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GrainReaper

Breaking In A New Balmoral

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I think a new balmoral looks goofy, sort of like a UFO landed on your head and slid to one side, if you work it into shape it's better but still seems to want to look like a disk after a while. I decided to take a tip from a gent on the other site and "jock" my balmoral.

Step one: find a suitable running creek...

D03B0F96-5D3E-4257-8723-325F40943D20.jpg

Step two: find a rock to weight it down...

A65C550B-09C6-403B-B4E4-5B5001926895.jpg

Step three: chuck it into the creek and wait a day or two

0D649150-BF92-43DD-B44B-B3FA572D4CB0.jpg

Step four: remove and drip dry, then re dunk into the creek for another round.

(I skipped this bit because I had an ice over due to the temps dropping to -27 Celsius... my cap vanished under ice for a week before the creek opened up again so I could fish it out)

991FF167-C9C1-4848-B6A0-A0FE9CFCC866.jpg

C7610D70-765B-4130-B863-9FD7E799CBC4.jpg

F389356D-5924-48D8-B506-8723CFC35EC7.jpg

Step five: hand wash in cold water, drip dry till damp and shape on your melon.. Sweep the material back to front and then left to right with your hands. Let dry on your head and enjoy your newly broken-in cap that has proper memory to stay shaped!

462738E1-209E-4D93-B23F-5AA2567335F9.jpg

C55457E8-2737-46A6-9600-5A4E79D86E84.jpg

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I really needed a shave! Yikes!!

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See the pic of the balmoral with the creek sediment on it (pic 6)? That hat was frozen stiff at that point, a couple minutes after fishing it out and removing that ice plug from inside it.... My hands were FREEZING, my feet were cold from standing in the creek but not wet like my hands were.

In hindsight I could have waited till now to do it, but where is the adventure in that?

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Update.. I love the fit of the balmoral but hate the toorie poofter so I lopped it off, with a dab of hot glue on the toorie to hold a Velcro square in place I now have a removable poof that I can plunk in place for the Highland games, or pull off for casual wear.

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I wish the professional bonnet-makers would make their Balmorals a bit broader.

I've noticed that the outside diameter of bonnets seems to have shrunk somewhat over the years (considerable in the past 100-125 years).

Check out these vintage images and compare them to the modest circumference of today's modern Balmoral bonnets:

1822_detail.jpg

evanmacgregor.jpg

George_Gordon_5th_Duke_of_Gordon.jpg

493c30fa739aa3201a9300252a1f777d.jpg

unknown-jocks_WW1-b.jpg

6899859.df09afb9.640.jpg?r2

I know that these are generally referred to as "braid bonnets", and styles have changed over the years, but the Balmorals being made today just look a little small to me for some reason, almost as if they had been shrunk. Maybe it is an effort on the part of the manufacturers to cut corners or something by skimping on materials, but I think the finished product would look better if it had more of an overhang.

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The Scottish Tartans Museum used to carry an old fashioned wide bonnet but I don't think they have it any more? Check around at Scottish Jacobite and English Civil War reenactment sites you can probably find a custom maker who can set you up with an old school bonnet.

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The Scottish Tartans Museum used to carry an old fashioned wide bonnet but I don't think they have it any more? Check around at Scottish Jacobite and English Civil War reenactment sites you can probably find a custom maker who can set you up with an old school bonnet.

Not really interested in an old school bonnet, just a modern one of the Robert Mackie type that has more of an overhang than they are currently being offered with.

The historical reenactor look isn't exactly what I go in for.

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Not really interested in an old school bonnet, just a modern one of the Robert Mackie type that has more of an overhang than they are currently being offered with.

The historical reenactor look isn't exactly what I go in for.

Nor I.........but was just thinking if you could find a custom maker he might be able to make one to your more modern specifications or put you in touch with someone who could............

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Not really interested in an old school bonnet, just a modern one of the Robert Mackie type that has more of an overhang than they are currently being offered with.

The historical reenactor look isn't exactly what I go in for.

There was a very similar thread on another forum a couple of years back detailing this same process of shrinking/shaping a bonnet (http://www.xmarksthescot.com/forum/f103/jocks-new-balmoral-57667/). In it, the OP mentioned that Robert Mackie had made the bonnet to his specifications (see posts #16 and #17). Perhaps they'd do the same for you... Couldn't hurt to ask!

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I recall, jock had mackie make his new balmoral bespoke to his old bonnet measurements, there are a few good knitters on etsy who can do custom work at a great price... Mine is an off the peg mackie so cut to modern dimensions, there is a great source for more traditional tams with a wider pancake, they made my caubeen in lightweight wool, no lining for summer use, it fits a treat!!!

www.jbyous.com is the site

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I recall, jock had mackie make his new balmoral bespoke to his old bonnet measurements, there are a few good knitters on etsy who can do custom work at a great price... Mine is an off the peg mackie so cut to modern dimensions, there is a great source for more traditional tams with a wider pancake, they made my caubeen in lightweight wool, no lining for summer use, it fits a treat!!!

www.jbyous.com is the site

Nice site!!!

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I think a new balmoral looks goofy, sort of like a UFO landed on your head and slid to one side, if you work it into shape it's better but still seems to want to look like a disk after a while. I decided to take a tip from a gent on the other site and "jock" my balmoral.

Step one: find a suitable running creek...

Step two: find a rock to weight it down...

Step three: chuck it into the creek and wait a day or two

Step four: remove and drip dry, then re dunk into the creek for another round.

(I skipped this bit because I had an ice over due to the temps dropping to -27 Celsius... my cap vanished under ice for a week before the creek opened up again so I could fish it out)

Step five: hand wash in cold water, drip dry till damp and shape on your melon.. Sweep the material back to front and then left to right with your hands. Let dry on your head and enjoy your newly broken-in cap that has proper memory to stay shaped!

The balmoral looks great, except there seems to be an odd growth emanating from the headband region :watch5:

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That growth would be yours truly.... And I never seem to take a pic after a shaving,

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