Tatton Baird Hat Co. pro­duces cus­tom hats

Serve Daily - - NEWS - By Jan­ice Helmick

Irv­ing Ber­lin wrote, and Fred As­taire sang, a song about puttin’ on your top hat and cel­e­brat­ing in the city. In Springville, Utah, there is a place where you can or­der a cus­tom made top hat for your­self. It is lo­cated at 52 West 200 South in a brick build­ing that was built in 1891.

Chandler Baird Scott thought it would be an ideal build­ing for his craft of mak­ing cus­tom hats. He be­gan a restora­tion project that took 1½ years to com­plete and in­cludes stained glass win­dows from an LDS church build­ing. We now have a vin­tage build­ing serv­ing as home to the his­toric craft of hat mak­ing.

The busi­ness is named Tatton Baird Hats, and is owned and op­er­ated by Chandler Baird Scott, a master hat­ter. A master hat­ter gains his ex­pe­ri­ence by be­ing ap­pren­ticed to a master hat­ter. Chandler ap­pren­ticed un­der Jim Whit­ting­ham in Salt Lake City. When Jim Whit­ting­ham re­tired, he sold the hat busi­ness to Chandler, who moved it to his home­town of Springville. Now Chandler has an ap­pren­tice work­ing un­der him named Tommy.

The hats are made from one piece of felted fur which is blocked and plated into shape and has no seams. The only seams are in the bind­ing and the sweat­bands, which are sewn into the hat on a Singer 107 sewing ma­chine. The felted fur is or­dered from Ten­nessee and comes to the shop in a rough cone. About 60 per­cent of the blocks used for form­ing the shape of the hats are from the

first hat shop in Utah started by John Charles Tatton in Salt Lake City.

Tatton ap­pren­ticed in Eng­land and im­mi­grated to Amer­ica. He came west with the pi­o­neers, and Brigham Young fi­nanced his first shop. There is a por­trait of Tatton hang­ing on the wall of the hat shop.

Mak­ing the hat is very labor-in­ten­sive and is a mod­ern ex­am­ple of an an­cient and vul­ner­a­ble craft. There are 26 in­di­vid­u­al­ized steps in the mak­ing of the hat. Felt­ing is the process in which the fiber is turned into a uni­form ma­te­rial, and the pounc­ing process reduces the pile of the fur.

The price of the hats runs from $300 to $700 de­pend­ing on the style and fur grade.

Tatton Baird sells hats world­wide and he even has a small shop in Tokyo. This is a unique craft busi­ness and there are only five or six hat­ters mak­ing hats in the United States and one of them is right here in Springville. For an in­ter­est­ing ex­pe­ri­ence stop by and visit with the folks at the Tatton Baird Hat Co.

L-R: Chandler Scott, Tommy Irvine, Covi King, Colt Bow­den and Josh Lon­go­ria.

Photo by Ed Helmick

Photo by Ed Helmick

Colt Bow­den and Josh Lon­go­ria

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