The Most Commonly Used Materials in the Hat Making Industry

If you are among those who follow fashion trends keenly, you will have no doubt noticed hats making a comeback into mainstream fashion for the first time in many decades. If you collect hats, you will want to pick up some popular styles you know you look good in. However, since you will discover that all hat styles come in a large variety of fabrics and materials, you are likely to make a better choice if you know more about the different materials used in hat making. A brief guide for those wearing hats for the first time:

Polyester

One of the most commonly used synthetic fibers; polyester finds widespread use in modern hat making. By some accounts, polyester is today the most widely-used stable fiber used in hat making because of its durability, resistance to abrasion, and water. Another reason why hat makers love polyester is it has good moisture-wicking properties. It is for this reason; polyester is a popular material in hats for wearing during summer and even for exercising or playing sports and games.

Nylon

A thin and lightweight material, nylon is preferred for making caps and hats for the hot summer season. The main advantage of using nylon to make hats and caps is the material is breathable making it more comfortable during hot summer days. Nylon hats also do not shrink or lose their shape, which is a constant worry for those who wear a hat regularly. While nylon hats are durable and easy to care for, it does not do a great job of wicking away the moisture.

Cotton 

One of the oldest materials used for making hats because of its excellent properties, it is rare today to find hats made fully of cotton. Since it is an expensive fabric compared to many synthetic alternatives, most cotton hats use cotton blended with synthetic fibers like polyester. Cotton is much loved as a hat material since it is soft and breathable. Even people with sensitive skin find it easy to use since it is hypoallergenic. Cotton can absorb moisture, which is perfect for fabricating the sweatbands on the inside of the hats. Cotton is often blended with synthetic fiber is to bring down its cost and increase its durability.

Wool

If it is a knitted hat like a beanie, you can be sure it is made of wool. However, as popular hat material, you will encounter many other hats made of wool. Many of the classic hats, even if not made wholly of wool, are made substantially from it. Wool is widely used in making baseballs hats and hats specially made to protect the wearer from the cold like berets. Many of the top-class fedoras are made from prized cashmere wool. It is also extensively used in making Fedora hat bands that you can use to decorate your prized Fedora. Even though it looks and feels good, wool hats tend to make your hair dry and brittle as it absorbs moisture. Prolonged use of wool hats may leave you with dry, fragile, and lifeless hair. To prevent this from happening, you may choose to use a satin liner on the inside of your wool hat.

Buckram

Not many people know of buckram, which is a material used to make the brims of hats stiff and sturdy. Popularly used in the manufacture of the visor of baseball hats to make them stiff, they also find use in strengthening the classic hat brims. The typical way of using buckram is to insert it below the fabric on the outside of the hat. In the olden days, horsehair was used to make buckram but nowadays, cotton is used more commonly. Wood is an alternative to buckram for strengthening hat brims, but it is not popular nowadays.

Straw

Straw is one of the most popular materials for making hats, especially summer hats when you need to shade your face from the fierce sun and stay comfortable for extended periods. The material is popular because it is strong and lightweight, which is one of the reasons; you will find it being used to manufacture various kinds of hats. Hats made from natural palm straw can be expensive, especially if the weave is tight but nowadays it is common for synthetic fibers to be labeled as straw. Common natural straw is made from plants like papyrus, bamboo, sisal, and wheatgrass. Toquilla straw is are derived from the palm tree of the same name found in Ecuador, according to UNESCO. It is prized for its flexibility and durability and used in the best quality Ecuadorian Panama hats.

Conclusion 

You can find hats made from a diverse array of materials and hat makers keep on experimenting with new stuff. When buying a hat, you should find out whether the style and color suit you and also which material it is made from. Knowing the material will help you to know how it will perform in various climatic conditions and whether you will be comfortable wearing it.