Hatmaker Week 30, July 2019: Back in the Studio! Recharged and ready. Autumn Update!
First week making hats in the Studio after vacation! Just amazing to be back with new outlooks and a recharged battery. The week passed as if I never went away in the first place. A lot of work to catch up on but we sure got some amazing hats to look forward to. Before I dive into what I have been working on I just want to talk briefly about my two weeks away, discoveries and insights.
It has been a year since I had a real vacation. I probably mentioned this in my last post. I work through most official holidays, even Christmas. To be able to take two weeks off and travel the world is a blessing and a gift. Once in a while you have to take a step back and just lose yourself in another world. Perspectives change and the mind reboots with an upgrade.
Two weeks in Chania, Crete. Greece has always been on my list of places to visit. It’s funny, being from Europe and I have not explored every country here yet. I have probably visited more places in Asia and in USA than Europe. Come to think of it, I have not explored much of Sweden either.
To put things simple, Greece is amazing. The economy has not yet recuperated but the people are among the friendliest that I have met. Amazing food experiences and just too many great places to visit. Whoever invented the fast food “Chicken Pita Souvlaki” should get a Nobel Price! Brilliant!
This was not a journey of exploration. It was all about disconnecting from the everyday life and enjoy the sun. I traveled with my girlfriend and we both needed this in order to tackle the harsh reality of everyday life. We observed how tourists rushed to take buses that would transport them to all the sights of the island and how mobile phones took up most of their time on the sun bed. We left ours in the hotel and we did not take a bus other than to see the town nearby, Rethymno.
This was the purpose of the trip anyways, total disconnect. Spend time with the one you love and just experience the moment. Listen to the waves, look at the trees sway in the wind. Empty mind and only thoughts of what kind of food experience should we have tonight? I did, however, check my emails every evening and communicate with relatives back home for a status update. Orders kept on coming in during the beginning of July and I can’t say no to a chance to make more hats.
Life is too short. See the world, have experience and just climb that damn mountain while it still stands. A better philosophy than that can’t be found. I was invited to a wedding, that’s the reason for staying in Chania for most of the time. Who can say no to a Greek wedding experience with a singing priest that went on for more than an hour. Impressive.
What was I wearing during my weeks in Greece? LEIFUR Lucky FEDORA, custom fitted to my requests. Too hot in the heat you ask? It kept the top of my head cool. The sweatband did it’s job and I felt great. It was too hot to wear cloths overall, but wearing a hat did not make it worse. Actually better. Now, a straw hat would perhaps be ideal, but this light weight 30X Beaver blend did is job well. Just love wearing it and it was a first in a long time that I made for myself. I am glad to have personally tested this felt in an environment other than in Sweden.
I immediately picked up where I left off, before going on holiday. I had a few unfinished hats that I managed to complete this week and some that are near finished. I do not rush the creation of a hat. They are all hand made, not perfect in anyway but very individual. First I finished this amazing CUSTOM RAGNAR FEDORA with a wind cord attached to the felt. Fully functional detail that also gives the hat a stronger vintage look. The blend of colors are very bold and it turned out to be pretty good looking. The brim has an overwelt finish, not an easy detail to make by hand. Somehow the underwelt or the brim binding with a ribbon is much easier to make.
I am getting excited with the hats that are coming up for production. There is a great mix of styles and colors coming up and I love the challenge to make something new and different. As for the production time, I am closing in on changing the time to a permanent 3 month wait. If it gets any longer than this, I will start to take on an apprentice and hire workers. It’s a business decision that is as difficult as to decide to go into business in the first place.
What’s happening at Hufvud?
A new studio is being setup. This will bring me closer to home and hopefully make production more efficient. I can’t reveal too much of that yet but it’s all happening in August. Very hectic but exciting month ahead.
New 100X Beaver felts coming up. We got replenishment of the Sable in 100X, which is sold out. If requesting this felt, expect it to arrive in October. Also, a new Sand color which will probably be renamed to Silverbelly which also is a 100X Beaver felt. Black in 30X Beaver blend is still on the way. The factory in Portugal is having a holiday in August, that’s the reason for the delay in delivery of this felt.
Before the end of the year I have planned for 2 - 3 new colors to arrive in either 30X Beaver Blend or 100X Beaver. More vintage looking hats to come. Currently I am working on orders from May as the April orders are near complete.
Here is what I have finished this week and still working on for the next.
Stages of making a HUFVUD hat:
STAGE 1: Prepare and block out the hat (2 day process at most)
STAGE 2: Prepare and Stitch Sweatband - > Stamp Sweatband and Assemble (1 day)
STAGE 3: Attach Sweatband to the trimmed felt - > Shape and trim the brim (1 Day)
STAGE 4: Brim binding ( Part I, II or III) - Attach crown ribbon (2 - 3 days sewn by hand)
STAGE 5: Attach Liner and crease the crown/ brim -> All final touches (1 Day)
I will include these stages in future posts and you will be able to see which stage each hat is on.
CUSTOM RAGNAR FEDORA, 100X Beaver, DARK BROWN RUST
CUSTOM LEIFUR Lucky FEDORA, 100X Beaver, SABLE BROWN
Currently Working On:
LEIFUR Lucky FEDORA, 100X Beaver, SABLE BROWN - STAGE 4
FLOKI FEDORA, 100X Beaver, SABLE BROWN - STAGE 4
LEIFUR Lucky FEDORA, Rabbit & Hare Blend, SABLE BROWN - STAGE 4
LEIFUR Lucky FEDORA, 30X Beaver, EMERALD GRAY - STAGE 2
On The Block Next Week:
LEIFUR Lucky FEDORA, 100X Beaver, SABLE BROWN
OLAFUR FEDORA, Rabbit & Hare Blend, CAMEL
LEIFUR Lucky FEDORA, Rabbit & Hare Blend, SABLE BROWN
I hope you all are having a great summer and a lovely weekend!
Mikael Einarsson | HUFVUD HATMAKER | Lund, Sweden