NATIONAL FELT HAT DAY
National Felt Hat Day is observed annually on September 15th.
Historically, men and women wore hats not just as protection from the elements, but also as status symbols. Warmer felt hats were donned this time of year, replacing the lighter, cooler straw hats. Etiquette dictated what hats were worn for which occasion. Donning and doffing the hat (mostly required for men) was a good behavior learned at an early age.
Primarily made from wool, felt can also be made from the fur of other animals such as rabbit and beaver. Beaver was popular during the 16th and 17th centuries, but over trapping depleted the population.
The phrase “a mad as a hatter” comes from the use of mercury nitrate in haberdasheries in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Over time, daily exposure to this metal caused these tradesmen to develop dementia, tics and other symptoms causing people to believe they had gone mad.
Over the centuries, many styles of felt hats have made their debut. We can identify an era by many of them. The Quaker will quickly be identified by its buckle, and the stovepipe reminds most Americans of one of its most beloved presidents. Others have odd names such as pork pie, bowler and stingy brim.
HOW TO OBSERVE
When you celebrate National Felt Hat Day, be sure to test out other styles. You might just find out the Fanchon, flower pot, Reubens, Fedora, or a Panama is really your style instead. Use #NationalFeltHatDay to post on social media.
Within our research, we were unable to determine the origin of National Felt Hat Day.
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