The archetypal cowboy hat is composed of a tall crown creased down the center with dents and broad brim that is shaped for sun protection .
Fur blend cowboy hats are crafted in a similar fashion, but are made from the finest furs to create a soft to the touch but durable hat. Each fur blend is assigned an “X” rating, unique to the individual manufacturer, to rate the blend. In general, as the “X” number increases, the fur to wool ratio raises, creating a fur pile that is softer and becomes easier to steam and shape.
A combination of wool felt, rabbit fur, and beaver fur are used in the fabrication of these hats. As the quality of the blend increases the wool felt content decreases and the rabbit fur and beaver fur ratios increase. The highest quality are 100% Beaver western hats , which are not always given an “X” rating. Some hats are blended with other more exotic furs, such as hats made with Buffalo fur to increase the hat's water repelling capabilities and for an added bragging right.