Prepping & Cutting

Prepping & Cutting

Steps 1 to 6

It all starts with the fabric. After unravelling and spreading out yards of fabric, the cutting begins. Brim, binding and the crown are cut in small batches to ensure consistency. For the mesh style hats, the mesh is attached to the crown.

Sewing It Together

Sewing It Together

Steps 7 to 30

The hand cut materials, 15 separate pieces sewn together by talented artisans. From topstitching the brim, making the crown (seven steps alone!), to attaching the sweatband and inserting the brim wire; each step is meticulously followed – with 23 different sets of hands involved.

Finishing Touches

Finishing Touches

Steps 31 to 41

The finishing touches are added: windcords crown foam, owner’s manual. Only once every loose thread has been snipped and the Hats steamed are they ready to leave the factory.

Our Story

Our Story

In 1980, frustrated that he couldn’t find a worthwhile sailing Hat, Alex Tilley decided to oversee the creation of some proper Hats for himself and other Toronto sailors, as a mid-winter’s hobby.

The Hat had to float, stay on, be unsinkable, last indefinitely and look attractive. Alex received design advice from milliner, information about materials from a sail-maker and then oversaw its manufacture.

Over the next few years, his hobby became a small business. In 1984, he established Tilley Endurables as a fledging mail order company in Toronto and began creating travel specific clothing along with Hats. Over 30 years later we continue our quest to make the best in the world, right here in Canada.