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Essays and Such

Irish Cultural Society

of San Antonio Texas

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Promoting Awareness of Irish Culture

PROPER CARE AND FEEDING OF
AN IRISH TWEED COUNTRY HAT

THE PROPER CARE AND FEEDING OF
NORM THOMPSON'S ORIGINAL IRISH COUNTRY HAT

A fine tweed hat is as distinctive and personal a piece of headgear 
as you can own. Naturally water repellent, virtually wear-proof, it 
will give you both protection and style in sun, rain, or snow. 
Comfortably snug but not tight ... it'll stay on your head even in 
the most stubborn of winds.

Your Irish Country hat is the product-result of centuries of 
tradition.  100% raw wool is hand­spun, hand-woven and 
hand-tailored into a one-of-a-kind personal treasure.

In Clifden, on the wild, rocky coast of Ireland, this unique 
headgear is created by an individual, for an individual. Each is 
hand-cut and separately sewn, so no two of them are exactly alike.

Getting the most out of your Irish Country hat requires a little
effort on your part. With tender loving care, your tweed hat 
will become yours and yours alone (providing you have a good place 
to hide it). It will deliver many years of distinctive wearing 
comfort, scores of compliments, definitely some admiring glances, 
and the satisfaction in knowing you own the end­product of 
unsurpassed craftsmanship.

Caring for your Irish Country Hat.
Your new hat is tailored from handwoven tweeds and requires a 
certain amount of care. When wet, the hat should be dried slowly 
(never over a radiator). It will need little cleaning, ever. 
Surprisingly, a few spots will add a touch of distinctiveness 
to your hat.

If your hat should fall in the mud, get a damp cloth or damp 
brush, brush or wipe the mud off with clean water and let the 
hat "air dry." When dry, go over the spot again with a stiff 
brush. Grease or similar type spots can be removed with a small 
amount of cleaning fluid. 
Your tweed hat can be successfully dry-cleaned, although the 
need should never arise.

A few suggestions when traveling.

If you travel, the best way to fold your hat is to lay it out flat 
on its side, roll it up as you would a newspaper (side to side), 
put a rubber band around it, and put it in a secure place in your 
travel kit - or just slip it into your pocket. Fold­ing, rolling 
or crushing will do no harm. In fact, every new wrinkle adds 
character.

How to shape your hat!

Since proud Irish craftsmen believe the shape of a hat is a 
personal matter, the Irish Country hat is made with the final 
shaping left up to you.  Whether you prefer a porkpie, slouch, 
or your very own creation, it's easy to do.

Think of your hat as a mound of clay yet to be sculptured. Don't 
hesitate to experiment as you decide on dips, creases and curves, 
brim positioning (can be worn up or down), and over-all fullness. 
You may want to prop the hat on top of an over-turned mixing bowl 
or similar working base to add inner support. Secure your original 
creases and shapes in your "work of art" by using safety or 
straight pins, and then steam it.

A steam kettle is the easiest device to use (though you could 
join friends in a Turkish bath if you're in the mood). After 
steaming, set the hat aside to dry, thoroughly to firm the shape 
or better yet, put the hat in the refrigerator or freezer 
overnight. You may get a few puzzled looks from family members 
via this method, but this WILL set the shape of your hat and 
will give you the personalized, distinctive piece of head­gear 
so desirable in these days of conformity. Remove the pins only 
after you feel the hat is completely dry.

The shape of your hat can say a lot.

We've found that there are two very satisfying things about shaping 
your own hat. You can usually achieve close to the exact effect you 
want (very hard to do with a ready shaped hat). And somehow a hat 
you shaped yourself before and while you're wearing it is much 
more flattering and personal than a factory-made product.

Living with your new companion.

Some of the great admirers and collectors of Irish tweed hats, in 
order to make their hat appear properly-aged more quickly, will 
fold the hat and walk on it, to take a little of the newness away
 ... undoubtedly, a bit of a drastic "step." As far as adding 
character to your hat, simply shape the hat to your taste and 
wear it, letting it become uniquely yours every minute in use. 
Like a vintage wine, it takes on an age and flavor all its own.

Change the shape whenever you want!
If you decide to change the shape of your tweed hat, just go back 
to the old steam kettle and pins to get the desired result. Don't 
be afraid to change the looks as your mood or activity changes. 
Your tweed hat will soon become one of your favorite companions 
on all your "adven­tures."  Give your hat a little loving care 
and let it age and grow with you. You'll find it be­comes 
something very personal, that is yours and yours alone.

If you ever have any questions concerning your hat (or any 
product we offer) drop a line to:
Customer Service Norm Thompson
1805 N.W. Thurman 
Portland, Oregon 97209

ANOTHER FINE IRISH TWEED FASHION FROM NORM THOMPSON
The Connemara tweed jacket... a dashing sport coat 
fashioned from the same hand­woven tweed as your 
new Irish Country hat. We've taken the best lines 
of the so­called "Ivy League blazer" and combined 
them with a deep single vent in back, wider lapels, 
and meticulous pocket treatment. Available in grey 
or brown.
For further information, specifications, and 
prices on this Norm Thompson exclusive, 
refer to your catalog or call TOLL FREE 1-800-547-6712 
(excluding Oregon, Hawaii and Alaska).