Australians have many things that make them unique. One of the best known is the famous Akubra hat. Always in style, the Akubra hat is worn by Prime Ministers, Presidents, movie and sports stars, royalty and people all over the world.
The true Akubra is still made by the same family that created it. Although the Dunkerley family began their hat manufacturing in the early 1870s, it wasn’t until around 1918 that they began branding their hats “Akubra”. The famous Slouch hat worn by Aussies in World War I and II (and seen in many war movies) were also produced by their company.
Akubra hats are designed and built for durability because Australians expect their hats to last no matter how rough the treatment – gathering chooks’ eggs, fanning the campfire, or water the dog in addition to protecting the person from Australia’s fierce heat and downpours. These rugged hats can handle it all with style.
What is an Akubra hat made of?
The Akubra hat is made of felt. Although most people think of felt as a cloth, it’s not. Cloth is woven from fibres twisted into threads. This allows the cloth to be torn along a straight line. Felt, on the other hand, is made of fibres interlocked in every direction making it the lightest and strongest fabric known.
Felt is made from the downy under-fur of animals, not the long, coarse hair we think of as fur. The under-fur has tiny barb-like projections on the surface of each fibre. It’s these barbs that lock the fibres together which produce a strong felt. Most hats are made of a mixture of beaver, hare and rabbit fur in a variety of amounts to suit the manufacturer’s needs.
You can see the most popular of the 100 styles manufactured by Akubra, now in its fourth generation of ownership, at their website. You’ll also find detailed information on how their hats are made as well as a list of locations around the world where you can purchase this unique Aussie icon.