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Die Hutmacherkunst: ein Handbuch für den Klein- und Grossbetrieb By Carl Bortfeldt 1902


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(from Die Hutmacherkunst: ein Handbuch für den Klein- und Grossbetrieb By Carl Bortfeldt 1902)


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Pure (100%) hare saddle of mature furs, own cut, 3 parts


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Raw cut Hare, best, 2 Parts


Raw Muskrat back hair, 1 Part


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(from Die Hutmacherkunst: ein Handbuch für den Klein- und Grossbetrieb By Carl Bortfeldt 1902)


Nutria and Vicuña pelts from Argentina were usually poisoned with arsenic (for pest control) so didn't require any treatment prior to storage but required very careful handling / processing.




(from Die Hutmacherkunst: ein Handbuch für den Klein- und Grossbetrieb By Carl Bortfeldt 1902)


Nutria pelts were heavily loaded with grease and dirt and required a different cleaning process than hare and rabbit. This was also the case with Australian Rabbit (Australischen Kaninchen) which Bortfeldt said were of low quality (warm climate being a major contributing factor).


From Die Hutmacherkunst: ein Handbuch für den Klein- und Grossbetrieb By Carl Bortfeldt 1902.


Finishing Castor (Beaver) and Velour Hats


The bristle brush is useful to use just about as follows: The bristle brush handle in the shape of a

parallelogram of about 16 to 17 cm long and 6 cm height. The edges of the handle must be

somewhat rounded, so that it is comfortable to hold with the thumb up. The bristles have to be

located very stiff in clusters of about 8 mm distance from each other and clasped and have

approximately 20 mm in length.


The effect of the brush has not only the purpose to fetch the hair out , he is also at the same time

get the Einwalkung of the hat, a fact that places high demands on the skill of the worker concerned.

We now observe such a skilled worker:


The felt is flat on the board walk with the tip turned to the boiler, the felt is doused with hot water and then brush out in an arc so that they always pulling, thrusting never touches the felt. The slope of the brush surface must always be as indicated on Figure 40 below presents the felt, L is the brush, which moves in the direction of the arrow, dar. level by this tendency of the brush is the shifting get the Einwalkung pressure of the felt.




The hair becomes thicker and gets a high gloss, which is not or only slightly attenuated by the

dyeing and also in use. If the hat is run up to 3 fingers onto the measure (that means, has shrink only

3 fingers wide) as intended for Castor felts are rolled out, smoothed, dried and again schariert to be

then brushed up onto the measure. At this stage, in a usual way, it is always allowed to knead and

roll the hat. For Velour specific hats the hair are mostly cut, they think, that the bristle brush has a better contact to the short hair and the hair comes out better!




Figure 41 shows such a shearing machine Tondeuse of Coquefils. The obvious here cone of to be

sheared stumps spanned exact, erected the hair using a comb or brush and now the effects of shear

(a cloth scissors very similar) exposed; while passing by turning the handle the scissors even in very

rapid rotation added, very slowly, the cone to rotate about its axis. After a few turns of the stumps

located on the cone is roughened again and continued the scissors in the same way. After a short

time the surface of the Stumpens will have a velvety surface area! In the rule the hats come back to the kettle and they will be brushed again and again. The shear can be made after brushing once or twice!


Dressing of Castor (Beaver) and Velourhüte Bürstelhüte


Although these products are truly beautiful presently not favored by the fashion, the author believes,

he must handle the producing process about Kastorhüte (Beaver Hat). All Kastorhüte should, after careful rinsing with clear and hot water back onto the form and dry! After drying the hats will be washed again with a bristle brush and destillated water ( a shiny ). After drying the hats they were watered with a sponge,and ironed with a hot Iron. After that first ironing it is better to do the same process once again!


For the shorn Velour hats is it the same process. Only the direction how to brushed the hair is

changed from the right to left. Also the ironing, now from left to right! The following process, the hair to straighten up goes with this mixture:


1 part rainwater

1 part ammonia

1 part spirits / alcohol


the hats are still on a form which are moistened with a soft sponge, then the smoothed hair will be

with a soft brush brushed in the other direction that is perpendicular to the flat lying hair from the edge first then upward and then returned back.


The above-described work is carried out ever so carefully but still results in Faserchen (little fibers) on the surface of the hair which need to be removed. This is done by pulling the whole hat quickly through a straw flame (the singeing). The hats are then beaten with a whip and are now ready.


(Thanks to Manfred for helping me with the translation. This was difficult because of the old style German.)

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  • 8 months later...

The use of Hare felt for Long-Haired (Velour) hats.




"In the production of Long-Haired (Velour) hats the Hare backs of mature skins produce the best felt. With this material the old hat maker rule "largely plied, felted small and hot fulled" is very much taken to heart. It possesses not only a big energy to felt but has long retention. Probably no other material has the same amount of toughness. Furthermore, it is the natural, atlas-like shine that makes this substance to glamorous hats irreplaceable. If treated correctly during fulling, with the brush, coloring and washing, brilliance and durability will be achieved. "

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