What is the difference between fur felt and wool felt?
Fur felt, made from the fine hairs of rabbits or beaver, is generally thinner, lighter in weight, and more dense than wool felt. Due to the density of the material, fur felt hats can have a raw edge brim (just cut, no binding or welt) while wool felt hat brim edges must generally be bound or welted (turned over and sewn). The greater density of fur felt generally relates to a longer lifespan of the hat (there are Civil War era fur felt hats that could still give good service). Fur felt hats can also be given a smoother finish than wool felt, which is why it is a preferred material for dress hats. Both felts have similar characteristics of water-repellency and breathability (though there are a host of poor quality wool felt hats out there that fall apart when they get wet–none of which are sold here). Wool felt hats have an edge in insulating ability in cold weather.