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Fergusson Brit Bonnets

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So I need a good hat for winter as the hair line has stopped receding and started thinning. I'm much happier with a warm head now a days. I've been toying with a Newsboy style hat and one of these from Fergusson Brit, carried by the Scottish Tartens Museum for $75 + shipping. I'm not a big fan of the torie on top but other wise this bonnet is excellent looking.

http://www.sporans.com/highlanderbonnets/d...oolbonnets.html

Anyone seen one of these or own one? I'm resisting the urge to buy a brown one but I'm getting weaker. The Scottish Tartens Museum had one blue one on hand at the Stone Mountain Games this past weekend and it was very nicely made. If Matt would have had a brown in his booth I fear it would now be on my grape.

The second question, what is "felted"? I've been seeing it in other threads and vendor sites but I've not gotten a good definition that I can get my brain around. Are these knitted and then roughed up to blend the fibers together or some other process?

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Knitted, then agitated and shrunk down in hot water, forming an almost watertight bond. It goes from being a weave to being a solid fabric after the felting process.

I've done a bit of felting with wool. Tricky, but well worth it.

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I see. Thanks Dread. I have read it's a labor intensive process but as you said, well worth it I'm sure with the slushy snow we get here, don't want any water making it through.

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Felted wool is also thicker. Everything is shrunk down tight to form a very solid bond.

And yes, it is labour intensive. You have to make an enormous hat or whatever it is you plan to felt and then shrink it down and hope that it is the right size.

It is a good investment. A well made felted hat will last a lifetime.

It'll be a little rough wearing for a while until you get some oil into the wool. The felting process (hot water, agitation, soap) strips a great deal of the oil out of the wool. (typically) I do not know if the hat maker adds lanolin oil or not after the felting process. Felting can leave a hat a bit rough and scratchy though. A light bath with some conditioner will help if the wool feels dry and itchy.

After some wear and a reintroduction of oil to the wool, it'll become remarkably waterproof if it was well felted.

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What Price Glory has a similar one for about half the price. OTOH the one from Ferguson Brit has much nicer detailing.

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What Price Glory has a similar one for about half the price. OTOH the one from Ferguson Brit has much nicer detailing.

WPG's TOS is a "military" style. I posted this review on it

http://www.kiltsrock.com/forum/index.php?s...mp;#entry122012

You might also look here. ( Note Diane does GREAT work & is VERY reasonable BUT she is about 4-6no out. I have 2 on order & should have them by the 1st of the year.

Puffer

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There is no comparison to a hand made felted verses a felted fabric machine made.

Machined felt is usually rather thin.

A well made hand felted is incredibly thick. Matt Newsome has some bonnets in his museum that are literally a 1/4th of an inch thick in places.

Machined felt is felted, and stretched to get the most of out of it. Like, a wool felted hat in a fedora style. Similar (but different) principle.

http://giftshop.scottishtartans.org/bonnets.htm

Scroll down to the bottom. Look at the cheaper and mass produced tam, followed by the hand made and hand felted broad bonnet. See the thickness?

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WPG's TOS is a "military" style. I posted this review on it

http://www.kiltsrock.com/forum/index.php?s...mp;#entry122012

You might also look here. ( Note Diane does GREAT work & is VERY reasonable BUT she is about 4-6no out. I have 2 on order & should have them by the 1st of the year.

Puffer

Yes, Diane was one I had looked at as well but I'm a bit behind the schedule for this year. Of course, I don't yet know what Fergusson Brits lead time is either. I'd also prefer a lined bonnet which the FB's are. Does Diane line hers?

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Britt's hats are AMAZING!

-I've seen them in person, with Britt, at some games. the leatherwork band is gorgeous. I mostly make my own bonnets, but would GLADLY lay out money for one of Britt's bonnets!

Barley,

Those are different than the think hand-felted ones at the Tartan Museum. Those are made by a lady who tour the games selling knitwear. She does a wonderful job and has spent a HECK of a lot of time perfecting the felting process to get reliable and consistent results. If that was in my priority need category, I'd GLADLY buy one of the ones made by her.

(Steve, Turpin, and the rest who went to Hartwell . . . she was the booth just up from Turpin, this year and last.)

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I remember her - The Royal Fleecery. She was at Stone Mt. too. She's from Dahlonega GA.

FYI, the repro berets by Dorothea Mills at WPG are lined and have leather headbands. I had an olive khaki until I lost it Still waiting to get it in stockl

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