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Need help dating a Sonni Hat - 60s?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by SusieQsie, Nov 19, 2020.

  1. SusieQsie

    SusieQsie Registered Guest

    Hello, I found his rust-red 100% felted wool hat made by Sonni San Fransisco. I've done a lot of research on them and think that the hat I have is possibly from the 1960s. The label is embroidered, not printed, which they started to do in the 80s. But the inside is not lined, which makes me think it is younger. The feathers weren't in the greatest condition, the two longer ones were sticking up in the middle/top and were quite broken, so I cut them and attached them to the side. I wonder if there were possibly more of them once. I'm also having a hard time reading the inside stamp. I can make out 'Glenover ..?.. felt Made in Poland? 100% wool' but I'm not 100% sure..
    Any help is much appreciated!

    Attached Files:

  2. lkranieri

    lkranieri Trade Member

    It seems the words under Glenover are Fawntra Felt.

    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
    SusieQsie likes this.
  3. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member

    Where is the label placement on the hat? In one photo, it appears as if this hat does not have the head size ribbon running around the inside. Is that the case?

    I doubt it is as old as 1960s. If it does not have the inside ribbon then I might place it as fairly contemporary.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
  4. bycinbyhand

    bycinbyhand Trade Member

  5. thespectrum

    thespectrum Trade Member Staff Member

    It's definitely not 1960s, I tend to agree with Cin on the dating.
  6. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member

    The lack of inside ribbon is very out of place for a Sonni hat, or most (if not all) labeled mass produced hats that pre date the 1990s. While I have not personally seen or handled any Sonni hats that date after the 1990s, I suspect this is one of them. Maybe Sonni stopped using ribbon inside the hat as a cost cutting measure. Some hat makers did that. But still it seems odd. Not only does it cheapen the hat, wool is itchy!
  7. SusieQsie

    SusieQsie Registered Guest

    ooo thank you! Does anyone know what Fawntra felt is?
  8. SusieQsie

    SusieQsie Registered Guest

    Hi, the label is at the center back and there is no ribbon which makes it quite itchy!
  9. SusieQsie

    SusieQsie Registered Guest

    So true! It is itchy. Thanks for the info.
  10. lkranieri

    lkranieri Trade Member

    From a 1946 article (although I think Pollak trademarked Fawntra in 1933):

    "New Wool Felt Body, Fawntra, Launched by Henry Pollak;

    Designed to Meet Needs of Manufacturers in $3 to $5 Brackets-Available in All Colors

    Recognizing the need for a felt body which can be successfully promoted in the $3, $4, and $5 manufacturing bracket Henry Pollak, Inc, launches their Fawntra body. This is described as a wool felt of exceptional quality, which requires a knowledge of handling by the manufacturer, in order to achieve the best results.

    The Fawntra is capable of taking various type finishes and is soft and pliable. It comes in bodies only and is available in white, pastels, and bright and dark colors, according to Gus Green, of this firm."

    NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT directly copy and paste the text above to another site. This is posted here for educational purposes only.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020 at 7:48 AM
  11. SusieQsie

    SusieQsie Registered Guest

    How cool, thank you for that!
    lkranieri likes this.
  12. lkranieri

    lkranieri Trade Member

  13. lkranieri

    lkranieri Trade Member

    Susie, please see my private message re your repost of my Fawntra story.
  14. Jonathan

    Jonathan Trade Member

    I swear I read somewhere sometime ago that Sonni only started in something like 1968... just as hats were going out of fashion. Am I wrong? I could be, I just have this at the back of my mind....
  15. bycinbyhand

    bycinbyhand Trade Member

    Yup. That's what I recall too.
  16. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member

    Prior to around 2000, no hat maker worth their salt would sell a ladies hat without a headsize ribbon inside the hat. Even most of the cheapest hats had it. Sometimes around the 1990s you could find plain untrimmed inexpensive wool hats in some hat shops that did not have inside ribbons. LAdies could buy these and finish them as they wished. I sold ready to wear Sonni hats when I was managing a hat shop back in the 1990s and they all had ribbons inside. That is why I strongly suspect this hat is post 2000. While I cannot say for sure that Sonni abandoned ribbons on their lower line of hats, it makes sense to me on that dating for just that reason. The style, which looks earlier, is a classic so you can still find it made today. The hat shop which sold the hat may have added the trims as this was and still is common practice.

    Just wondering, is the (outer) headband ribbon glued on? My guess is yes.
  17. Vintagiality

    Vintagiality Trade Member

    There was a visitor here in the forum that posted in this thread that she worked as a model for Sonni starting in 1963 so they must have been in existence earlier but I do agree this hat appears to be much later
    lkranieri likes this.
  18. lkranieri

    lkranieri Trade Member

    I found references to Sonni Millinery and Sonni of California as early as 1951, but a history of Sonni hats said the Del Monica family started making hats under the Sonni name during the Great Depression. The latest reference I found was to a 2006 history of the business, which it said closed in 2005, but the founder's daughter resumed hat making, on a small scale apparently, around the time of the article.
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