As you’ll know by now, at Eagle Wools, we love all things Australian. Our country is synonymous with the bush and with bushmen’s hats among other things. Often, people who visit our area are looking for one of these iconic hats to take home as a souvenir. However, there are many inferior quality bushman-type hats found in tacky souvenir shops and the like that are just not worth the money. Generally, these hats will be cheaply made in far-flung places that have no relation at all to Australia. At Eagle Wools, we believe in offering all our customers an authentic Aussie experience and 100% Australian-made Akubra hats that you’ll be proud to wear and will last a lifetime. With this in mind, let’s find out a little about Akubra.
Back in 1874, Benjamin Dunkerley came from England to begin a hat-making business in Hobart. An inventive man, he quickly developed a mechanical way of removing rabbit fur hair tips, so the fur underneath could be utilized in the making of felt hats. Before this breakthrough, the process was carried out painstakingly by hand. Dunkerley had his own small hat-making factory by the early 1900’s. He was then joined by another hat maker – Englishman, Stephen Keir who married Benjamin’s daughter. The business has since passed through generations of the Keir family.
The name Akubra was first used back in 1912 and from this time, the hats became more and more popular. Production was expanded from a new, bigger factory in Waterloo with many of the Slouch hats being worn by Aussie troops during World War 1. It was just after this time that all hats were branded with the Akubra name. Today, the Akubra factory is based in Kempsey, New South Wales after relocating in 1974 from Sydney.