This Akubra version of the original Bushman's felt hat is made from 100% rabbit fur felt, like all the others in the range. What makes it stand out in the crowd, is its hat band made from genuine, chunky, crocodile skin.
How to fit your Akubra Hat: Clear all hair away from the forehead and place the front of the Akubra (ribbon, bow and size to the back) on your head: then by placing the palm of your hand on the back of the Akubra crown, push the hat down. The Akubra should fit firmly on the head so that a good push down will make the hat stay in place on a windy day. When trying on an Akubra, you will occasionally find one size too small and the next too big. Akubra suggests you purchase the larger one and insert a liner (strips of newspaper work) inside the leather sweatband to make the Akubra fit more snuggly. An Akubra that fits too tightly will never be as comfortable as it should be. When the Akubra is new, it may feel a little stiff however with wear, the leather hatband will begin to mould to your head shape.
Cleaning your Akubra Hat: Akubras should only be cleaned by a hat cleaning specialist. If however your hat is slightly soiled with dust or grime, firstly brush the Akubra in an anti-clockwise direction to remove any dust and then lightly rub the affected area with a paint thinner or dry cleaning fluid. Do not use too much.
If the brim of your Akubra is slightly out of shape, simply place the area over steam (a kettle will do nicely) until the area is moist. Remember not to get the inside band wet. The bent brim of the Akubra can then be re-shaped with your fingertips and any crown marks should simply disappear.
Care of your Akubra Hat: Do not squeeze the front of your Akubra when putting it on your head, as in time this will cause a sharp point which will be the first place to wear. Tugging the brim to ensure the fit can spoil the brim if this is done continually. When not being worn, rest the hat upside down on the crown or hang it on a hat peg.
Never leave your Akubra in the car or in direct sunlight when not being worn. Do not dry the hat using artificial heat sources is it hat become wet - allow your Akubra to dry naturally. The reason for this is that the inside leather hat band will shrink and once this happens it is hard to stretch the Akubra back to its original size. Akubra hats are showerproof and include a waterproofing solution. As the Akubra ages, the waterproofing it received during manufacture may break down and the felt will absorb water. Generally however your head will remain dry.
Akubra Reeded Leather Sweatbands
The leather sweatband inside the Akubra is the only part which touches the head and so is the key to a comfortable hat fit. Good leather is breathable, soft and absorbent. In the best hats, such as Akubra, the leather is "reeded" in order to conform better to the shape of the head. A reed (which was once a thin piece of rattan, but is now more usually a plastic fibre) is encased in an impervious ribbon of oiled silk or synthetic material, and attached to the underside of the leather. The ribbon helps to keep perspiration from staining the Akubra. The reeded leather sweatbands used by Akubra are made from the finest roan sheepskin and are specially tanned to ensure comfort.