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Texas Hatters

Texas Hatters moved from their home here in Austin out to Lockhart Texas a while back — and a good friend of mine and I decided to take a little road trip and check them out. They have been making hats the same basic way since the 1920’s….starting with unfinished felt blanks and finishing them by hand.  Each “blank” is steamed until soft then stretched over a wooden block approperiate for the customes style and size. Once tied on – the blank is wetted and ironed for several minuits. In the old days, hat makers would slick the fur down with mercury which poisoned them and made them insane (hence the saying,‘mad as a hatter’). They then give the hat a hair cut by applying sand paper. This sanding and ragging give the blank an almost polished look. This is especially so with the pure beaver. The same basic steps are then used for the brim on a wooden form called a flange. After the blocking and flanging, they then cut the genuine leather sweatbands to size and sew them in by hand. Next, the satin lining and the ribbon trim is also sewn in by hand.  After all the trim, fancy or plain, each hat is then hand creased to the customer’s specifications. Of course, mail orders and now e-mail ordering makes things a little more complicated, but their custom treatment still goes into each and every hat they make.

If you ever get a chance — give Texas Hatters a try — they make one heck of a hat !

13 Comments Post a comment
  1. 08/18/2012

    ilike your choice of the subject and the emphasis on the bright colors. Good job.
    John Tucker

    • 08/18/2012

      Thanks John — really appreciate your comment
      It was a fun shoot — and the owner seemed to enjoy my friend and I being there and showing so much interrest in how he made his hats.

  2. 08/19/2012
    Bambi Lynn

    Great photos AND write-up.

  3. 08/19/2012

    Great photos,love the hats, colours and the way you have captured the series of images.

    • 08/20/2012

      Thank you — there really was a lot of Old Texas “tradition” there — it was a real fun shoot

  4. 08/20/2012

    Excellent composition and exposure technique!

  5. 08/25/2012

    what a wonderful series….and, of course, good photographs.

  6. 08/26/2012

    Hello, Art! What can I say more than, I’m purely in love with your hats, windows, guitars and …images. All is a fantastic world and, I’m really enjoy surfing your blog! Keep working on it because you’re doing best what / how you do.

  7. 09/8/2012
    Northern Narratives

    Nothing beats a hand made hat. Great post.

  8. 09/27/2012

    I love cowboy hats in all shapes and colors! These photos are just amazing (as all of your photos actually)! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  9. 09/27/2012

    Reblogged this on Artis – photo art passion / The Blog and commented:
    Wonderful photography of one of my favorite things in the world, Hats! Have a look at this page, there is a lot of other great photos there Well worth a visit

  10. 11/19/2012

    You have done really great work with just hats…nice pics…


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