Custom made Feldmuetzen Alter Art, Crusher Caps!
I've always wondered how the Muetzenmachers of the period achieved the look and feel of the leather peaks/visors on their caps.
Well, I've been experimenting recently with some scrap leather and different surface coatings just out of curiosity. The results were promising so I got to thinking that their might be a gap in the replica cap market for this. None of the crusher caps I've seen offered as re-enactor/filler caps have looked accurate to me, the leather peaks are usually much too big or the wrong shape and don't have the proper coating. They also don't seem to have a buckram band inside, a cardboard pasteboard is used instead which is also not accurate.
Anyway, here is an SS Officers replica crusher I've just finished.
The cap itself started out as a regular repro schirmmuetze with a plastic peak and horrible thick cowhide type sweatband, yuk!
I've converted it by taking out all the padding and card pasteboard, installing a buckram one and adding a real period sweatband and one of my custom made leather peaks. The cap was already well worn by someone before I bought it so it has that used in combat look with some fraying to the piping and a small repair to the fabric.
I'd like to hear some feedback from you guys as to:
1. Is this something you'd like to buy?
2. How much would you be willing to spend on a cap like this?
(I'm thinking around the 250 to 300 pound mark, a lot of hours go into creating something like this)
3. Would you be interested in ordering a similar custom made cap from me?
Note. I've gone a bit overboard with the crazing on the leather peak of this particular cap. This can be as much or as little as you like. Due to the nature of the coating technique, each one will be unique.
I know there is a danger that my creations might be offered as real somewhere down the line. That's not what I want to happen so I'll be marking these caps in a place that although not obvious, it will be there on closer inspection.
Lastly, I think it's prudent to explain my motives for doing this as some may frown upon this endeavour.
I'm a graphic designer/technical illustrator by trade but spending my days glued to a computer screen has become increasingly tedious and unrewarding. I'd like to work less with computers now and spend more time working with my hands because I'm an artisan in my heart and I really enjoy creating things. My restoration work is already quite well known and that will continue but I'd also like to build one or two replica hats a week if the demand is there?
What do you say gentlemen?
10-16-2013 09:17 AM
Ben, (as always) I impressed with the continuing quality of your work...
I agree. Actually I sent you a PM about this a while ago, but I'll just ask about it here.. When did you first start working with caps and how much work and study was put in to get where you are now? Was this talent acquired because of your interest in militaria or maybe your interest in military caps started because you possessed the knowledge? Either way, it's pretty remarkable, great work. I understand your desire to want to get away from the computer screen. Here in the 21st century, we're all troglodytes with back pain. I can see this being a nice option for a serious reenactor or maybe someone who wants a nice way to display authentic insignia or fill a gap in their collection for display purposes. The worry about repro as real resale is real, but I'd trust someone like you to take steps to try to make it obvious. At any rate, good luck. It's nice to see that this kind of thing isn't a lost art completely.
Thanks for the interest.
I became seriously interested in learning the art of sewing and restoration out of necessity really.
Years ago (2005) I bought an SS NCO black cap which was very much the worse for wear. I couldn't find anyone out there to repair it for me so thought I'd give it a go myself.
It all started with this one.
WOW.... Ben you have a Talent. I would love to have one of these, Not that I have a habit of having a repo in my collection but this is one that I would not mind to display. Great job
Gents, don't forget the "immaculate restoration" performed by Ben on this beauty:
We celebrate your craft and think you should profit from it.
Thank you FB, your kind help and guidance in regards to the black cap restoration all those years ago was a huge inspiration to me.
I've never forgotten that.
This replica SS fieldcap is now in the for sale section.
Last edited by BenVK; 10-17-2013 at 09:05 AM.