Make your own Pressman’s Hat

Recycling too dull for you? Put yesterday’s newspaper to better use with these instructions on how to fold a pressman’s hat:


Much research has been done to establish the origin of this unique headpiece. It has never been determined when or where the first paper hat was worn, but records show that it was being worn in the United States as early as 1748… The handmade hat is worn by pressmen as protection against ink, grease, oil and paper lint which might otherwise get in their hair.

Just make sure you start with a large enough piece of paper, because your local rag may not make an adult-sized hat. Today’s smaller newspapers save money and protect the environment, but apparently they also make hats “better suited to children and pets.”

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Categories: DIY, Print-related

5 Responses to “Make your own Pressman’s Hat”

  1. amze says:

    I’m not sure how you found this brilliant and lost art, but it was raining today in Philadelphia and thanks to my pressman’s hat I now have wet newspaper stuck to my head.

  2. rltillman says:

    Post some photos, please!

  3. […] these hats were made and the internet did not let me down. I found that Printeresting website has a whole post on this piece of printing history. I particularly like the style of the illustrations they […]

  4. Nicole says:

    I can’t believe I just saw this! This brings back memories. Every new print class that we had at UF with Bob Mueller, he would have us make one of these, all while telling the story of the hat (supposedly to keep the stray, greasy hairs out of the cleanly set type) and when we were finished, wah-la! A hat. A hat that we could write our names on with Sharpie so he could figure out who we were for the first week of class.

  5. Terry Betts says:

    As a child of 5 years old, I grew up in the pressroom of the KC Star and everyone wore these. Years later I became a pressman and was one of the few remaining who remembered how to make these. They kept the ink out of your hair. Quickly becoming a lost art and due to paper cutdowns nearly impossible to make for adults. I used to make them for the Cub Scouts when I toured them through my pressrooms.