Bomber Style Hunting Caps For Old Duffers

I’m a great believer in the spirit of American enterprise.
And I am convinced that there could be a modest income making “Made in America” bomber style hunting caps. Hunting hats made with real fur and produced by a small home-based sewing business. It could be an opportunity for a homesteading stay at home mom.

Sure there are lots of “Made in China” hunting hats on the market made with fake fur and synthetic fabrics.
But I’ve yet to see any “Made in the USA” bomber style hunting caps that weren’t vintage clothing or at least 50 years old.

Wearing A Blaze Orange Hunting Cap With Ear Flaps That Was Made In China

Wearing A Blaze Orange Hunting Cap With Ear Flaps That Was Made In China

If I was going to design a hunting hat with ear flaps, I’d use a heavy weight red buffalo check of 100% wool and rabbit pelts.  The wool and natural fur would make a cap that is much warmer than the cheapo Chinese ones.
Wholesale fur prices are higher now days than they used to be because of the Asian markets. But raw pelts are still pretty affordable. If you live in a state where there’s lots of trapping you might be able to get fur cheaper than wholesale.
Bolts of 100% wool, fusible interlining, snaps and findings can be found online through some of the New York fabric and notion dealers.
Bomber style hunting caps are easy to construct and require only intermediate sewing skills.

From what I can tell the hats are pretty popular with old duffers. In fact there was a run on them at the local hardware store right before the first day of deer season.

Old Duffer In A Bomber Style Hunting Cap

Old Duffer In A Bomber Style Hunting Cap

I’ll just bet that the type of person who would wear a “Made in the USA” hunting cap would be willing to pay twice what the cheap Chinese ones cost.
What do you think? Is there a market for “Made in the USA” fur-lined bomber style hunting caps?

Katherine Grossman

Katherine Grossman was born and raised in the greater Washington, D.C area. For the last 30 years Mrs. Grossman has lived a life of deliberate self-reliance in rural western Pennsylvania. She loves to garden, knit mittens; makes a killer meatloaf and has been known to deliver triplet lambs with her eyes closed. 


  13 comments for “Bomber Style Hunting Caps For Old Duffers

  1. Peggy
    February 12, 2014 at 6:45 am

    Yes, mam there is. I however am allergic to rabbit fur. I must say that my old duffer would be very pleased to have one and so would my sons. I’ll be interested in hearing about cost and when they will be ready.

    • KMG
      February 12, 2014 at 7:52 am

      Peggy -
      I’m not starting a home sewing business or will I be making hats :-) I just think it’s a good idea!

      • Peggy
        February 12, 2014 at 8:37 am

        I think its a good idea too! somebody will pick it up.

  2. Sheila
    February 12, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Yes, indeed I do. For the first time in my life, I just started wearing a hat. One that the “flaps” come down over my ears, and yes it is a man’s hat too. I have noticed that my 3 grown sons, daughter, and son-in-law are wearing them too. Every one of them try to purchase only made in USA items, but it’s next to impossible to find anything made here anymore.
    My children never wear hats, and I have never worn one either, but with the crazy weather we have had, we have all started wearing them, and all of us like the fur too.
    This is a great post, and I really do think that many would purchase them. I know I would.
    If anyone does take up making them, let me know, I am interested.

  3. February 12, 2014 at 8:46 am

    I think is usually best to buy a quality made piece of (fill in the blank _____) made locally than inferior quality junk from China. I went this route with men’s slippers a few years ago. After having to return the JUNK ones from a big box store that were made in China, I found a locally made pair of shearling lined leather ones that were made right before my eyes in a small mom and pop shop. These have been worth the investment .. and if there is ever a problem, they guarantee to fix them.

  4. jamie
    February 12, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Granny Miller, I think there is a market for ANYTHING made in our home country. The closer to our homes that products are available the less taxed the Earth will be in shipping these commodities around the world, polluting our air and waterways…..not to mention our children and grandchildren’s lungs.
    Etsy provides a place to sell homemade items but I am rather easily repelled by such sites as they allow all manner of items and images to be consumed. I am highly opposed to vulgar and salacious images so have opted out of using sites like pinterest ( there are images of very young girls in compromised situations on this site as well as eBay ) and it seems that lack of moral character are the order of the day in today’s selling “markets”.

    I sure wish that there was a market site that had high standards….but, I digress.

    Yes, I was looking for just such a hat for my toddler grandson but all of the hats that I found were made in china so I did not purchase one. As for the lining? I might rather go for a bamboo or fleece lining, something that does not require bloodshed. :-)

    There is a market for everything useful.

  5. Beth
    February 12, 2014 at 8:50 am

    I would love to have the pattern to make a few of these. I would reuse old wool or tweed coats, & fur coats for the lining. We have a local resale shop that has sale day 2X a month where you cram a bag full for $2! All the crafty old gals like me show up when the doors open and get our quilting supplies, rug braiding etc. This hat also looks good made from old tweed blazers. And that’s a handsome old duffer modeling the hat!

    • KMG
      February 12, 2014 at 9:15 am

      Beth -
      Now you’ve done it! He’ll be strutting like a barnyard rooster all day and there will be no living with him :-)

  6. Alyce
    February 12, 2014 at 10:17 am

    This winter has given me the opportunity to use all of those “made for a hard winter” items. Am I glad I made them!

    What you are talking about is a home based or craft business. It brings back memories! Making hats for old duffers, and I am married to one as well, is a niche market. Alabama Chanin is a good example. She has done very well, and employs at home women who sew/manipulate the fabric/outfits by hand. She also has a shop for those who wish to buy her supplies to make these designs themselves. Her customers, however, are upscale.

    It is not impossible to develop a made in America sewing business, but with the massive changes over the past twenty years or so, it has become more and more of a challenge. There are many women, usually 30 something, but there are older women as well, who have businesses online, have small production lines, and are doing well; they are happy with the return for their labor. It isn’t lucrative. For many, the real money, based on the different blogs online, is in their patterns, e-books, book deals (apparently not always what they seem to be) self published books, as well as online seminars/classes.

    I made a decision a while back to make all of the grand children’s birthday and Christmas presents. It turns out to be a part time job with the pay being the savings! Whether doing artwork, sewing, knitting, or various other skills, these projects take a tremendous amount of time. In the end, they are given a quality product and usually get excited that, “It looks like it is store bought!” While the yearly savings is well worth the effort, I feel that I have given more than a gift to the recipient. I gave myself, and *maybe* an heirloom. I am not, however, lured into trying to make a business from these skills, save some freelance artwork that crops up here and there.

    Selling some of our “hobby” farm products seems to be more reliable. Wait! There is no real profit in that, either! :-))

  7. Wzrd1
    February 12, 2014 at 10:30 am

    These are still made in the US, but for military use. The US Army issues them as ECW cap, cold weather, formerly known as a Pile Cap.
    Still, as they’re useful, they tend to be prohibited by many units for use…
    NSN 8415-01-099-7843
    I might still have one or two in OD green, plus one camouflage laying around. I doubt that the burglars who stole the pipes and wires from my house stole those.

  8. DakotaGramma
    February 12, 2014 at 10:41 am

    I like to wear bomber-style earflap caps, but getting the younger kids to make them (or even to get them to FIND someone who does make them) will be the hard part. They’ll just go right to walmart and buy the cheap crap from CHina. I’d use old coats and stuff, like someone else here suggested, or even go to my local fabric store (we have mom and pop type fabric stores left here in my area of the country) and I like to shop there in order to support them and keep these businesses up and running.

    But if they were available and could be marketed in the right places locally, I’ll bet they’d sell like hotcakes – even to the younger squirts. We have lots of younger folks who snowmobile, snowboard, ski, etc., and we have to two resorts less than 50 miles from where I live. My DH and I go often to snowshoe or cross-country, and I might just ask around in the “cocoa house” and see if there’s an interest. I don’t sew, never could do anything with a sewing machine, but I’m sure I know a lot of ladies from church and other organizations who’d be thrilled to make them just because they’d have something to do and make a little dough, too. What a great idea! I can probably hand-sew one for DH and myself. Up til now, we’ve been buying the plaid caps with the little fuzzy furry ball on top and the ear flaps (can’t remember what they’re called right now) from my brother who is a holistic veterinarian in a very small town and his shop carries just about anything people have asked for! He will only carry made in USA products.

  9. leah
    February 12, 2014 at 11:56 am

    I would absolutely love to make these! I do a lot of crocheting and sewing and it helps me to be able to stay at home with my 19mo old and 3 week old boys. I am only 24 and feel it is important for my children to be raised by their mother vs a daycare. ( but I completely understand mothers who have no choice but daycare) anyways, I am always looking for new ideas to make a little extra income to contribute to the family and I am not afraid of hard work! If anybody could help me by directing me to a sufficient pattern, materials, and a marketplace to sell them I would greatly appreciate it and be tickled pink! I am not a big fan of etsy for various reasons so I would love some other options. You can see some of my other work at
    Thank you for the idea and support!

  10. denis
    February 12, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Us old duffers like them because thay are warm when you have no insulation (hair) on our heads.

Comments are closed.