Home > Hat Information > Brand History > Stetson Hats History

The History of Stetson

The Stetson Hats logo
John B Stetson - The Founder of Stetson Hats
John B Stetson, the founder of this historic hat company.
The Stetson Hats factory
One of the factories used to trim and finish hats.

An In Depth Look At The Historic Stetson Hat Brand


In 1865 with a mere $60 John B Stetson created one of the biggest and most successful hat companies the world has ever seen. He purchased only the necessary equipment and $10 worth of fur and in a room smaller than an average sized office the first legendary western hat was created. Today the brand has two licencees which are now separate companies which produce completely different ranges of headwear.

In 1998 the US partnered with FWS Hats based in Germany to distribute the range throughout Europe. FWS short for Friedrich W Schneider was and still is a well established hat company founded in 1913. The company had dealt with many top hat companies in its long history including Christy's of London. They were a perfect partner for the US to take the brand forward in Europe. FWS began to promote and distribute Stetson's current range to their customers across the continent. It wasn't long before it became apparent that traditional range of western hats wasn't going to as successful in Europe, after a very short space of time FWS became an official licensee and were manufacturing and designing their own range of Stetson branded hats and caps exclusively for the European market.



FWS - Home Of The Stetson European Collection

Here in the UK we of course deal with the FWS for the European range of Stetson Hats and Caps. They carry the same high level of workmanship and quality throughout there range which is almost 70% aimed at cap production. Their wonderful collection of caps are so popular that the American company are actually now buying from FWS's Stetson collection, crazy we know but we can certainly see why. Their hatteras cap is head and shoulders above any newsboy cap we have ever seen, the cut is often replicated by other manufacturers but its never the same. The hatteras is an 8 panel newsboy cap with a button top, its available in hundreds of patterns, colours and materials all throughout the year, it is certainly our most popular cap here at Burnham Hats. Once someone purchases a hatteras cap they fall in love with the shape and the superb quality and detail of the cap. The range contains many variations of leather caps with the bulk of the collection being made from pigskin, again the hatteras cap, various flat caps, many baseball caps from sized to adjustable fit. They do offer however some sublime shapes made from lambskin and goatskin, they are top end in price but they are worth every penny.

Stetson Europe do offer an in depth range of classic trilbys and fedora hats and are now beginning to re-introduce western hats back in to the collection. A high proportion of hats are manufactured in Germany by FWS or in the US and tend to be predominately made from Vitafelt which is exclusive to Stetson and made in the USA, it is a process used during the manufacture of 100% pure wool hats to make them crushable, lightweight, water repellent and soft. The fur felt selection is an ever growing part of their collection, again manufactured in the US or in Germany with some of the fine fur hats also being made in Canada you will always be assured of hand-crafted, high quality hats worth every penny.

> View our online collection of Stetson Hats now...