Akubra Hats have a reputation as being one of the finest rabbit fur felters in the world. Many are under the impression that the hats are some how stamped out of a roll of felt by a machine or machines. Nothing could be further from the truth.
All Akubra Hats are commenced at the felting stage with the selection of pelts and continue through the factory until complete. This is not a fast process. Akubra produce many 1000's of hats each year and as a result can pass on economies of scale in their pricing.
They offer two grades of Felt - Imperial and Heritage. Within these grades there are some variations to the fiinish however the quality is the same. Both are excellent felts, one very good, the other even better!
To the uninitiated they can look and feel the same, but to those who know felt the difference is noticeable.
Akubra Hats reputation for tough wearing qualities and fine fedora styles is based on this grade of felt. It is tough, hard wearing and can take any punishment dished out to it. These hats like hard wearing.
The Heritage Quality
This felt is a relatively recent addition and is made from finer fibres taken from a select part of the rabbit pelt and mixed with the native Hare resulting in a grade which is denser and smoother than the Imperial grade. Parts of the pelt not required are discarded. It is more stable over time and less prone to shrinkage and distortions such as the tapering of the crown.
The Heritage Grade is the closest rabbit fur grade to Beaver Felt.
A simple outline of the process of making an Akubra hat is outlined here http://akubra.com.au/creation.html