I am a cowboy! ….. Well at heart anymore I guess. I was a rodeo cowboy for awhile. Lost a finger and that dream went down the toilet. Then a construction cowboy for awhile. Even shaped my hard hat to look more waspy. Then became a County Road Worker! Can’t say anything about that except ” STUPID “! Then went to shoeing horses…. That is cowboy work I think. Now I build hats. Some for cowboys and some for cowboys at heart. When I was young, my dad was a cowboy and a damn good one in my opinion. Then he went out tellin’ cowboy poetry and became pretty dang famous. I would travel with him every once in a while, and at a concert Michael Martin Murphy put on I met band called Muzzy Braun and the Braun boys. They were singing a song about a cowboy at heart. Well I thought it was a great song but would never apply to me. Well folks… I am a cowboy, at heart. My dad and I built our first hats together at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko Nevada. Of course he made his famous “Waddie Mitchell” hat while I pondered and pondered on what I should make for myself. He told me to make a hat that I would be proud to wear no matter what I looked like in it and it would break in to fit just fine. I thought he meant that It would break in to fit my head but I was way wrong. Custom hats are made to fit perfect, so there is no break in time. After studying hats and their owners, I now know that the hat doesn’t only fit the circumference of the head but also the personality of the owner. Man I love my job! I wake up and make someone’s personality and character everyday. Let me make one for you. Let me build the statement you want to make.
This is very important ladies and gentlemen! Even if you do not own one of my hatz, still read this. It will clear up some misconceptions, help preserve your hat and last but not least… keep what luck is in your hat from disappearing forever.
A good quality felt hat is soft and supple. It can take a beating, be sweat plumb through, and then be rebuilt.
A lot of companies now are adding wool and other crap to their felts. They will feel rough and stiff as can be. The reason for the stiffness is the amount of shellac needed to hold the hat together. The felt breaks down and falls apart with a rainstorm and if you get bucked off, your hat is toast. The best way to describe a good hat vs. a bad hat is that a stiff hat is like stiff underwear, uncomfortable and unforgiving. A good hat is like a pair of underwear washed with Downey, so soft and comfortable you don’t want to change them.
When you’re not wearing your hat it is important to keep the foam block in it. Your name on the block should be facing the front of the hat. This will assure the perfect fit every time you put it on.
Hat sponges are great cleaning tools. Always brush your hat in a counter-clockwise motion. That is the way I built the hat. Your felt is trained to lay that way so brushing it the other way could start to “fuzz the felt”.
Steaming your hat to re-shape or re-stiffen it is fine. Make sure you steam only the top side of your brim and crown. Your sweatband has a plastic reed in it and if it gets too hot and warps, we will need to replace the sweatband.
Always wear your hat with pride and conviction! Remember, you are wearing the statement you want to make.
Do not leave your hat on the dash of the pickup!! The heat from the windshield will shrink your felt.
Do not spray your hat with shellac, sugar water, or anything that you think or have ever heard will preserve your hat. My felts have ZERO wool in them. All of the crap listed above will harm your felt not help.
Do not set your hat down on its brim. Always set it down on the crown. This will help keep the shape in the brim like you ordered it.
Do not under any circumstances put your hat on the bed!! BAD LUCK!!! If by chance it happens, follow these three very important steps and make sure you follow them in order:
Not sure how bad the luck is if you don’t follow steps 1-3 but I wore a lot of stomped and tobacco stained hats around.
So, after years of this madness, I made up this last don’t…
If your buddies, kids, or significant other puts your hat on the bed, follow these three steps and make sure you can do them in order: