Re: They sent the wrong ribbon again!

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Posted by Greg from on September 30, 1998 at 19:29:44:

In Reply to: Re: They sent the wrong ribbon again! posted by belloq on September 29, 1998 at 22:18:22:

: : : : Hi Everyone!

: : : : I just recieved my hat back from HJ and they put the wrong ribbon on it again! It is the same width of the petersham but it is clearly not the right ribbon. First of all those of you that own a HJ hat with the petersham ribbon what is the material made out of? It looks to me to be almost leather in some of the photos I have seen. It appears to be rather smooth looking and shiny. The ribbon I recieved has lines that go up and down and is not the right color. Or is this the real thing? After receiving the wrong ribbon twice I'm a bit frustrated from what I have been told over the phone. However I'm very persistent so I guess I'll give them a call again.....

: : : : Shannon

: : : It's hard to tell without seeing it but the ribbon I have on my hat
: : : also has this tiny vertical ribbing. It's pretty shiny as well so I
: : : guess it's the same and yes, the color seems to be more black than a
: : : very drak brown. The ribbon in the movies appears to be smooth but
: : : after looking at several pictures and consulting some other hat
: : : specialists I came to the conclusion that the ribbing was smoothened
: : : by wear and distressment. Also the color may appear lighter but I must
: : : agree with you though that the color is more black.
: : : Anyway, you can call Herbert Johnson though if you still feel bad
: : : about it, maybe they have or can get a better Petersham or a closer
: : : replica.

: : : Regards,
: : : -Max

: : I have a 1981 magazine with a terrific closeup cover picture showing Indy from the neck up. The ribbon on the hat clearly has the vertical lines you describe, and the ribbon is definitely some sort of fabric, not leather. As for the color, again, I think this is a result of the artificial weathering done on the hat, exposure to sunlight, water damage, and general wear and tear. People who have ordered Petersham from other sources also report a dark color that is closer to black than dark brown. I think you have the correct ribbon, and you'll have to adjust your expectations about the color. I'm going through the same thing, as I'm still struggling with the color of the hat itself, and whether I want to buy one.

: : Hope this helps.

: I don't own the HJ fedora yet, but from the photos seen and comments read, I think that when I do decide to order one, I will expect it to look "newer," cleaner and thus differently colored than Indy's distressed fedora used in the films. In Raiders, one can indeed see the textile "lines" in the ribbon and that the ribbon is covered with dust from distressing or use, thereby changing the appearance and color. Therefore, I would distress the hat similarly, by first dusting it with very fine dry powdery brown dirt (or something else with the consistency of cocoa powder) and then blowing off the excess with a powerful fan or unheated hairdryer. A disclaimer: I have not tried this idea yet, but seems this procedure would apparently replicate the usage of the hat in the films.

: Belloq

Petersham ribbon is simply a type of grosgrain ribbon produced largely in the decades of the 1920's and 1930's. I spent two months researching this bizarre bit of Indy costume, and it SHOULD indeed have vertical ribbing and as far as color, the two lengths I received from Mr. Swales are indeed a dark brown, but they appear darker or lighter in different lighting situations. Under the flash of a camera, in fact, it looks rather black, and outdoors, contrasts quite nicely with the softer brown of the hat, making it look more or less identical to the film hat ribbon depending on what light you are under. In addition, I can see in photos of the film hat on display at the Smithsonian shared by a friend when he went there two months ago that the ribbon on the ACTUAL Last Crusade hat is indeed brown and does have ribbing, and also has a "corded" edge on it. Now, everything I had been told prior tells me that Petersham is supposed to have a rough edge much like the sawtooth grosgrain ribbon also popular in the 1930's and 40's, but it is clear to me from most of the photos, including those very detailed and blown-up photos from the Smithsonian that the actual ribbon is a brown slightly darker than the hat in a clean state, and does indeed have a bound or corded edge. Millinery and hatmaking is not an exact science anyway, and as Ronnie Hendler from Hyman Hendler and Sons told me, all dye lots will vary in ribbons. I was, I admit, a bit put out by the ribbon Mr. Swales sent to replace my 30mm ribbon. but after careful srutinization, I am convinced and thoroughly pleased that what he sent me was not the ribbon from the ORIGINAL cake of ribbon, but a careful reproduction of the original ribbon by a ribbonerie in Spain. That is the long and the short of Petersham as my research tells me. Shannon, if your ribbon is 39mm, dark brown, and with a corded edge, I wouldn't fret-it is authentic. Of course if you would prefer the unfinished sawtooth edge, Catherine Delaney's ribbon is a good ribbon, although I would be careful to get the dye colorfast before putting on your hat. I actually restitched the bow on one of the ribbons that Mr. Swales sent me today to get ready to sew it on my new HJ-the bows he had presewn into them weren't authentic in shape to the original film bows, so I unstitched one of them and reshaped it and stiched it in place. Not a difficult procedure-actually quite fun.


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