It’s the staple of any self-respecting cowboy or cowgirl’s wardrobe. It makes a statement and packs a punch. It’s the classic cowboy hat. And while there are many choices out there, we believe that fur felt hats are some of the best around. But, before we get into why, let’s talk about exactly what felt is and how it’s made. It’s a material that’s been around for approximately 5,000 years, so it’s really stood the test of time.
What is felt?
Felt is made from natural fibers that are compressed and woven together. They’re matted down via a process that combines heat, moisture and pressure. The end result is a dense fabric that’s strong and durable – an everlasting woven product.
The fabric itself is usually a mix of wool or other natural raw materials with some synthetic fibers such as polyester or acrylic added into the blend. When these various materials are combined, they create a product that’s pliable, smooth and easy to work with in craft, clothing and for industrial use such as home décor and furnishings. A common fiber to mix with wool is rayon. Why? It takes away some of that scratchy quality that wool can often possess.
Types of Felt
Pressed: Similar to weaving, this type of felt is made by hand and has been around the longest. A range of thicknesses can achieve a high density.
Needled: This is a machine-made process. Machines that contain thousands of needles interlock the fibers to produce a felt that is soft, not as dense as pressed and good to use in crafts or cushioning.
Woven: Wool or a wool blend are directly woven and blended into cloth to make woven felt. Then, moisture and pressure are applied. This makes the fibers naturally interlock. It’s often chosen for industrial use.
Advantages of a Fur Felt Cowboy Hat
Felt hats are part of a more classic cowboy look, and can be dressed up or down. They can be made of wool or animal fur, dyed any color, and offer great protection from moisture and cold. There are several advantages to purchasing a felt hat. Here are just a few:
- Stay drier: Unlike wool, which is absorbent and not ideal for hats, felt is a tighter fiber and allows water to shed.
- Stay warmer: It’s warm, but lightweight.
- Wear it longer: It’s durable and doesn’t fray and keeps its shape well.
- Have more choices: It’s available in a wide range of colors and thicknesses.
Felt fabric is also a renewable and environmentally-friendly resource and highly resilient. It retains its strength and unique properties for decades. So, when you’re thinking about purchasing your next hat, why not consider felt? It has many great qualities and it looks fabulous too. Add a little attitude to your look. Real cowboys wear felt hats – just sayin’.