Old hat with medicore mystery
October 26, 2012 4:42 PM   Subscribe

Vintage hat question. Because I don't know about hats, let alone vintage hats.

Last year, my husband got me a pretty vintage hat from one of The Shops at Daniel Boone in Hillsborough, NC. I've never worn it besides trying it on once or twice. It's just been sitting on a shelf for most of that time.

The hat itself is light blue, and appears to be made of felt, lined with a satiny material. The label says "Genuine Velour". I've had a hard time locating similar hats, but this one covers about the same amount of head, minus the veil. I'd post a picture, but I don't have the ability to take a picture right now.

Here are my questions:

1) How can I figure out when this hat was made? Or any other information about it? "Genuine Velour" is a vagueish search term.

2) How can we know if this hat is safe to wear? I've handled it many times before and nothing (that I am aware of) has happened.

3) Ought I to get it cleaned at a dry cleaner or something?

Thanks thanks and more thanks!
posted by Coatlicue to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (4 answers total)
It's most like a velour felt made of wool. I can't imagine that it would explode or poison you, although some felting processes used mercury. Keep it away from moths. You could get it cleaned, but then it would need to be reblocked. Wear it and enjoy it.
posted by Ideefixe at 6:49 PM on October 26, 2012

(1) by re-asking with photo -- sorry, but the quality of answers with and without will be wildly different. Colour and size = probably 50s or 60s -- but -- no way to have any certainty there

(2) you have put it on your head, and nothing bad happened. You may safely wear the hat

(3) if it's dirty? If you think there is a good chance it has dirt or oils on it, and you wish to prolong its life, a cleaning by somebody experienced in dealing with this sort of item might be a good idea. But if it is a for-fun thing and looks clean, I wouldn't.
posted by kmennie at 7:22 PM on October 26, 2012

Response by poster: Ha, I don't expect anyone here to be able to identify the hat without a picture. I was more hoping that someone knew of hat ID resources, full of hat taxonomies that I could sort through on my own personal hat time.

The hat is tiny bit dirty, but nothing noticeable. It probably could use a re-blocking, though.

I'll see if someone can take a picture of it for me, and then upload it here just in case.
posted by Coatlicue at 11:32 PM on October 26, 2012

The hat looks similar to one that my grandmother had from the late forties/early fifties. If you feel weird about wearing it, get a wigform and display it. I used to use old Barbie styling heads to display my hat collection on a shelf.

If you live near a college with a theater department or in a city with a theater district, someone in a costume department might be able to advise you on cleaning and care or give you suggestions on who else could help in your area.
posted by jaimystery at 4:04 AM on October 27, 2012

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