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Frequently Asked Questions - Larry Mahan

FAQs - Larry Mahan

The majority of the straw hats we manufacture are hand-woven using natural fibers sourced from around the world. The fibers used in creating our hats are a product of twisted paper that is coated with plastic resin. These fibers are then hand-woven into the bodies we use to make the straw hats you find at your local store.

There are several kinds of felt hats that we make at Milano Hat Company. We manufacture fur felt, wool felt and blends of both. Our felt bodies are made to our specifications using various blends of tame and wild hare, tame rabbit and beaver fur as well as wool blends.

Historically, X markings were only used in felt hats, and essentially indicated a manufacturer's opinion of the blend of fur used in forming the hat bodies. The more wild fur is included in the fur blend used to make the body, the higher the X marking for that hat. Generally speaking 2X was the lowest and 100X was the highest.

Since there is no industry standard for X quality markings, the assignment of X markings is very subjective. Today X markings are a marketing gimmick. You can't compare a Milano Hat with any other hat on the basis of the X mark alone.

At Milano Hat Company, we consider the type and width of the fiber, as well as the trim package, in assigning our straw hat X markings. On our felt hats, our X markings are determined by the various fur blends we use to make the raw body and also the trim packaged used to finish the hat.

The crown is the top part of the hat that goes over your head. The crown of a hat is typically creased to a particular shape when it is made. Years ago, most hats were delivered to the retailer with an "open" (un-creased) crown, thereby permitting the retail hat salesman the opportunity to shape the hat to the customer's liking. Over the years, changes in the industry and the demands of production have resulted in today's practice of creasing hats as part of the production process.

At Milano Hat Company, we offer several different crown shapes. The most popular for western hats is the "cattleman" crease. The most popular for dress hats is the "pinch front". Aside from these shapes, we also offer other popular creases.

The flange is the particular shape given to the brim. Like the crown, there are several variations of a common brim shape.

The term "self band" refers to a trim (ie. outside) band that is made from the same material as the rest of the hat. We have several straw self bands, in different constructions, made of the same yarn used to weave the body. We also feature self bands on most of our felt hats. These bands are made from fur felt hat bodies that are finished and then cut into strips to be used as bands.

Straw Hat:

To keep the hat clean, wipe off the dirt with a damp cloth.  To avoid stains from perspiration, we recommend periodically wiping the perspiration from the leather band.  Try to avoid exposure to high heat (for example, leaving the hat in a vehicle for long periods of time during summer) as this will dry out the sweatband. 

Felt Hat:

To keep the hat clean, we recommend using a soft bristle brush in the direction of the fur.  To avoid stains from perspiration, we recommend periodically wiping the perspiration from the leather band.  If the hat loses its shape due to exposure to heat or wter, let it dry upside down and then reshape it with steam.

Nothing replaces a custom fitting by your local Milano Hat Company dealer. He or she will not only help you find the right size, but will also help you select the correct color, crown height, crown, brim width and flange to fit the shape of your face and body type.

You can determine your hat size by measuring around your head with a cloth tape measure. Just place the tape around your head, making sure it is about an inch or so above your eyebrows where the hat would settle. Take the measurement in inches to the 1/8th of an inch and convert it to your head size using the chart below.

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