The stampede string, what is it?
What I am referring to by a stampede string or cord is the braided horsehair that is attachment to a Cowboy hat, or other styles of hats as well, to secure the hat on your head. It usually hangs down nearly to the belt buckle and often ends with a horsehair tassel dangling on the end of the strings. At least that is how Knot-A-Tail’s strings are made.
These stampede strings, cords or drawstrings are now decorated with a variety of materials. The can be made from horse hair, Rawhide, braided leather. The name “stampede string” has come to describe these cords as an obvious result of application-because a properly attached stampede string will keep your hat on even in the middle of a cattle stampede!
More than once, while attending some community Horse shows, I have observed a stampede string being fashioned out of twine, straight off the hay bales they brought with them. If you have ever lost points at a horse show for losing you hat, which I do believe is a 5 second penalty, they you also might need a stampede string.
The looped style stampede string
This type forms a Hat Band
Knot-A-Tail has 15 different styles of stampede strings and each style has at least 2 to 3 color combinations ranging from horse hair, leather and rawhide so there is quite a lot of different stamped string styles available to choose from. However, there are mainly just two types of stampede strings: the looped style and the cotter pin. You will want to know which type will work for you and how it is installed before you look at purchasing a stampede string.
The first type is the looped stamped string. The looped style stampede string requires two holes be place in the brim of the hat. The holes should be as close to the lining of the hat as possible just behind the ears, or wherever you find the stampede string the most comfortable. I usually place the hat on the customers head and them I can see just where the stampede string should rest.
Making the holes in the hat
Two small holes are needed to install a looped stampede string.
Once you find exactly where you want the stampede string, you will have to place two small holes in the hat. I like using an awl, which is a tool that has a small sharp point and the shaft gradually gets thicker. The awl easily spreads the hat material apart and if you are carefully, the awl will not cut through the material but just separate the material.
Again, make sure you know the exact spot for the holes before you start. Next, start slowing pushing the awl upward. You want to make the hole from the bottom of the brim towards the top. After countless times of installing a looped stampede string, I have found that the awl goes easier through the material from the bottom to the top and the hat holds it’s shape better.
Do not force the awl though, just gently and with a standing push let it work its’ way through the material. Now test the size of the hole, by sliding one of the end loops of the stampede string though the hole. (the end loops are the loops that are on the opposite ends of the tassels) There is one loop for each side. The end loops just loop back through themselves, so don’t worry if the loops come un-looped. Just note how the loops are done, so you can redo them once you have slide the loops through the holes.
You want the fit to be tight. It is best if you actually make the hole too small and redo it a few time, rather than making one big hole the first time. Once you have threaded the end loops you are basically done.
If the end loops still have the loops in tack, just open the end loops bigger, because they form a Hat Band around the crown of the hat. If you un-did the loops, just make the loop again. The loop is like the loop on a Lariat. Don’t worry, you can basically, not harm the stampede string unless you cut it somehow. Anyway, the looped stampede string are so long because the loops are made to become a Hat Band. So just cross the loops over the crown of the hat. Push the strings down on the crown where a hat band would rest and you are all done.
That’s it for the looped stamped string. Just adjust the slider under your chin and you are ready to go.
The cotter pin stampede string.
It is easy to install a cotter pin Stampede string.
The cotter pin type is by far the easiest to install, perhaps that is why it is so popular today. Start by placing the hat on your head and hold the stampede string to the spot that fells the most comfortable. This will depend on the person, some like in front of the ear, alongside the ear, while others like it behind the ear. If you wear you cowboy hat slightly tilted back on your head, then you might want to put it behind the ear for better balance.
Just mark the spot with your finger. Place the hat on upside down on the crown. You will see that the lining has threads where the lining is sewn into the hat. Pick a gap between two of the threads that comes as close as possible to where you want the stampede string to be placed. Slip the cotter pin carefully between the treads.
On the better made hats the threads are close together, but just wiggle the cotter pin through carefully. You do not want to cut the thread on the lining. Push the cotter pins all the way trough just to the end of the cotter pin, but not any of the stamped string.
Next flip the lining, inside out. Now, you can easily see the cotter pins. Just spread them apart until they rest flat against the lining. Turn you lining back to the inside of the hat and you are all done: simple and easy.
Well now you can ride hard all day long and never get off your horse to chase you hat again. More importantly, you will not have to watch you hat fly under the feet of the horse behind you. Not only are stampede strings one of the most particle items you can add to your western outfit, but they are sexy and way too good looking, especially Knot-A-Tail’s Stampede strings.
Taking care of your Stampede string
Once you have installed that brand new Horse Hair stampeded string, or perhaps you prefer that Braided leather ones with horse hair tassels, you will want to learn how to take care of your new treasures. Knot-A-Tail offers a complete Free eBook on the Care of your Horse Hair Products.