Many different types of hats have been made using the felting process. However, it wasn't until 1862 when it was first used to make a cowboy hat.
Today's cowboy hat has remained basically unchanged in construction and design since the first one was created in 1865.
The cowboy hat is a defining piece of attire for farm and ranch workers in the western and southern United States, Canada and northern Mexico, for country-western singers, and for participants in the North American rodeo circuit.
Shortly after the turn of the century, the cowboy hat, although still in its infancy, nevertheless infused its wearer with a singular link to the history of the wild and woolly West.
The concept of a broad-brimmed hat with a high crown worn by a rider on horseback came primarily from the tradition of the Mexican vaquero.
Cowboy Hats in History furnishes enlightening and informative accounts beginning with cowboy hats worn and fashioned in the early years, through the Civil War period, including interesting details regarding cowboy hats worn by legendary heroes and movie celebrities.
In the early days, the cowboy hat was valued for being functional, with the wide brim protecting working cowboys from the sun and rain. It could be used to signal others, fan a campfire, or pull water out of a stream.
Today, classic designs are available in muted colors such as black and various shades of beige, brown and gray, notably a warm light gray known as "silver belly".
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