Akubra is the only major hat company making fur felt hats from start to finish, beginning with
the raw skins through all the processes of preparing the fur, forming the hood, dyeing, blocking
and pouncing the hat to the final trimming. Their control of the entire process allows them to
produce an exceptional quality of fur felt.
The quality of Akubra’s felt is attested to by the fact that they have no need for the colored powders used by many manufacturers to even out the
color and hide flaws in the felt.
Akubra® Hats have been Australia’s quality hats since the beginning of the 20th
century, ever since Arthur P. Stewart set up to make a hat to meet the needs of this bustling new
colony. Australians in the earlier days, much like the Americans of the West, needed better hats
than the usual, and, like the Americans, they had to make them for themselves. Akubra hats
stood the test of life on the cattle stations and droving routes. Akubra hats still stand the test,
not only in Australia, but throughout the world. You will see them wherever you travel.
Akubra has an up-to-date plant, and a dedication to quality that comes only with an owner operated
Some of the distinctive features of Akubra hats are:
The basic fur in a felt hat is the under-fur of rabbits, and the quality of this
fur is a prime factor in the quality of the hat produced. Fur from wild rabbits gives the best
quality. Akubra not only uses more wild rabbit fur in their hats than any other hat company,
but also a better fur, as they cut their own fur from the skins, keeping control of quality of the
hats from start to finish.
Akubra produces four felt qualities. Their standard quality, with a worldwide reputation for
durability, is offered in two finishes, the Imperial Quality, used in most of the standard hats we
offer, and the Superfine Quality, used in the Aussie Slouch. The Sydney is made from a lighter
weight felt, using a finer fur, with a finish similar to the Imperial Quality. Their premium
quality, developed recently for the Heritage Collection, is very much in the Akubra tradition,
a stronger, more dense felt for even greater durability, which also allows a finer pouncing for a
superb finish. Pliofelt is the new pliable fur felt used in Akubra’s Lifestyle Collection of packable
Reeded Leather Sweatbands
The leather sweatband inside the hat is the only part which touches the head and hence is the key to a comfortable hat. Good leathers are breathable,
soft and absorbent. In the best hats the leathers are “reeded” in order to conform better to
the head. A reed, once a thin piece of rattan, but now commonly a thin plastic fibre, is encased
in an impervious ribbon of oiled silk or synthetic material, and attached to the bottom of the
leather. The ribbon helps to keep perspiration from staining the body of the hat. The reeded
leather sweatbands used by Akubra are made of the finest roan sheepskin, specially tanned to
Great Australian Style
These hats are genuine Akubras, made in Australia and built
for durability. Australians spend a lot of time outdoors. To protect themselves from the harsh
sunlight they wear hats as a matter of course, and they expect their hats to last. Australians give
hats rough treatment -- fan the fire, water the dog, or gather the chooks’ eggs, an Akubra is
expected to handle it all, day in and day out, year in and year out. You can buy Akubras with
confidence, knowing their quality and style are top-notch.
Pre-creased Akubra® Hats:
All our standard pre-creased Akubra fur
felt hats have high quality reeded leather sweatbands, full linings, and
chin strap hooks set inside the crown for easy attachment of a chin
strap. The fur felt is Akubra’s Imperial Quality pure fur felt.
Open Crown Akubra® Hats
Back when hat stores were common
most hats were sold with open crowns. The crease, or bash, would
be put in for the customer by the salesman at the time of purchase.
These days almost all hats sold have pre-creased crowns. For those of
you who still want an individualized bash, we
offer a number of open crown hats from Akubra. You can shape the crown to suit, then, when
the hat is damp from the rain, make any final adjustments and let the
Akubra’s Lifestyle Collection
Akubra’s Lifestyle Collection hats use
Pliofelt, a soft, pliable, pure fur felt developed specifically for crushable
hats. The crowns are unlined with fabric sweatbands to allow the
hats to be packed.
The Heritage Collection
The Heritage Collection presents a line of
premium quality hats developed by Akubra®. The felt in these hats
is made from a select blend of specially graded furs of rabbit and
hare which permit a longer and more arduous shrinking process.
This process develops 25% more shrinkage, producing a denser and
stronger felt, which in turn provides the basis for a superb pounced
The leather for the sweatbands is tanned from selected skins, for an
exceptional quality. The bands themselves are cut wider than normal
to ensure the greatest comfort. The Heritage Collection hats are in
all ways premium hats in the Akubra tradition, superb long lasting
felt with outstanding leather sweatbands.
Wearing and Caring for your Akubra
Akubra Hats are made to be worn by active outdoors people. They are made to give full satisfaction during years of service, through sun and rain. There is no need to baby your Akubra, but if you treat it with understanding, it will look better and last longer.
Do not pick up your hat by pinching the crown, either at the top or front. Pinching will flex the felt, and eventually cause a hole or crack to develop in the felt. It is best to pick up the hat either by the front and back of the brim, or by placing the thumbs inside the leather sweat band at the sides with the fingers just touching the outside of the brim, as shown below.
Rain or sun do not harm a pure fur felt hat. There is no need for plastic rain covers -- these merely keep the felt from breathing properly and so make your head uncomfortable. Do not heat a wet hat. Heat will shrink the felt, as well as the leather. Stand the hat upside down on its crown, or hang on a hook in a cool place and let it dry naturally. Wet felt retains the shape in which it dries, so make sure the brim and crown are shaped as you want them before drying. Do not leave a hat standing flat on its brim, as this will distort the brim. Never put your hat on the back ledge of your car or truck in the sun, as the heat may shrink and damage the leather sweatband. If your hats must of necessity be dried or stored under warm conditions, regular use of a Hat Stretcher will be beneficial.
Dust and grime are bound to accumulate on a hat under any normal conditions. Dust can be removed by brushing with a soft brush. Always brush with the nap, in a counterclockwise direction. Dust can also be removed by wiping the hat with a damp (not wet) towel.
A braided leather hat band, such as our Fancy Edge Hat Band, sets off a hat well. When fitting a band, a stitch on each side to hold it in place is good practice. Chin straps ensure against loss of your hat in wind or brush. Most Akubras have chin strap hooks set inside the crown. Just slip the end of the strap through the gap between leather and crown, and set the strap over the hooks. [Attaching A Chin Strap to Your Akubra]
Renovation of Your Akubra Hat
With a little care, an Akubra hat should last years. If your Akubra meets with an accident, or suffers abuse, consider having it renovated.
A good quality fur felt hat can be cleaned and renovated successfully. In a full renovation the hat is disassembled -- the hat band, sweatband, lining and edge binding on the brim (if any) are removed. The felt is then dry cleaned and re-blocked to size and shape. The hat is then reassembled, using the old bands and lining, if they are in good condition after cleaning, or new bands and lining. In a partial renovation the hat may be spot cleaned and re-blocked to size and shape. Holes in the felt, as those caused by picking up the hat by the front pinch or edge of the crown, cannot be repaired.
Hat renovators, once common in most cities and towns, are now few in number. If you are in need of a renovation please contact us and we can provide the name of a dealer nearest to you that does hat renovations.