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My backlog of hat orders has come to the point that I cannot
accept any further orders for hat blanks or completed hats.
Please don't write or call and ask if I am now making hats.
I will update this message when I can again accept hat orders.

Visit www.CockedHats.com for authentic hats made by George Franks.

To order any Hat or Helmet Accessories: click on this PDF icon and follow the instructions on the top of the page.
Hat and Helmet Accessories Order Form.pdf.

Hats - are made-to-order, completely handmade and handsewn. The process of making hats is a slow and tedious one and the demand has created a backlog of orders. To be fair to all, orders are filled on first-ordered, first-made basis with no payment accepted until the work is complete. Orders are cancelable at any time. When ordering, please state your head measurement (inches and fraction). The measurement should be the circumference of the head with the measuring tape about ½" above the brow ridge, to above the ears, to the high point at the back of the head. Hats can be made for measurements from 21 3/8 inches to 25 5/8 inches. The maximum brim width is 5½ inches, and may be smaller on larger size hats.

Wool Felt Hats: My hats are made from a strong black wool felt which is very much like several original hats in public museums. In all probability the common civilian and soldiers hats were made of wool felt because they are inexpensive. Fur felt (a combination of wool and rabbit fur), and castor (beaver) hats did exist but they were, and still are, considerably more expensive.

Hatmaking: The basic process is this: the hat staple (raw hat) is soaked, steamed and stretched over a round hat block of the desired size and then placed on a flat hat board. The crown is ironed and smoothed. As in most Rev War period hats the crown height is about four inches. The brim is then stretched, steamed, ironed flat and tacked to the hat board along the outside edge of the brim. After being set aside to dry a few days the blocked hat blank is removed from the board and block. The hat is then stiffened and treated for water resiliency. Finally the hat blank is then brushed and trimmed to your specification.

Hat Stiffening
If your existing hat is becoming a bit droopy it can be renewed by:
· Let the brims down and brush out the loose dirt from the felt.
· Make a mixture of 1 part shellac (white or orange 3 lb cut) to 2 parts denatured alcohol.
· Liberally brush the mixture to one side of the felt. It should quickly absorb into the felt
· and not lay on the surface. Allow to dry thoroughly (about 8 hours).
· Repeat to other side of felt. Apply additional coats if desired.

British - 4½ inch leaves (brim width) as recommended by Cuthbertson, "...four inches and a half are enough for the breadth of the leaves, as anything above that size drowns the face..."
Ramillies - 4½ inch front, 5 inch side, 5½ inch rear leaves (less on larger head sizes). This style hat is commonly seen in portraits of British and American officers throughout the war. Very late in the war, 1781 and thereafter, American soldiers are described and pictured wearing hats similar to this style.
Round - 3 inch leaves all around except for the left side which is 4 inch wide and turned up. Based upon the frequency it appears in deserter and run-away descriptions this is a common style of hat for military and civilian use. Continental riflemen (Hand's), British Light Infantry (2nd Btln, 1777), 2nd Virginia Continentals, British Lt. Dowdswell of the Guards (portrait), and other units are documented to have worn this hat style.
Tricorn - 5 inch leaves all around. By the Revolutionary War period this style of hat was out of fashion for military use, but still worn by civilians.
[Officer's Hat]British Officer's hat with 5" brims, gold Granby metallic lace, and black silk cockade.

Jaeger hat front view

Kevenhueller - a German style hat with its front peak sloping back over the crown. Pictured is a Jaeger hat with black worsted binding, cockade, and hat cord.

Virginia, aka Nivernois - 4 inch front, 3 inch sides, 5 inch rear leaves. The only known specification for Continental Army hats comes from a contract to a Pennsylvania hatter in August 1779 to make hats for the Virginia troops ("Uniforms of the Continental Army" by Philip Katcher, pg. 171). Furthermore, this hat appears to be worn by the soldier holding the horse in Peale's portrait of General Washington at Trenton. What makes this hat particularly interesting and sensible is the 3 inch side leaves. These narrow leaves help avoid the hat from being hit by the musket when performing the manual of arms. Pictured is a Nivernois style officers hat with silver Granby metallic lace & black silk cockade.

Other hat styles, such as light infantry, fan tail, and ranger can be made upon request.

Hat Blanks, blocked to size

These blanks can be customized with the following options to make a hat to your specifications.

Hat Options:

Hat Binding - carefully and correctly hand sewn to the edge of the brim. If you wish to purchase any of these materials separately see the Lace, Tape, Webbing, & Rope page.

Natural white linen with leather brow band and linen cord drawstring These are made to fit the hat being made and are not available separately.

Hat Band or Cord: are functional, with tassels, won't dangle over edge of hat unless specified. The 3/16" diameter cotton and linen cords make two loops around the hat crown, the 1/4" wide mohair tape and metallic lace make one loop around the hat crown.

Black or White cotton hat cord $6.00
Black linen hat cord $8.00

Black or White mohair tape. The standard overall length is 42", which includes the 2" tassels. The standard size works for medium size cocked hats. If you wish a 4" longer tape so the tassels hang over the brim, or you have a extra large hat size, please specify a Long tape on the order form. If you wish a 5" shorter tape for use with a round hat that has narrow brims, please specify a Short tape on the order form. $10.00

Silver or Gold metallic lace $25.00


Cockade Loop & Button (loop not needed with a rosette cockade):
Please specify which button you want used on the hat being made for you. If you wish to purchase any of these materials separately see the Lace, Tape, Webbing, & Rope page.
Black or White cotton tape $1.00
Black or White mohair tape $1.00
Gold or Silver metallic cord or narrow lace $2.00

Hat tie-ups (which hold the leaves against the crown). Please specify which you want used on the hat being made for you. These materials are available separately on the Lace, Tape, Webbing, & Rope page.

Black linen cord - documented for enlisted men's hats
Black or White mohair tape
Brass hooks & eyes - common on tricorns and French hats

Horsehair Cockade - Cuthbertson (pg. 80) writes, "Hair cockades are strongest, and of course fittest for soldiers" $15.00 each Rectangular or Rosette (Available in Black only)

Silk Cockade - $7.00 each Rectangular, $10.00 Rosette (Available in Black only)

[Horse Hair Cockades]For comparison:
top cockade is horsehair,
bottom cockade is silk.

For comparison:
left cockade is silk,
right cockade is horsehair.

Rectangular cockades are approx. 5" wide and 4½" tall. Rosette cockades are approx. 4" diameter.

[Silk Cockade]Alliance Cockade, black & white silk for Continental Army.
Rectangular $12.00 each
Rosette $17.00 each
[Ostrich plumes]Ostrich plumes - to embellish hats and helmets. Approximately 18" tall. Available in Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, Black, or White. $3.00 each


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(before calling or emailing me, please read the FAQ or Ordering Information page
because most of the questions I get are answered on those pages)

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This site is maintained by Debra
First launched 5-9-91.