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Archival Permanence: Filson Wildfowl Hat



In my story world, the Tin Cloth Wildfowl hat has become oddly popular–even among folks who do not normally wear Filson (let alone–hunting garb, industrial workwear or heritage brands). I would never have selected this hat as a Filson gateway accessory. But for some reason, it has a kind of [X?] appeal that makes people want to own it even if they will never occupy a duck blind or fend off an Arctic chill. Why is that?

I spoke with a fellow in Portland who is working on a design to modify the Wildfowl hat into a cycling cap. His idea is to somehow trim back the lower half of the hat so it covers his ears and buckles under his chin. We never discussed how this would interface with a proper bicycle helmet. Perhaps the hat (tin cloth plus melton wool) is thick and durable enough to function as an old school leather skid lid.

Idea for a Filson themed cycling hat (not mine).

15 thoughts on “Archival Permanence: Filson Wildfowl Hat”

  1. It’s such a mighty thing in weight and construction and concept (all that tin cloth and wool on top of your head) that I think you have to look past the immediate “ugliness” of the look. Try it on in person and you’ll be making a purchase.

  2. I actually wore one of these when I was a kid. Never mind my age, but let’s just say it was about 40 years ago. I find it humorous that this cap seems to be making a comeback as a hip fashion accessory, not unlike the recently revived Stormy Kromers. The bike cap idea is interesting, but I would take one as is, without the side flaps. That would make it like the discontinued Short Duckbill (of which I have one and worn out another) but with a nice warm wool lining. I wonder if Filson would do the chopping…

  3. I have that hat! It looks weird on me since I cut my hair short.
    You have to show pictures of it unfolded in all it’s protective ugliness.
    It’s a dream.

  4. Here’s a similar offering from Pendleton:

    http://tinyurl.com/5u4lo3

    It’s not nearly as nice. The shell is lighter weight and lined with polarfleece. They missed the boat on this one. Should have used some of their famous wool. To top it off, there is an annoying drawcord on the back. That would be the first thing I’d surgically remove.

  5. Anon-

    Thanks for the link to the Pendleton hat. I should do a an entry on near matches/near misses when it comes to outdoor clothing design. The P flap hat is a classic example.

  6. I really like your blog. This hat reminds me of my Stormy Kromer hat a bit. Also, I am sure you’ve heard of Duluth Pack company, but I don’t think anyone makes a more durable canvass bag.

  7. Thanks for your comments! I do like Duluth Pack though I wish they would bring back their waxed cotton luggage. I have a nice shoulder bag by duluth but I miss the extra water repellency in the winter.

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