So you fancy buying yourself a leather bush hat but don’t know which style or brand to go for. With such a wide range of styles and colours by e.g. Barmah, Wombat and Rogue that you are bound to find the right hat to fit your lifestyle and personality. BUT there are considerable differences in style, finish and origin. Let me talk you through the various options…
Rogue hats are made in Africa and were originally designed in 1974 to be worn on Safari. They usually retail at around £40-£50. Barmah and Wombat, however, are the go-to brands for Australian Leather Bush hats. All styles by both brands are made from the finest quality Australian leather and can be folded up and stored in their accompanying canvas bag. The difference between Barmah and Wombat is the price; Barmah hats normally retail at around £45, whereas Wombat hats retail at £30-£35. It is worth bearing in mind that this difference in price is due to the relative prestige of the companies, rather than the quality of the leather or the workmanship. Barmah has a long-established reputation as the manufacturer of Australia’s original bush hats, whereas Wombat, the challenger-brand was only founded relatively recently.
So you will need to ask yourself: are you African or Aussie at heart? And how much are you willing to spend?
At the tannery leather is often split into layers and then treated with oils. Split leather comes from those layers which are closest to the flesh and thus has a more uniform colour and texture as well as a soft and pliable finish. As it is thinner it is less durable than full-grain hide. Suede is from created from split leather by abrading the surface of the leather with an emery wheel. Due to its texture it is much more susceptible to stains from water damage than either full grain or split leather.
So what kind of wear are you expecting to get out of your bush hat? Will you be wearing it in heavy rain? Do you prefer a more rugged or refined look?
Apart from the Wombat Cowboy which has a shaped brim, all bush hats are a standard classic shape. The Barmah Cooler and the Rogue Breezy, however, have mesh sides which allow air, but not water, to pass through, keeping your head cool in warmer climes.
Will you wear your hat all year round or just in summer? Do you travel abroad?
If once you have purchased your hat, it feels a little tight, do not worry. Simply pull over your knee to stretch and the leather will give over time.
I hope we have given you some idea what leather hats are out there and may be an insight to styles and designs. At Just4leather they have a large range of leather hats all styles and leather finishes – find your perfect hat there.!