Questions

Fit, Orders, Guarantee, and Returns

  • How do I know if I am a long oval?

    If you try on hats and they are uncomfortably tight front to back or if the hat leaves a red line across your forehead, you are a long oval. The problem in getting a good fit is that there are an immense number of oval variations. We ask that our customers create a template when ordering a hat. This enables us to make a custom hat that will fit you.
  • Where do I measure my head?

    Measure around your head at the spot where you are comfortable wearing a hat. This is usually just above the ears.
  • How long will it take to get the hat?

    Usually for non-custom orders, it takes about eight to ten weeks. We usually will not promise a hat to be completed by a specific date. We advise getting Christmas orders in before December 1 or earlier. Please do not call just to check on the progress of your hat as this just delays getting the orders finished. If it has been more than 12 weeks since you have sent in your order and you have not heard from us, please call.
  • What happens if the hat does not fit or if I don't like it?

    Because we make our own hats, we know the quality that is woven into the fabric of our products. As a result, we have the best guarantee in the business. During the first year you can return your non-custom hat for any reason and we will replace it, repair the hat, or refund the purchase price. Each year we sell thousands of hats and the number of persons desiring refunds can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
  • What happens after one year if I don't like my hat?

    We will work with you to prorate the cost of reblocking, repairing, or replacing your hat.
  • How do you ship?

    We normally ship by United States Postal Service Priority Mail. Please let us know if you would like your hat shipped by Federal Express.
  • Can you make hats not listed in your catalog?

    We can make almost any fur felt hat used during the last 300 years. Because of time limitations we rarely take custom orders. The limitations on custom hats are that the crowns can be no higher than about 6 1/2 inches and the brims no wider than about 5 1/2 inches. Anything beyond these limits would be a very expensive custom hat. Please understand that the larger the head size the narrower the brim will be. Also, for large head sizes, the crown will be proportionately taller on low crowned hats.
  • What about custom orders?

    We rarely make custom hats because of the time limitations.
  • If I wear a 7 3/8 western hat, will I wear a 7 3/8 Clearwater Hat?

    Our sizes seem to run about one size smaller than most modern hat companies' since we use old original blocks and hand sew in leather sweatbands. The best way to get an accurate fit is to make a template and to take an accurate measurement.

Handling, Storage and Protecting Your Hat

  • How should I handle my hat?

    Always handle you hat by the brim. When putting on or removing your hat, you should hold the brim by the front and back. The crown should be handled as little as possible and preferable with clean hands. Any bending or flexing of the crown or brim will eventually weaken the hat. The more often or severe the bending or flexing, the quicker the hat will lose its natural ability to keep its shape.
  • How should I store my hat?

    The best place to store your hat is on a peg or hat tree in a cool dry place.. If you place your hat on a table always place it with the crown down and the inside of the hat facing up. If you place your hat with the brim down, it may flatten the brim. Never leave your hat in a vehicle in the sun where it will become superheated. If it gets hot enough in your truck to melt a video tape you can bet that it is going to shrink your hat.
  • How should I protect my hat?

    If you get your hat muddy, just let the dirt dry and then brush it off with a stiff brush. It is usually best to handle your hat with clean hands and you might want to wipe the perspiration off the sweatband on hot days.
  • What should I do if my hat gets soaking wet?

    Our hats are made from premium materials, (beaver and rabbit fur). These materials will endure heavy soakings and when dry will be stiff and can be shaped and relocked a number of times. We do not use wool which is inferior material and loses its’ shape when wet. A hat that is rain soaked will become softer and heavy with moisture. It is very important to let the hat dry naturally and slowly. Place your hat on a peg with the sweatband turned inside out. Never use heat to dry your hat as this will shrink the sweatband and/or the hat itself. Also, make sure the hat does not rest on a surface or on the brim since any pressure at all on a wet hat will leave its mark when the hat dries. The good news is that when the hat dries it will be stiff again. Any minor shaping can then be done using steam from a teapot.

Authenticity

  • How do I know these are authentic hats?

    We have done extensive research on historical styles and methods of manufacturing. Just this year we have made hats for five museums and eleven historic sites and our customers have included an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institute, and The Henry Ford Museum. Click here for a partial list of museums and historic sites. We have shipped hats from Hong Kong to Bosnia to New Zealand and many places in between. We also use original equipment, some of it dating back as far as the 1830's. Each hat is made the old fashioned way--by hand.

General Information

  • Do you have a showroom?

    No. Our shop is located in a remote area about 12 miles from Mtn. View, Arkansas.
  • Do you have a printed catalog showing all your styles?

    Our printed catalog is no longer available.

Manufacturing

  • What is fur felt?

    Fur felt is felt made from the underfur of the beaver and/or rabbit although it can also be made from some other furs such as nutria. It is dense, virtually waterproof, and is the highest quality material from which hats can be manufactured. It will last five to ten times longer than wool, and unlike wool felt or a fur/wool blend such as Dynafelt, it can be reblocked and reshaped a number of times.
  • What does 10X mean?

    Years ago the number of X's meant the number of beaver pelts used to make a hat: the higher the number of X's, the more beaver fur and, therefore, the higher the quality of the hat. Alas, the hatting industry has fallen victim to the modern world where X's are more for selling than for indicating quality. Today you cannot compare one company's rating system with another because in the hat industry there are no standards for measurement of the percentage of beaver felt in a hat. The number of X's are a valid measure only of the relative quality of the same company's line of hats. We classify our standard hats as 10X and industry experts have told us we are more honest than most. Why, we've even seen straw hats advertised as 5X!
  • Can I buy blanks or unfinished hat bodies?

    Not from Clearwater Hat Company.
  • How long does it take to make a hat?

    The blocking (beginning) process takes the shortest length of time less than one hour, but the finishing (ending) process usually takes from three to six hours or more. However, there are many other steps in between which can require a day or more. the greatest variable in the length of time is the number of orders that we are processing at any given time.