Category Archives: Cowboy Hats

Why the difference in Cowboy Hat prices?

Have you noticed there can be a big disparity in price when it comes to cowboy hats? Hats at the local county fairs and concerts can be pretty inexpensive but then you visit a retailer and see the starting price on some are $200 you may begin to wonder why the big difference in price. The reason: Quality.

Felt hats typically come in two types of material, wool and fur. Wool hats use sheep wool to create an inexpensive felt hat starting around $45 (that is at least where we begin). Better quality wool will increase the price of the hat, thus why you may find some at the $120 price point or higher. To show that hats are of better quality companies will use an “X” system to grade their hats. For example, Stetson and Resistol will consider anything at or below 4X to be part of their wool collection. However there are other companies out there that may use a higher number of X’s to grade their hats.

Stetson and Resistol, two companies we are very familiar with, label anything at a 5X and higher as a fur felt. Fur felt cowboy hats feature a combination of rabbit, hare, and beaver fur. They have even begun to use some mink and chinchilla furs in their top tier hats (100X, 1000X). With fur felts you will notice the difference in quality when you being to handle these hats. The difference in feel between a 6X hat and a 20X hat is quite substantial as the brim and crown of that hat will be smoother and softer. Unfortunately none of the companies will tell you the exact proportions of fur in their hats, regardless of the number of X’s, as that would give away their distinct advantages in making their specific hats.

If you’ve ever wondered what goes into making a cowboy hat then check out the video below from Stetson’s YouTube page.

Caring for your Cowboy Hat

Cowboy Hats

Caring for your new cowboy hat is important if you would like to keep it for years. We often have people come into the store talking about their fathers or grandfathers cowboy hat that has passed down through the generations. We want to go over three of the most important things to do with your hat so you can help it have a long life.

Cleaning Your Hat

It’s assumed that if you bought a cowboy hat you’ll be wearing it on a regular/semi-regular basis. Your hat is going to get dirty just by wearing it, whether it’s at a horse show or out with friends you’re bound to get something on your hat eventually.

Dark colored hats will typically show dust quicker than a light colored hat, however a dark hat will hide stains easier than a light colored hat. One of the easiest ways to care for dust on your hats is using a hat sponge. Hat sponges come two to a package, one for light, one for dark colored hats.

To clean your hat with a hat sponge gently rub the sponge (dry) over the hat with the direction of the nap (the material – wool or fur), typically in a counter clockwise motion taking the material from the front to the back of the hat.

After cleaning you’ll want to take a finishing brush and brush off any anything the sponge has brought to the surface of that hat. You’ll want to make sure to use a dark colored finishing brush for dark colored hats and a light colored finishing brush for light colored hats. By doing this you won’t be mixing the nap from dark hats on a light hat and vice versa which will take you back to the beginning with cleaning your hat.

It’s also possible that you’ve gotten some sort of stain on your hat like grease from your horses’ muzzle. Bickmore has created two colored sprays that work in helping remove those stains. The Ultra-X light colored spray is for light colored hats and the Ultra-X dark colored spray is for dark colored hats. After spraying the stain with the spray you will need to let the affected area dry. By allowing it to dry the product can work at removing the stain. Once dried you’ll take your hat sponge and work out the dried ultra-x spray.

Protection from the Elements

Cowboy hats, whether wool or fur felt, are not naturally water resistant. We recommend using some sort of waterproofer to protect your hat from rain and snow. Gardmore by Bickmore is our preferred waterproofer. Gardmore waterproofer is a non-darkening formula that protects against stains and water with out sealing the wool or fur. Because it’s a non-sealing waterproof it allows it to be useful on leather boots allowing them to continue to breath and have a longer life.

Another way to protect your cowboy hat is a by purchasing a western hat carrier. Hat carriers are made of a hard plastic and are designed to be small enough to fit in an over head bin of an airplane. The carriers come in a variety of colors and sizes so you can find one that fits just about any hat.

Storing your Cowboy Hat

If you bought a fur felt then you likely got a hat box with your hat. The hat box is a great way to store your hat as it’ll protect it from dust, dirt, and from becoming misshaped. If your hat did not include a box we do offer boxes for purchase ($10), but there are other ways to store it as well.

As mentioned above, a hat carrier is a great way to protect your cowboy hat. It’s also a great way to store your cowboy hat. Each carrier has dialed knobs that adjust at the base so your hat can rest on a safe surface that is free from any pressure being put on the brim, thus maintaining its shape.

If you do not have a hat box or hat carrier you can always set your hat on its crown on a flat surface. This will help keep the brim from becoming deformed. If for some reason you’re unable to set your hat on its crown you can always hang your hat on a hook or bed post. Finally if none of those options are available you may set it on a shelf or ledge with the front of the brim hanging off. By laying it flat with the front over the edge it’ll take pressure off the brim and help it to maintain it’s shape longer.

There is a lot to taking care of your cowboy hat and we want to make sure it lasts you as long as possible. Doing any of the above is sure to help lengthen the life of your hat. If you find that cleaning your own hat seems like to big of a task, we are more than happy to clean and shape your hat for you. To get a hat cleaned it costs $10 and we ask that you give us a couple of days to really get it cleaned.

Do you want a custom cowboy hat?

Ever wondered what a cowboy hat looks like before it becomes this?

Wonder no more! We recently started stocking an open crown hat from Atwood Hats. The specific hat we have does have a different band to it – your traditional felt band with buckle and tip.

I’m sure many of you are thinking this thing looks goofy or nobody is going to wear it in the show ring. To be honest you’re right! We didn’t get it for that reason. The great thing about open crown hats, is they allow us to “block” or shape the crown to the style you’d like. Also the brim is 5″ rather than the standard 4″. This too will allow us to customize the brim to the shape and size you would like.

Don’t be frightened and think this is the way all hats are going to start coming, even though years ago that was the case. We will continue to stock hats as you saw in the first image at all times. We decided to have an open crown hat due to the number of requests we are getting for lower crowns and different shaped crowns. This will allow us to accommodate those needs for anyone.

John will custom shape each hat so that you can get the exact hat you want. You can base the crown off something we have in stock or if you see something on-line bring in a picture and we’ll do our best to shape it like the picture.

So there you have it. A way to get your very own “custom” hat. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook.

Deal of the Day

Stetson Powder River 4X Buffalo Fur Felt Cowboy Hat Mink

Was $100.00      Today $85.00

Made out of American Buffalo Fur, this beautiful cattleman style features a hair on calf band with gold diamond conchos, lacing and a buffalo pin.

Stetson Powder River features:

  • Color: 23-Mink
  • Brim: 4″
  • Profile: 75
  • Crown: 4 5/8″
  • Durable and Water Resistant