Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tilley Hats.

Illustration by: Paula Becker

In 1980 an amateur yachtsman decided to make himself the perfect hat. Alex Tilley wanted his sailor's hat to float, tie under the chin, stand up to the harshest weather, launder, look classic, and wear comfortably. Tilley located a milliner through the yellow pages who agreed to sew a hat for him, but then ran into problems. "The canvas I wanted to use was so tough that needles couldn't go through it and it shrank when it got wet,". After experimenting, Tilley discovered that he could preshrink the canvas by boiling and steaming it. In 1986 he added a thin layer of foam to the sweatband and to the crown to make them float thus completed his hat. These hats, not just for yachting anymore are still made in Canada. Still are bombproof and come with a lifetime warranty. The washing instructions are simple; “Give ‘em hell”. Even though they now make over 30 different hats the original T2 hat is my favourite, with its classic look and comfort. You can order one up at their website, or find a retailer near you.

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