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Help creating "Captain Trips" Top Hat?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by Midnight Cowboy, Oct 25, 2015.

  1. Midnight Cowboy

    Midnight Cowboy Registered Guest

    I have come across a nice R.H.G Hat Company black silk top hat. Trying to make a replica of Jerry's "Captain Trips" hat. Regarding what type of paint I should use some have reccomend acrylic and that hand painting it is a must. Much help is appreciated!

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    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  2. Robin of Frocksley

    Robin of Frocksley Registered Guest

    Hi, I have successfully painted a number of things with water-based acrylics. It's a very versatile medium, pretty permanent once it dries and easy to clean up after while wet. I would definitely suggest also getting some spray-on sealer with a shiny finish, as Jerry's hat seems to have a sheen to it. Many acrylics come in small tubes, and you might find that buying a range of reds and whites and then custom-mixing your shades will work best. If you do this, just make sure not to mix brands of paint as they may not play well together. I'd also like to say that I love this idea, and would love to see photos once you finish the hat!

    Edit: Just a thought on hand painting. A striped pattern like this can be a lot easier if you measure (with a soft tape measure) and mark (with tailor's chalk etc) the lines out before you paint.
     
  3. Circa Vintage

    Circa Vintage Alumni +

    My recommendation is not to paint directly onto the hat, but to make a pattern of the hat with pieces of thick white cotton, and then apply the paint to that.

    This will both be easier than painting a 3D object like a hat (because you'll be painting it flat instead), help you avoid mistakes (because you can replace the cotton pieces if need be) plus give a superior result as the colours will not be true if you paint them onto black.

    Plus, depending on what adhesive you use, you should be able to avoid damaging the hat and restore it afterwards to its original form and finish.

    Alternatively, if you prefer to paint directly onto the hat, I suggest a white undercoat first.

    Also: very important: use fabric paints, not acrylic as you'll get a better result and it will be easier to work with.
     
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  4. Midnight Cowboy

    Midnight Cowboy Registered Guest

    Pictures coming soon...
     
  5. sewingmachinegirl

    sewingmachinegirl Trade Member

    I second Nicole's suggestion here, I think you would get a really nice finish that way :USETHUMBUP:
     
    Circa Vintage likes this.
  6. laurenm

    laurenm Registered Guest

    I"M Uncle Sam, how do you do?
     
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  7. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member

    Great project. I think I disagree about using strips of fabric. To do that, you would need to make an exact flat pattern of the top hat and that is a bit of work. But if you do use the strips of cotton, I suggest you cut the fabric on the bias or it may not lay flat on the curve of the sides of the hat. Also the hat band needs to be bias also. I personally like the idea of doing it the way Jerry originally did, which is painting directly onto the silk of the hat. That way you have what looks like a good reproduction of his original art work, that is, an antique top hat that has been hand painted. The cotton strips might work, but it will not look like there is an antique or vintage top hat underneath. You might as well use a cardboard hat if you do that. Having the black silk underneath also gives the colors a more exact match to Jerry's colors on his hat. White cotton would seriously change the color. I would think you would want to keep it as original as possible.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
  8. Circa Vintage

    Circa Vintage Alumni +

    Good point Barbara - I'm not familiar with Jerry or this particular hat but if he painted it directly onto the hat you're right that the same method should be used if you want the same result.
     
  9. Midnight Cowboy

    Midnight Cowboy Registered Guest

    Thanks for the pointers, definitely directly onto the hat. Now I wonder how would you go about making the red white and blue band?

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  10. Circa Vintage

    Circa Vintage Alumni +

    The band looks like Russian braid - you could sew together strips of the three colours but you might find braid that is already sewn together, I imagine the tricolours would be popular in the US.
     
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  11. pinky-a-gogo

    pinky-a-gogo Alumni

    I hope you are using a new or damaged hat and not an antique one.
    Jerry wouldn't approve.
     
  12. Midnight Cowboy

    Midnight Cowboy Registered Guest

    Oh yes, cracks and all!

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    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
  13. Midnight Cowboy

    Midnight Cowboy Registered Guest

    Found these braids online so I should be good to go! Would you piece them together by sewing them or sticking them to the hat?

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  14. sewingmachinegirl

    sewingmachinegirl Trade Member

    Great braid! I would sew them together as per the original reference.:)
     
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  15. Midnight Cowboy

    Midnight Cowboy Registered Guest

    Did I purchase the correct paint? I know their were dyes and then their were paints but what I bought seems to be more of a watery dye. I was told it was paint. I'm looking to get the thick consistency you can see on the hat.

    Dye-Na-Flow Fabric Paint:

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    USE FOR: Silk painting, Serti Technique, Salt & Alcohol effects, Airbrushing, Spraying, Sponge printing, faux Tie-dye and Batik

    USE ON: Silk and all natural and synthetic untreated fabrics, untreated leather, suede, paper...just about anything!

    Dye-Na-Flow is a free flowing, concentrated liquid color for use on any untreated fabric. Flows like a dye! Dye-Na-Flow is especially good for silk painting, either the serti (resist) method using water-soluble resists, or for watercolor techniques.
     
  16. Circa Vintage

    Circa Vintage Alumni +

    I'm not familiar with that brand but I recommend that you do a test first to check it's what you're after, before applying to the hat.
     
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  17. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member

    I would not even open the jars. Once you open it, they might not take it as a return. It does not sound like the right stuff. It will not color over black. Acrylic paint gives good coverage and is thick, and I am guessing that is what Jerry used. Although the paint on his hat looks somewhat shiny, so he may have used an oil based paint or varnished over it?
     
  18. Midnight Cowboy

    Midnight Cowboy Registered Guest

    I only bought real small sample sizes, these are the results I'm getting. Looks like I should get some fabric and test which paints would work the best. It doesn't look like it's working too well. Unless your supposed to prime the hat before you apply the paint.

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    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  19. Midnight Cowboy

    Midnight Cowboy Registered Guest

    Now that I look over Jerry's hat again with the cracking and all, it totally has the consistency of oil paint especially the red streak I've pointed to. That is the only paint that would be thick enough to start cracking. What I've painted so far hasn't ruined anything, that can simply be painted over.

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    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  20. sewingmachinegirl

    sewingmachinegirl Trade Member

    Sadly I don't think this paint is going to do it for you, but like Nicole I am not familiar with this particular product.

    I would go with Barbara's suggestion and try acrylic paints- I have used that on all sorts of costumes. The Jo Sonja Paints are especially good and in Australia are readily available in art stores- so it should be easy to get in the USA/ Canada!.
     

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