Monday, January 06, 2014

Project Cubbins: Hat 225 - Mr. Bubble Player Edition

Day 225 / Hat 225: Brown parasisal straw stingy brim fedora dyed with natural earth pigments. Details
include brown weathered grosgrain hatband with bow detail with Kangol nameplate just above bow on wearer's left. Brim measures 1 1/4 inches. Interior tag reads: "Kangol, founded 38.83." Additional tag reads: "K1034LX, made in U.S.A., Large, Bubble Player."

A loaner from the Ingrid Schmidt Hat Rack for Wayward Headgear, at first I thought this slightly crumpled hat had been left out in inclement weather -- having what appeared to be a rain-stained, dye-streaked hatband.  That was before I started looking into the "Bubble Player" (Kangol's name for the style), the description for which includes this detail: "The band pattern is created by using a bubble dye technique also from natural colourants." 

This particular version is in a color described as "leaf." it's also available in  a turquoise shade called "lupine" -- which, in my humble hat-wearing opinion, looks more like an intentional design and less like accidental rain damage.
Bubble-dyed hatband detail.

What is a "bubble dye technique" you ask? My cursory search of the interwebs did not turn up anything conclusive (though lots of references to Kangol hats), but one DIY website has an extensive tutorial on how to make a bubble-dye-printed T-shirt by literally blowing bubbles into a pan full of Rit dye.

I had a bit more luck with "parasisal" which, according to the Hats UK website, is a straw made from sisal and preferred by hatmakers because it is a more delicate "two over two" weave as opposed to the coarser "one over one" which is referred to as sisal  proper.

PC 224: Prada Peacock
PC 223: Rally Helmet
PC 222: Stingy Made of Straw

Q: OK, nice hat -- but what exactly is Project Cubbins, anyway?

A: One man's homage to Dr. Seuss and his second book, "The 500 Hats of Bartholemew Cubbins," which is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its publication in 2013, Project Cubbins is an attempt to document the wearing of a different hat or piece of headgear every day for 500 consecutive days. No do-aheads, no banking of hats, no retroactive entries. PC started on May 27, 2013 with Hat 1
Got hats? If you loan 'em, you'll get e'm back safe and sound!

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