At first glance, all fur felt hats may look similar. One may wonder why prices vary so widely from one hat to another. There are several factors to take into consideration:
There are many different grades of fur felt and these grades vary in price. Additionally, certain areas of the felt are superior in quality and demand variations in cost (such as backs of land animals and bellies of water animals). We use beaver blends with high belly fur content. Our supplier, who guarantees the quality and belly fur content, is located in the USA. We have used the same supplier ...(used for how long, American...) consistent quality of beautiful felt. Additionally, Pascal inspects each felt thoroughly before creating a hat to ensure that it meets his exacting standards and that your hat will be of the highest quality.
We have 3 qualities available; these are their strengths and weaknesses.
This is the top-of-the-line in beaver fur — 100% belly fur — the best you can get. The 100% Beaver Fur holds it's shape better, weighs less and sheds water better than the lower beaver blends. These hats wear extremely well. We recommend this blend for the discerning hat wearer and collector, as well as for those who wear their hats often.
The 80% Beaver Fur blend is the best of both worlds. For those who don't want or need to invest in the 100% Beaver Blend, but still need a hat that will stand up to more frequent use, we recommend this blend.
The 50% blend is the budget conscious blend. It gives you the opportunity to acquire the quality of beaver felt at a lower price-point. The trade-off is less weather-resistance, slightly heavier, less hardy hat. These are still very nice hats.
Fur felt hats are not made of sheep wool. Fur felt hats can be made of rabbit, hare, beaver, mink, etc., or a blend of several. Each type of animal fur has its own specific properties and will felt, shape, and wear differently. Variations in types of fur result in different water-resistance levels. Felt hats made of 100% water animals result in water resistant hats. Beaver fur is often considered to be of the highest standard for hat quality; and the higher the percentage of beaver in a hat the better the hat quality. Beaver fur felts tighter, weighs less, and shapes better than many other fur felts. Moreover, 100% beaver felt hats finish nicer and hold their shape longer than a lesser quality hat. Les Chapeaux Baboulin uses only beaver and beaver-hare blend felts.
A note about X-Factors: There is no standard for the commonly found X factor in hats. Some hat manufacturers use a designation of 10X to signify a 100% Beaver felt, while others will use 12X, 100X or some other variation on X to designate the same 100% Beaver felt. Blends further convolute this system. We strive to simplify through honesty – and categorize our felt quality by percentage of beaver fur.
Trimmings are the finishing touches to the hat. They are a reflection of personality or style and impart important details about the individual wearing the hat. Trimmings consist of linings, edges, hatbands, hat pins, feathers and more. Choosing quality trimmings adds value to your hat.
One of the most important aspects of the hat, workmanship is often overlooked. Today, many hats are either made by machine, or rushed through production and lack the attention to detail that is necessary in a fine hat. Strict attention to detail and expert hand work throughout the creation process is necessary to ensure proper axis, balance and curvature of the finished hat. Pascal is good...