About Honri Hats
Honri Hats is the trading name for Bespoke Riding Hats Ltd. The company was formed by Paul Baynham-Honri in 2003, when he took on the equestrian retail sales and shows for a London hat maker. This followed a number of years at the sharp end of hat fitting and retailing for the same company in the equestrian world.
Honri Hats are made exclusively for us in a small London based workshop and between us we have nearly 50 years experience in the making and fitting of traditional bespoke formed hats. The phrase "formed hats" means that the hat is made up of a body that is then covered. We use the traditional method of a Gossamer body for all our formed hats. This can range from a traditional Hunt Cap or Top Hat to a bi-corn, Tri-corn or Beefeaters hat.
All our customers are measured using a conformature which enables your hat to be shaped to your head shape.
How to make a Hunt Cap Body
To make a hunt cap body, we first make the Gossamer, which is produced by applying a shellac based paste mixture over linen. The paste is made up of Ammoni, Methylated sprits, water and Shellac. This is left for a period of time to cure before being cut into smaller pieces prior to applying to the body. The base of a hunt cap is a fur felt hood, we only use grade one quality hood in a Honri Hat. This hood is soaked in mentholated sprits and then pulled over the hat block, which dictates the shape and size of the cap. There are blocks for each size and style of hunt cap. Once the hood has dried, we can then start to apply the layers of gossamer. Between each layer we apply more of the
shellac paste, which acts as both a glue and a hardener. Finally the body is ironed flat using 20kg hot irons. This compresses the layers of the body that had been built up. The whole process of making the body takes 5 days. It is then left to dry fully, the longer it is left aids the strength of the body, this could take up to two weeks before it has reach the level that we require.