Creasing a hat is a nearly forgotten ritual. Fine hats from the early 20th century until about the 1940’s were often sold open crowned as shown on the photo. Clients knew they were not to remain open, and would crease a personal style into them. This explains why hats look so unique in vintage photos.
By the late 1950’s, more hats began to be sold pre-shaped and stiffer. Like a clip-on tie, they were easier to wear but lacked the authenticity, elegance and personality of earlier models. Pre-formed hats typically were cheaper to make as well, and many complex processes needed to make strong, but mellow and malleable hats, were eliminated.
The Austin model is a semi-western, fuller-crown hat, offerered in lighter weight felt. Notice the variety of ways this model can be shaped – all without the use of steam.
Form a low telescope, then take the pointer finger and press down, making the shape look like a teardrop from the top.
Form the hat in a smooth circle, using your head as a guide to crease around.
Begin at the rear of the hat, and gradually slope the crease back to front.
This can be crudely shaped by simply picking the open crown hat up between the first three fingers then smoothing out the sides.
Shape similar to the Fastback, but form a wider “diamond” shape with sharper lines.
Place crown up on a flat surface. Using both hands, symmetrically form the center channel with the pointer fingers, and the side creases with the index finger and thumbs.
Wipe in this crease, starting high in the front and slope lower in the back. Next the hat can be placed on the head and wipe in a smooth crease around the back of your head.
Simply wipe a pinch into the front with
the thumb and forfinger.
Firmly press down the length of the crown’s center.
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