When it comes to making leather hats, it's good to come to the source. Since 1972, the American Hat Maker company has been handcrafting the world's finest leather hats, and these are their secrets...
Step 1: Start with the best materials. It doesn't matter how good your handiwork is if your materials just can't stand up to the test of time. Our leather hats start as a hide of heavyweight top grain leather, which is cut into our hat parts using industrial hydraulic presses.
Step 2: Cut out your hat parts from the hide. All of our hat parts are cut out using pre-shaped dies that make up the three basic parts of the hat. The brim, the crown, and the top! At this phase of production, we cut out two of those shapes, the brim, and the crown. We'll get to the top of the hat here in a bit! For this specific tutorial, we're gonna be making one of our iconic leather outback hats, so the brim will be wider than some of our other hats.
Step 3: Next, we start building the basic crown shape. The crown we punched out is one solid piece of leather, but it needs to be formed into a shape that will fit around someone's head. To do this, we fold the crown into a circle and stitch it from the inside out. All of our leather hats are built inside out and then flipped so all of the stitching is protected on the inside of the hat. Once this crown is all sewn up, we need to top it off.
Step 4: Finish the brim, and top of the hat. To get the top of the hat, we take the brim and punch out a hole in the middle, meaning that the leather piece we create is a perfect match to be the top of the hat. We then take this piece and sew it onto the crown. Before moving on to the next phase, we sew on the tags and velcro buttons that hold our replaceable sweatliners in place!
Step 5: Finishing touches. At this stage, the hat is flipped right side out, and the brim is sewn on. Finally, this top grain leather hat has the sweat liners added, and is conditioned and shaped before going to our shipping department so it can be shipped off to it's lucky new owner!
Step 6: Wear it somewhere fitting! Congrats! You're the newest addition to the American Hat Maker company family! Time to hit the trail and show off your new leather hat!