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.
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
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
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.
- Village Hat Shop
This hat store features a broad selection of Western
cowboy hats at competitive prices.
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.
Cowboy Hat Makers
- The Bailey Hat Collection
Since 1922, Bailey Hat Company has offered the finest in
western, dress, casual, and outdoor headwear.
- Resistol Cowboy Hats
This hat manufacturer's Western felt hats, straw hats, and
caps are available at fine Western stores everywhere.
- 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.
- Atwood Hat Company
Makers of quality cowboy hats. Their palm leaf and
shantung cowboy hats are rugged, handsome, and affordable.
- Shorty's Caboy Hattery
This Oklahoma-based hatter features custom Western cowboy hats.
- Shady Brady
Cowboy hats with a "real lived-in look." Site features
head sizing instructions and a hat size conversion chart.
- Rand's Custom Hats
Montana-based custom hat maker offers hand-made cowboy hats,
western hats, services, and accessories.
- Bollman Hat Company
Features top headwear brands including cowboy hat styles
by Bailey and Renegade.
- Montana Hats
Custom-hatter makes hats for real working cowboys and
celebrities in a wide range of colors and styles.
- Barmah Hats, Australia
Features a wide range of real Aussie hats, built tough for
the rugged outdoors.
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