Jack Roberts

How to "cock" a hat.

123 posts in this topic

I have just finished a cocked hat. I tied it with cotton to form all the shapes that i wanted and then lightly sprayed it with water to dampen and then sprayed it wit a 60/40 mixture of water = 60 and PVA glue = 40, this has stiffened it nicely and when dry makes it slightly shower/rain proof. You can dilute the mixture more and apply more coates if your not sure or want to experiment.

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ended up resteaming my orange-ish colored tricorn , reshaping the back and did a little fine tuning on the sides... used a pot of boiling water...

turned out alot easier than i thought, fairly simple and easy... also added in fridley posts instead of sewing the sides down...

hat.jpg

Edited by silas thatcher

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If you are using a lighter coloured felt then go for the blonde or platina shellac flakes, black and dark brown the button and ruby types will do. Here in the UK the flakes are still stocked by hardware and craft shops, anywhere that stocks french polishing supplies.

I've done several 'tarred hats' using bitumen paint like this HERE which are 100% waterproof and hard enough to stand on without collapsing but I don't know the US terminology for the paint (Like methylated spirits here is denatured alcohol there) or indeed if 'The Powers That Be' trust you lot to not drink it/swim in it/wear it/shove it up your bottoms (or whatever other flimsy excuse governments give for banning useful things these days) so it might be unavailable over there.

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After going to the local hardware store for the shellac and alcohol and seeing that it would cost me $20 for the two, I noticed the spray shellac for $6 bucks. Being the lazy type I decided to try a different way of making my tricorn. First I tacked up the 3 sides of the brim with a single stitch ea. I placed the hat on a small trash can about the size of my head. Then i sprayed the outside of the hat lightly several times letting it dry between coats. After drying for a day I tried it on and it fit great. Now I need to sew in a lining and maybe I'll even trim the brim.

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I am about to make a 1710/1720 Spanish officers Cocked hat next week. The color will be a dark charcoal gray with an bit of purple/bleu (depends on the light) in it.

Looking around for models I noticed that most chocked hats i see here are just with all three sides folded all the way up in the same way. Except for one of Jack Roberts hats and the leather Sparrow hat on this thread.

These have their back part more like it's rolled up towards the top. Reading through the Gentlemen of fortune site they say, and I quote: "hats for 1685 and 1687 are just slightly turned up in the front and kind of "rolled" up in the back." So I am wandering is everybody doing pirates from 1687 onwards till later? Is there evidence for the rolled up back past 1687? And is there difference in English cocked hats and let's say French and or Spanish ones?

Edited by Korisios

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If you wanna get rrealy fancy, you can also line the hat....

Start with a strip of cloth the same length as the inside of the hat, and about 3 1/2" tall...

sew it into a tube, and then sew in a casing around the top edge....leaving a small opening in the casing ......

run a lingth of cord through the casing...

then turning the other edge, sew it into the hat.... (the stitches don't have to go all the way through the felt, just enought to hold the lining in place)

The opening for the cord should go to the back of the hat....

The cord slightly gathers the top edge of the lining so it fits inside the hat.

hatLining.jpg

You can just see one end of the knotted cord at the back of the hat in the picture

(ignore the sweat stains.... this one is over three years old......)

Are there (pictures of) period examples of this kind of lining??

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The earlist documentation that I can find is from the Revolutionary War (Sketchbook 76). so it's about 50 years outta date, it's one of those "It could have been done earlier, but I'm not 100%sure..." I do it because it finishes up the hat nicely.....

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At the Northern California Pyrate Festival, my face got sun burned from wearing only a cocked hat.... so I figured I'd make a new hat for really "sunny" occasions.....

The first two pictures show the hat blank that I bought from one of the merchants at the Festival for $28.00.....

Untitled-1.jpg

Untitled-2.jpg

I use boiling water instead of steam when I block a hat (it's just the way I learned how to stretch hats when I was a kid...)

This picture shows the crown of the hat full of boiling water.... once it all drains through the felt, It's ready to stretch...

Untitled-3.jpg

This picture shows the blank after it's been stretched over the container in the photo....

Untitled-4.jpg

The next post will be on finishing the hat blank.....

The hat blank that I bought, didn't have ragged edges, so I didn't have to trim it..... there were a few small spots, but the edge trim would cover them.....

I had some blanket binding, so that is what I used....

Starting at the back, folding the binding in half, I started to sew it on using a running stitch, passing the needle close to the edge on both sides.... I had to adjust and slightly push the top or bottem edges so the were even on both sides of the brim.... also by pushing the binding tight over the edge of the hat, I avoided too much puckering .....

Untitled-5-1.jpg

It took about an hour to sew all the way around the brim..... I used really tiny stitches......

Also shown in the linen lining.... it is sewn into a tube, with a casing along the top edge for a drawstring....

Untitled-6-1.jpg

To sew in the lining, I turned the bottem edge under, and whip stitched the lining to the hat.... I don't push the needle all the way through the felt, only about half way..... just enough to keep the lining in place...That way the stitching wont show from the outside of the hat.

When the lining is sewn in, I then slightly tighten the drawstring, so it fits inside the hat.

Untitled-7-1.jpg

I still have to decide what I want to do for a hat band..... but this is the (almost) finished hat....

I will keep the sun outta my face.... the biggest problem with such a large brim is that they do tend to blow off yer head in a strong wind...

Untitled-8-1.jpg

The making of the Patrick Hand Original Planter's Hat!! I was wondering where this was! (This is mentioned in every single Surgeon's Journal.)

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The earlist documentation that I can find is from the Revolutionary War (Sketchbook 76). so it's about 50 years outta date, it's one of those "It could have been done earlier, but I'm not 100%sure..." I do it because it finishes up the hat nicely.....

Thanks Patrick, Indeed it's a nice finishing touch,.. And I most likely ad one on my Cocked hat to...

Doing internet researche on cockades I found this reproduction where they added a simmilar liner, it only states 18 century so it's no answer to my question but just another nice example: http://www.ebay.com/itm/REPRODUCTION-18TH-CENTURY-OFFICER-TRICORN-GOLD-BRAID-/190458073056#ht_1586wt_905

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Dang... I found this about three maybe four months ago when I wanted to make a Wizard's hat for a project (that didn't pan out..).... Don't know why I never got around to posting it here....

OK....this in Not how to Cock (or cook) a hat...... It's how to MAKE a wool felt hat (blank)!

I haven't tried it yet.... but I figure the information is really good, and may be helpfull to someone.

http://www.hatshapers.com/Felting_Instructions.htm

Also check out the slide show at the bottom of the page.

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Very nice art, Beautiful hat.

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BTW: a household garment steamer works very well for shaping your hat.

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I like the way the edges are scalloped. Can you post a regular photo of it?

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Here's a couple pics of it (it's a bit dusty, having languished in the closet for a couple of years):

S6309185.jpg

S6309186.jpg

I just basically unevenly-scalloped the edge with a pair of scissors.

Here's a couple of me sportin' it....I made this as a Halloween costume several years ago, so it's not 100% authentic...but, it helped me to whet my interest-whistle in the history of the GAoP, and I've been lurking here for a while now, learning all I can....

2.jpg

3.jpg

Rob

Edited by Ghostsoldier

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Here's a couple pics of it (it's a bit dusty, having languished in the closet for a couple of years):

Rob

Nay Nay Sir be truthful in the matter of ye 'closet dust'... we all be aware of ye expedition to Campeche to log and trade for logwood and that ye happened to take a side trip to raid the Span'rds town and kick up a bit o' dust. ;-)

Jas. Hook

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Aye, Mr. Hook...I best be clappin' on me best piratical speakin' voice, an' keep a weather eye on me mundane utterances, lest some lilly-delivered swabbies be thinkin' I've slipped me mental cable!

Rob

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Does anybody do leather hats? I just want a leather black tricorn, or maybe even a tutorial

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For tutorials on leather tricorns, here's one of the better ones I've stumbled across, though there are other good ones as well: http://jacksparrowcostuming.wikispaces.com/file/view/Captain%2520Jack%2520Sparrow%2520Hat.pdf/152746111/Captain%2520Jack%2520Sparrow%2520Hat.pdf As for sources of pre-made ones, I've heard Excalibur Leather mentioned a few times, and there are independent artisans on Etsy and other pirate-centric forums who also sell leather tricorns. I can't vouch for any myself, but these are the results of my looking and asking around =)

I'm also coming into this thread with a couple questions of my own!

I made a tricorn about a year and a half ago from a Jas. Townsend blank, and it seems about ready to die. I'm a performer at several renaissance faires in the region, so it's gotten PLENTY of use, and I may be able to squeeze one more faire's worth of wear out of it... but only barely.

My biggest issue is that I do a lot of stage combat, and my dear hat is frequently thrown dramatically to the side... often in the very dusty vicinity of our joust field. Turns out, wool felt really likes to hang on to dust and dirt, and is kind of annoying to clean!

The other pirates at faire who wear tricorns all wear leather ones, and I'd much rather be at least a little different from them in that respect (plus, I'm one of the only ones who has any notable fondness for actual history -- what a conflict that can be with our costuming director sometimes... haha). But I have to admit -- the leather just dusts right off without issue, and seeing how my hat's performing under the same conditions, I'm finding myself leaning more and more toward a leather tricorn! (I DON'T KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT THIS AAAHHH)

My question to you fine folks is this: Is there a treatment I could to do a wool felt hat (most likely a fresh new blank, I'll be content to retire my old one haha) that would make it a little easier to clean dust and dirt off of it? Like, if I could just brush off or maybe wipe down the surface of my hat, I would be the happiest nerd at the faire. My concerns are that any such treatment might stiffen my hat to the point of making me uncomfortable, or that it might melt in the sun (since I've seen at least a few wax-based treatments mentioned).

Thanks for any advice or pointers!

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If it's just dirt, you can use a stiff bristled brush. Yes you'll have to work on it. For a real aggressive spot treatment you can use a cheap disposable razor and shave the felt.

If you do the shellac treatment, that will also help resist dirt and almost wipe down like a leather hat. Hope that helps!


If it's just dirt, you can use a stiff bristled brush. Yes you'll have to work on it. For a real aggressive spot treatment you can use a cheap disposable razor and shave the felt.

If you do the shellac treatment, that will also help resist dirt and almost wipe down like a leather hat. Hope that helps!

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In what will make no sense at all, I am posting my latest article which is all about my Patrick Hand Originalâ„¢ Planter's Hat, including how Patrick made it as seen on the first page of this thread, silly things that have happened involving the hat as well as some actual, honest-to-John historical research about period hats and why cocked hats probably wouldn't be seen on the typical sailor during the GAoP.

You can read it on my web page by following this link.

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