How prevalent was the stampede string on Old West hats?
J. Martin Tietjens
Kansas City, Missouri
Bonnet strings have dated back to the days of the Texas vaqueros and Californios. Cowboys have left behind many written accounts of using strings to prevent losing their sombreros, especially in windy weather or when doing some hard riding. They tucked these strings inside their hat when they weren’t needed.
Those waddies didn’t call ’em stampede strings, and they weren’t those fancy, braided things with slides like you see today. They called ’em thongs, bonnet strings or hat strings, and they were usually made of buckskin or even ribbon.