Beaver hat

In much of Europe during the period 1550-1850, hats made of felted beaver fur were fashionable. The soft, yet resilient material could be easily combed to make a variety of hat shapes including the familiar top hat.

The demand for beaver pelts in Europe ultimately drove the animal to near extinction. The dwindling supply helped the beaver trade boom in the new world, fueling colonial expansion to a significant degree.

In 1624, the year New York was first settled, Dutch settlers were recorded having shipped 1500 beaver and 500 otter skins to Europe.

Used, smelly winter coats worn by Native Americans were actually a prized commodity for hatmaking because their wear helped prepare the skins, separating out the coarser hairs from the pelts.

The demise of the beaver hat came around the time silk hats came into vogue.


* [ Hatmaking information and history]
* [ Textile Museum of Canada article]
* [ A mention of the dutch fur trade]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Beaver hat — 14th century on. beaver skin hat …   Medieval glossary

  • Beaver (disambiguation) — Beaver may refer to:* Beaver, the animal ** American Beaver (Canadian Beaver) ** European Beaver ** Giant Beaver extinct * Beaver hat, a style of headgear (now mostly obsolete) * Leave It to Beaver , an American television sitcom which ran from… …   Wikipedia

  • Beaver (Utah) — Beaver Spitzname: The B Town Ehemaliges Beaver County Courthouse Lage in Utah …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Beaver-Islands — (spr. Bihwer Eiländ), eine Inselgruppe, nahe bei der nordwestlichen Spitze des Michtgansee; die größte derselben, Big Beaver, hat einen Flächeninhalt von etwa 2 QM …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • beaver — beaver1 noun (plural same or beavers) 1》 a large semiaquatic broad tailed rodent, noted for its habit of gnawing through trees to fell them in order to make lodges and dams. [Castor canadensis (N. America) and C. fiber (Eurasia).]     ↘the soft… …   English new terms dictionary

  • hat —   Pāpale (for various kinds, see Haw. Eng. entry and entries that follow it).    ♦ Hat made of sugar cane stem, pāpale pua, pāpale pua kō.    ♦ Hat made of a long plaited ie strip, pāpale ie.    ♦ Hat plaited on a wooden block, pāpale pahu.    ♦… …   English-Hawaiian dictionary

  • beaver —    Īlio hulu pāpale, piwa.    ♦ Beaver hat, pāpale piwa, piwa haka …   English-Hawaiian dictionary

  • Beaver Island (Lake Michigan) — Beaver Island is the largest island in Lake Michigan and part of the Beaver Island archipelago. Once home to a unique American monarchy, the island is now a popular tourist and vacation destination.Beaver is thirteen miles (19 km) long, three to… …   Wikipedia

  • Beaver Bay — Das Restaurant Blue Anchor im Zentrum von Beaver Bay. Lage im County und in Minnesota …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Beaver River (Churchill River) — Beaver River Der Beaver River südlich von Lac La BicheVorlage:Infobox Fluss/KARTE fehlt Daten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.