An inside look at the Texas factory where these iconic cowboy hats are made.
Folks all around the country, even those who aren’t hat connoisseurs know the Stetson brand. But you may not know the backstory.
The Southern Weekend stopped by the Stetson factory in Garland, Texas to see how these hats are made, and get tips on how to pick the right one for you.
Stetson hats were first made in the late 1800s out of necessity.
John. B. Stetson was headed to Colorado in 1865, and the weather was so bad, they needed some protection. So Stetson basically whipped up at hat out of animal fur.
When he got back home to Philidelphia, he started making hats because he saw the need for them in the West.
These hats went on to become the iconic cowboy hats we think of today.
Stetson is the largest quality hat maker in the US. They take raw fur, like rabbit, beaver and hare, and turn it into a hat body.
Then it’s shaped into the size and style it needs to be, with the right sized brim.
After that, the crown and brim of the hat go through a pouncing process, which is basically sanding. These leaves the hat with a smooth, luxurious finish.
Then the hat gets shaped into its final form. Then the trim gets added in. Like the inside sweatband and lining and the outside hat band.
How to pick out your Stetson hat
When it comes to picking out a hat, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, know your hat size. If you aren’t sure what size you wear, try on a few different sizes.
You know you’ve got the right size when it fits comfortably. You want it tight enough so it won’t blow off because there’s no cool way to chase your hat.
Then, decide what function you need from your hat. Are you going to be out riding all day, do you need something to keep your head warm, or are you looking for something that’s more fashion and comfortable?
After you’ve got that figured out, all that’s left to do is look in the mirror and make sure you like how it looks.