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Handcrafted Hats: Worth & Worth by Orlando Palacios
Dedication to quality can be lost at the drop of a hat, but not if that hat has been made by esteemed NYC company Worth & Worth. Founded in 1922, Worth & Worth is one of the last three remaining custom hat makers in the country and has mastered its craft making upscale hats by hand—as well as bespoke topcoats and menswear. Boasting refined handcrafted felt hats, vintage Ecuadorian panamas, and even hat repair, Worth & Worth owes its excellence to proprietor and master craftsman Orlando Palacios. A former set designer, Palacios has traveled the world and been mentored by master hatters. He’s said the secret to a great hat is in the water. Soft water, to be exact.
“Ninety percent of what is done to a hat is done with water; key, too, is the finish—pouncing and sanding of the hat,” he says. “In Colombia, they sand with horse paper; in Italy, they use fine horse hair brushes. I’ve been to countries where they finish sanding with shark skin. The result of using these different methods meant that the fibers were becoming denser, tighter and softer.”
It is granular attention to detail like this which may allow Worth & Worth to stick around for another hundred years, no sweat.