Coon skin hats

Discussion in 'Clothing' started by Loogaroo, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Loogaroo

    Loogaroo BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    A real man doesnt use a knife. You crab it by the back legs, place on head and pull hard.

    All kidding aside I have no idea. Hope I made you chuckle though.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2013
  2. Prof

    Prof Guide Bushclass II

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    I guess I'll have to watch Davy Crockett again and see just what Georgy's hat looked like! It was that movie that got me interested in camping, trapping and log cabins.

    Research indicates that neither Daniel Boone or Davy Crockett wore a coon skin cap very much. The hats came to the height of their popularity in 1840 when William Henry Harrison was running for president. The 'coon population was significantly reduced because everyone wanted one, at least supporters of Ol' Tippecanoe! Of course, 1955 was a big year for the hats when Disney released the King of the Wild Frontier!

    There is a pattern for a coonskin hat in the Back to Basics book published some years ago by Reader's Digest. It was basically a pillbox style hat with the tail sewn on. My wife made me one out of fake fur, because my tanning process failed on my road-kill 'coon.
     
  3. Lamewolf

    Lamewolf Guide

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    Same way you make a fox hat except you use a coon pelt ! <grin> But I'm sure if you google it you find all the answers you need.
     
  4. Long John Tinfoil

    Long John Tinfoil Guide

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    I gotta get one of those fox ones. Told a friend I was going to (enter your hometown here), and he said "Wear the fox hat!"

    LJT
     
  5. exsailor

    exsailor Tracker

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    A while back, I bought a coyote skin hat to go with my winter mountain man kit. They used a felt hat for a base. I think an army surplus dixie cup, sailor hat would make a good base. This is a reverse engineer of what I purchased. Basically the face goes to the front and the tail to the back. It is good form to keep the face if you can. Gather in the fur around the belly to form the hat base. That way the only time you see the white cap is when you look inside. You can either fold the fur in to fit the edge of the cap and tack stitch the hide as it puckers to the hat, which would give the edges some bulk. Otherwise you could cut the hide and stitch the cuts together for a sleeker look. The hide is tack stitched to the hat base in various places, so the fur stays where it is put. You can leave the legs dangle or cut em off as you wish. If you want to use a long fur like fox or coyote the body drapes down your back with the face on the front. Tack stitch the fur to the hat base in several places to keep in where you want it. I have seen beaver hats sitched with the fur forming a band for the sides. A leather bill was stitched on the front and a round or oblong piece for fur stitched in place for the top.
     
  6. wisconsinwalter

    wisconsinwalter Supporter Supporter

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    It takes at least 3 to make that style, sorry man. It took 2 large possums to make a trappers hat
     
  7. Prof

    Prof Guide Bushclass II

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    More on coonskin hats!

    I have wanted a coonskin hat for a long time! In this dated photo, my mom "synthesized" one from an old headscarf. It was not very authentic; but at age 5, I wasn't too critical!

    David as Davy.jpg

    A few years ago, I again got interested in coonskin hats, and found these instructions in Reader's Digest's Back to Basics.

    Coonskin hat instructions.jpg
     
  8. Prof

    Prof Guide Bushclass II

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    ...continued

    One day when driving down the road, I found a big road-kill coon! After skinning him out and attemping to tan the hide, (which was a dismal failure) I got a really nice tanned coonskin, which we nicknamed "The Courtin' 'Coon!"

    The father of the fellow my younger daughter was dating at the time was a taxidermist; and he had tanned several nice 'coon hides. He gave me one, and I was ready to make my hat!

    I reasoned that any mistakes in measuring or cutting would spoil the pelt, so we made a prototype from fake fur. Mary Ann sewed it on her machine and even made a lining and a fake tail!

    The hat turned out ok, but my research into 1830s hat styles pointed me to a different style of hat for my reenactment attire, so this is where the project ended.

    I still have the "Courtin' 'Coon" hide in pristine condition; daughter #2 married a different guy!

    Hat view 1.jpg Hat view 2.jpg
     

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