ART OF THE JOURNEY

The Soaka Hat: Wet, Wear & Wind

melissa whillas

Posted on April 22 2023

Soaka Hat

The Soaka Hat: The Hat with Roots in Outback Ingenuity

The Soaka Hat: The Hat with Roots in Outback Ingenuity The Soaka Hat varieties are one of our best sellers here at Kakadu Traders Australia, and it's not hard to see why. We offer classic style hats reinvented in our Soaka fabric, meaning extra lightweight headwear. However, the Soaka’s main perk is in it's evaporative cooling abilities when wet, keeping your head fresh as a daisy in hot and dry conditions. This feature is the origin of the Soaka’s motto, Wet, Wear & Wind. But did you know that this legendary fabric has a storied history? At different points in this country’s history, Soaka style fabrics have been born out of necessity - a heritage we celebrate here at Kakadu Traders Australia.

 

Soaka Hat

 

 Origins of Soaka Style Cooling

The Soaka uses evaporative cooling to keep your head cool - as hot air passes through the wet fabric, the moisture evaporates, cooling the air. This technique has been used by Aboriginal Australians since day dot - Sir Thomas Mitchell, the early colonial explorer and surveyor, observed Kangaroo pelts having the effect on water containers.

However, this method was more broadly popularised in Australia with the invention of the Coolgardie Safe at the end of the 19th century. Arthur Patrick ‘Paddy”McCormick, a contractor living in Coolgardie, the capital of the Western Australian gold fields, sought a way to store food for longer while on the hunt for gold. He observed that damp fabric helped cool his bottled water, and that if there was a draft, the fabric would dry but the water would cool faster. With a box covered in Hessisan fabric and a tray on top for the water, McCormick pioneered the bush refrigerator, an essential for those living on the land. Ever since, the Coolgardie Safe became a staple of the Australian outback, keeping people’s grub and tinnies cool. As a company that celebrates outback practicality, it was a no-brainer to make a hat that drew inspiration from a bush classic.

Soaka Sun Hat

How bush necessity led to one of Australia’s most functional and affordable hats

 So next time you put on a Soaka to cool that noggin of yours, relish the thought that you’re celebrating Aussie ingenuity and heritage, mixed with timeless outback style. If you really want to feel extra comfortable in a scorching heat, we recommend going for our Soaka Breeze varieties, which combine ventilated mesh with our Soaka fabric. Found in full mesh, our Bourke half mesh style, and even one for the little ones, we have the headwear to get you through that hot day.

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