How Hats Are Made? Visiting Polkap.
When we were introducing hats to our offer, we really wanted them to be produced by Polkap from Skoczów - a local company based in Silesia, in our opinion the best hatmakers in Poland.
Author: Poszetka.comPhotos: Radosław Kaźmierczak
Unlike other hat manufacturers in Poland, Polkap is responsible for their hat production process from beginning to end, from fibre to finished hat - their felt hats, both those from wool and rabbit fur, are made of raw materials processed on site.
Some time ago we visited their factory in Skoczów to see with our own eyes how our hats are made. On this occasion, with the help of Radek Kaźmierczak, we captured a few photos to describe and show you how precise and complicated the whole process is and how much manual work goes into every hat made. Welcome.
Mixing fur with wool - the machine is called wilk, a polish word for wolf.
The rear of zgrzeblarka - preparing wool.
The side view of the mechanism and the front of the machine. This machine is responsible for cleaning and combing wool.
Spinning the wool...
...and straight on a cone, with a help of the winder.
Zespalarka - the machine that is responsible for the first step of the hatmaking process, fusing together the fibres of rabbit or hare fur.
Zwartniarka - connecting the elements with high water temperature.
Pump releasing the excess amount of water.
Process of wet felting.
In the wet felting process, hot water is applied to layers of animal hairs, while repeated agitation and compression causes the fibers to hook together or weave together into a single piece of fabric. Wrapping the properly arranged fiber in a sturdy, textured material, such as a bamboo mat or burlap, will speed up the felting process. The felted material may be finished by fulling.
Steaming the hat-to-made to make it softer, easier to shape by hand.
Jumping for a moment to the further stage. In the background you can see the so-called brakarnia - a place where semi-finished products are graded 1st or 2nd class and sorted.
But before that we have to go back to the earlier stage - raw wool cones are pressed using the special presser.
You can see the pressed ones on the right and the raw ones on the left.
Ready for the next stages of the hatmaking process.
Burning the excess fibres to even the hat's surface.
Shaping the hat to achieve the desired shaped. In our case, it is the classic fedora.
Shaping the hat.
The dyeing facility and pressure chambers, where the hats are dyed.
Grinding the surface to achieve the desired texture.
Steaming the hat again to soften the brim before final shaping.
The machine that is responsible for preparing the brim.
Presses and wooden brims on which the hats are shaped.
Sewing room - a place where the linings are sewn in and the hats are finished and decorated.
Trimming the brim's edge.
Decorating the hat according to the customers' needs.
Steaming the hat again just to clean it. After that step, it is finally ready to be packed.
Ready hats are stored on special racks...
...waiting to be packed and shipped.
This is the end of the whole process. We hope that you have already learned how hats are made! We would like to thank the Polkap factory for showing us around their factory and for the cooperation.