Bow Ties Sydney, Australia - Le Noeud Papillon - Specialists In Self Tying Bow Ties


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Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Prelude Of What's To Come

Currently we are working with a few different companies on blog posts relating to wool weaving, shoe making and hat making. Of those, the one which particularly interests me at the moment is the hat making process of Leon Drexler's Stephen Temkin. Temkin is a custom hat maker that I was introduced to by a very good American customer of mine. I approached Stephen a while back to see whether he might be able to replicate a hat I had seen on Tom Wolfe which I had fallen in love with. Stephen had suggested that there was a hat he made which was similar that could be used as a base pattern. That hat was called a Budapester and it is on the site which I linked to above. The commission was upon the condition that he would take photos along the way to explain the process. So I was really happy to get these first photos in yesterday of the hat being made.

The beauty of having your hat made is not only that it's for you specifically (I had to measure and re-measure my head three times) but you get to be a part of the process as you go along. Here is Stephen at about the 50% completed stage:

The hat is progressing, bit by bit. Actually, I'm now ready to cut the brim and wanted to confer with you about the width and curl. It's a complicated matter, so please bear with me.

To use an example, the brim on the Budapester is cut at 2-3/8" without variable proportions, meaning it is 2-3/8" all the way around, as is the way a standard hat is cut. The curl on the sides is rolled up a little further than the front or back, so when finished, the visual width on the sides is about 2" but the visual width front and back is a bit more, about 2-1/8. 

For your hat, my plan is to cut the brim ever so slightly wider than the Budapester, but also to cut a proportional brim, meaning it will be cut a bit wider still on the sides than in the front or back (a once typical procedure for curled brim hats). This will allow me to create an even greater differential in the roll of the curl up the sides and thus allow, I hope, a more distinctive fore-to-aft arc in the finished brim while maintaining a proportional balance in the visual width. Essentially, I'm using the look of the Tom Wolfe hat as a bit of guidance, although your brim will look slightly different. 

The basic starting block - a bare finish beaver felt in cream. From here the hat will need to be shaped and sculpted. 

The hat must be sculpted and curved into place before finishing the hat with both grosgrain ribbon as a hat band and trimming to the edge of the hat

Because it is a bespoke order, customer's can choose whatever they like to be printed on the inside lining of the hat. 

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