Cowboy Hats  

Cowboy Hats

 
 
 

Cowboy Hats | Care | Construction | History

 
cowboy hat and gloves Cowboy hats are Western style hats that were originally created as part of a cowman's daily wear.  The wide brim could be used for fanning a fire, scooping water, or waving to distant riders.  Most practically, they served as an effective barrier to the effects of the sun, wind, and rain.

Many years ago, on a hunting trip, John B. Stetson's companions were amused with his creation of an unusually large hat with a wide brim made out of "fur felt."  At first, he wore it just for fun, but as he came to appreciate the protection it offered, he began to wear it constantly.  Other cowboys liked his hat so much that he began manufacturing them, thus creating the style and the Stetson name that we have come to associate with the cowboy hat.  Different shapes and styles began to emerge, and in the Wild West, one could tell what region another rider hailed from by noting the subtle crown dents and brim adjustments made to the hat.

straw cowboy hat Nowadays, some hats are made of straw, but most are still made with felt.  Felt is an unusual material that is made of thousands of short animal-fur fibers and therefore, tends to twist together when kneaded in hot water and steam.  It is also excellent for repelling water and cold temperatures.  Cowboy hats can be made of fur felt or wool felt.  Fur felt cowboy hats are attractive and lightweight; they can also withstand wet weather conditions without losing their shape.

A man wearing a cowboy hat plays an acoustic guitar.

The best quality and most durable cowboy hats are usually made with beaver fur or rabbit fur.  Beaver fur is used for most fur felt hats because it is denser, more dimensionally stable, and more water-repellent than rabbit fur.

CowboyHats.us features cowboy hat care and construction information, as well as a directory of online Western wear shops and selected cowboy hat makers.

Shop for Cowboy Hats

  • The Hat Store
    Located in Houston, Texas, this traditional Western hat store specializes in fitting and shaping cowboy hats for men and women.
    www.TheHatStore.com
  • Village Hat Shop
    This hat store features a broad selection of Western cowboy hats at competitive prices.
    www.VillageHatShop.com
  • Sheplers
    This Western apparel shop offers Western hats, jeans, boots, and accessories.  Find straw cowboy hats and wool felt cowboy hats in every style and price range.
    www.Sheplers.com

Cowboy Hat Makers

  • The Bailey Hat Collection
    Since 1922, Bailey Hat Company has offered the finest in western, dress, casual, and outdoor headwear.
    www.BaileyHats.com
  • Resistol Cowboy Hats
    This hat manufacturer's Western felt hats, straw hats, and caps are available at fine Western stores everywhere.
    www.ResistolHat.com
  • Stetson Hats
    Legendary hats since 1865.  Western hats, dress hats, and ball caps.  Features custom felt body hats steam blocked to a specific head size, crown shape and brim width.
    www.StetsonHat.com
  • Atwood Hat Company
    Makers of quality cowboy hats.  Their palm leaf and shantung cowboy hats are rugged, handsome, and affordable.
    www.AtwoodHats.com
  • Shorty's Caboy Hattery
    This Oklahoma-based hatter features custom Western cowboy hats.
    www.ShortysHattery.com
  • Shady Brady
    Cowboy hats with a "real lived-in look."  Site features head sizing instructions and a hat size conversion chart.
    www.ShadyBrady.com
  • Rand's Custom Hats
    Montana-based custom hat maker offers hand-made cowboy hats, western hats, services, and accessories.
    www.RandHats.com
  • Bollman Hat Company
    Features top headwear brands including cowboy hat styles by Bailey and Renegade.
    www.BollmanHats.com
  • Montana Hats
    Custom-hatter makes hats for real working cowboys and celebrities in a wide range of colors and styles.
    www.MontanaHats.com
  • Barmah Hats, Australia
    Features a wide range of real Aussie hats, built tough for the rugged outdoors.
    www.BarmahHats.com.au

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