating our colors and the way we make hats. A lot of trial and error to get a better fit and a more vibrant hat. Surely there is more to come as our Boutique page has been updated as well with our color ranges.
Instead of 100% rabbit felt we upgrade to a more deluxe hat. Most of our selection is now made from a Hare & Rabbit mix which gives a different characteristics in an amazing hat.
There is still a lot we want to achieve and bring to you, stay tuned and keep updated on our Instagram.
Let's start the new month with an updated website and a new Store. Currently we offer a very limited selection of hats, however more to come. As we are constantly building the site and building more hats, feel free to leave us comments and suggestions.
Worth to mention is that we currently only offer Rabbit fur felt hats, but we also carry limited edition beaver felt. If you would like to know more send us an email and we are happy to answer your questions.
Shipping will be free within the Nordic countries to begin with and all prices are including taxes.