Felt hats can be made either of fur felt (medium or high price) or wool felt (low price). Fur felt hats are chiefly made of rabbit fur. Some hare fur is used to make better felt hats, and is often mixed with rabbit fur to produce hats in various medium price grades. …
By "fur" is meant the downy under-fur of these animals, not the long, coarse hair that is commonly called fur. Only this under-fur has on the surface of each fiber the barb-like projections which will lock the fibers together to make a strong felt hat.
The long hairs are pulled out or sheared off. The remaining under-fur is chemically treated to raise up the microscopic barbs for better felting. It is then cut from the skin, or to be exact, the skin is cut from it, being shredded away by flailing knives. So precisely is this done that the loose fur retains the shape of the skin when it leaves the cutting machine on a moving belt. Various grades of fur from the form, such as cheeks, flanks, sides, entire, center backs, etc., and packed in different paper bags for storage. Cut fur is considered as "long stock," while recovered fur, such as from hat trimmings for roundings, is called "shortstock".
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