RABBIT GOES TO YOUR HEAD: HAT MANUFACTURE IN BRITAIN, 1940
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This craftsman is 'pounding' the hat (which now looks more like a hat than a cone of felt) to remove the rough nap from the fabric. This gives it a nice soft feel and sheen. Before this stage of the process however, the felt hood is weighed and then shaped on a block, with steam added to help with the pliability of the fabric. After this a sheen is added by passing the hat through a flame.