My Collection: Conformateur

A tool for custom-made hats that's more than 100 years old.

Nichole Chirico

The Collector

Trent Johnson, Greeley, Colorado

The Collection

For a truly custom-fitting cowboy hat, Trent Johnson, owner of Greeley Hat Works, uses an antique measuring tool called the conformateur. The one shown here has been with Greeley Hat Works since the shop first opened its doors in 1909. While this model stays with Johnson at the shop, he has two more he takes with him on the road—even internationally—and six others that he lends to his retailers so they can take custom measurements for their clients’ orders.

“The conformateur gives a pattern of the exact shape of your head,” he explains. “Instead of using a tape measure to find out your size, I use the conformateur to model the exact size and shape of the circumference of your head for a perfectly fitted custom hat.”

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