How can I tell a rabbit felt hat from a beaver felt hat?
June 21, 2016 3:10 PM   Subscribe

I picked up a nice cowboy hat at a yard sale. Is it rabbit or beaver?

It's made by Catalena Hatters in Texas. On their website they have hats that are priced from around $200 to around $800, depending largely on whether they're rabbit fur felt, beaver fur felt, or some combination of the two (rabbit's cheaper, beaver's more expensive). Nothing on my hat identifies which one it is. Is there any way to tell?
posted by crazylegs to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (3 answers total)
If you call them they may have a way to tell that you can't recognize on your own (like they only made a style in one color in that material, or a way to tell when it was made, stuff like that). Is that a possibility?

Otherwise, can you tease out a hair? Rabbit fur is very different from beaver.
posted by fiercecupcake at 3:58 PM on June 21, 2016

Some rather interesting niche forums came up when googling this. I think to truly figure it out you may need to compare it to hats whose felt type are known to you, as examples.

One forum mentioned that rabbit hats are floppier than beaver hats. Beaver also typically makes for a more dense felt, which is more durable and stays stiffer than rabbit, and looks crisper too. The beaver felt can be made to be thinner than rabbit felt.

This is understandable - rabbit fur is usually thinner than beaver fur, which is bushy on the pelt.
posted by lizbunny at 4:40 PM on June 21, 2016

My great grandfathers beaver cowboy hat was just amazingly clean (crisp).
posted by sammyo at 5:50 PM on June 21, 2016

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