Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mushroom Cap

While mushroom cap could be used to describe the top part of a mushroom, in this case I'm actually talking about hats.

They're not called mushroom caps because they're shaped like mushrooms but because they're made with mushrooms. These mushrooms:

Amadou is a spongy, flammable substance prepared from bracket fungi. It resembles felt when the processing is complete. The species generally used is Fomes fomentarius which in English is also called horse's hoof fungus or tinder fungus. The amadou layer can be found on top of the fungus just below the outer skin and above the pores. It is used as tinder (especially after being pounded flat, and boiled or soaked in a solution of nitre) and also used when smouldering as a portable firelighter. [wiki]

Showing the layer used for making clothing and hats.
It is used in fly fishing for drying out artificial flies. It is sometimes used to form a felt-like fabric used in the making of hats and other items. It has great water-absorbing abilities. 

Amadou was a precious resource to ancient people, allowing them to start a fire by catching sparks from flint struck against iron pyrites. Remarkable evidence for this is provided by the discovery of the 5000-year-old remains of "Ötzi the Iceman", who was found to be carrying it for kindling.

This is Ötzi now, after his murder and subsequent ice-entombment, as wiki says 
There aren't many amadou hat makers anymore. They exist but mostly in Europe, specifically Romania.

I kinda like them. They look like they'd be soft. If you are interested in getting one, here is a link to a maker. You need to communicate directly with them for your order, they don't carry stock that I can tell and they don't have a price list. They are the only online maker I could scare up on google.

1 comment:

Aaron said...

Pretty cool. Thanks for writing this up!