We often get requests to bash an Akubra hat, and we are happy to do so. But the truth is, anyone can bash a hat. It doesn’t take any fancy equipment. Here are two popular ways:
The cowboy method:
Cowboys used to get their hats wet by wearing them in the rain or dunking them in a stream. Once wet, they could bash the hat into the desired shape. Then, like cowboy boots, they wore them until dry. Drying it on the head not only kept it from shrinking, but helped it conform to the individual’s own head shape.
The steam method:
While we use a steamer, a tea kettle works just as well. Run the part of the hat to be shaped over the steam for a few seconds. The steam penetrates the felt, which allows you to work the hat into the shape that you want. We give step by step instructions online for a number of bash styles at: Bashing Your Open Crown Akubra
Remember, an open crowned hat can always be reshaped. And don’t worry about making the perfect bash. Take a look at the hats worn by such icons as Howard Hughes and Al Capone You’ll see ripples and dents where the hat was creased. That isn’t a bash with flaws, but a hat with character.
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Bashing Your Open Crown Akubra
On November 26th the epic film, Australia opens in the US. Almost 450 Akubras were used in the filming of the movie. The hats were designed by milliner, Rosie Boylan, who says,
“With the men’s hats, my role was to create a range of strong character looks that carried the epic Hollywood styling of the film. I took the cinematic vision and worked with Akubra to translate their classic hats into customised pieces.”
And Managing Director Stephen Keir, the fifth generation of Keir to take the helm at the family owned and operated Akubra says,
“We sent fresh, new open crowned hats off and they then had to make them look like they’d been worn through anything from war to years in the outback. Our hats are renowned for their durability so I’m sure ageing them was an art in itself.”
This isn’t Akubra’s Hollywood debut, with past movie credits including The Man from Snowy River, Crocodile Dundee and 3:10 to Yuma.
By the way, do you see Hugh Jackman wearing a riding coat? The Driza-Bone riding coat is an icon of the Australian Outback, where drovers would herd cattle over long distances using stock whips.
One familiar hat in the movie is the Slouch. Also known by Australians as “The Digger”, it is has been worn by the Australian military since 1885. David Morgan has sold the Slouch since 1965. These photos are of extras in the movie.
Many people wonder why we use the term “bash” when we talk about creasing a hat. The word “bash” comes from Australia where soldiers would receive their hat unshaped. They were required to bash it into the proper military form.
Read a review of the movie, “Australia”
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With Christmas just weeks away, we’d like to let you know that our retail store is now open on Saturdays from 9 to 5 to facilitate your holiday shopping.
We will be open every Saturday through December 27, 2008. We carry more items in our store than we are able to show in either our print or online catalogs. The store is located with our office and warehouse facilities in Bothell, Washington, just off Interstate 405. Click here for directions.
“Provide a good hat at a decent price, and back it up with good service.” This philosophy has guided The David Morgan Company for over forty years. The good hat is the Akubra, an Australian hat maker since 1874 and an Australian icon.
David and his wife, Dorothy, started selling Akubras in the early 1960s. Their first wholesale hat went to Eddie Bauer who used it for a national print advertising campaign.
From the beginning, the partnership between David Morgan and Akubra has flourished. Both companies are, at the core, family run businesses. Several generations of the Keir family have run Akubra, while David and Dorothy are now passing the business on to their son, Will and daughter, Barbara. Family run businesses have both the advantage of continuity and a stronger relationship with customers.
Forty years in the business also means adaptability. Because of customer demand, the Imperial Quality Akubras are shipped with chin strap hooks. And each hat comes with a lining, also unlike their Australian counterparts. As early as 1996 the company realized the importance of the Internet and created an online presence. And, to accompany the latest Indiana Jones film, David Morgan acquired “The Adventurer”.
Will is confident that Akubras will supply more of the American market in the upcoming years. Despite the changes, the family philosophy of providing a good hat at a good price and backing it up with good service, will never change.
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