Trekking: These trucker hats capture the West with wax, dye, and style

Man isn’t meant to stay indoors — our weekly “Trekking” column can attest to that. It’s a column dedicated to the adventurer inside of all of us, the one pining to ditch the office humdrum for a quick surf session or seven-week jaunt in the Grand Tetons. One day we may highlight an ultra-light stove and the next a set of handmade canoe paddles. Life doesn’t just happen inside the workplace, so get outside and live it.

There’s something so sublime about the arid deserts and rugged valleys that define the American West. It’s an area of the United States that has captured the psyche of everyone from President Barrack Obama to environmentalist-turned-author Edward Abbey, not to mention countless people from all walks of life. And while plenty of artists have translated that beauty and sense of awe to canvas and other materials, not many of them have affixed it to a line of one-size-fits-all truckers hats. Enter Art 4 All, a wearable byproduct of Wyoming-based Abby Paffrath.

Related: The latest Sanborn paddles are as functional as they are handsome

Art 4 AllMuch like Paffrath’s acrylic and Batik artwork, each trucker hat design draws inspiration from the landscapes and wildlife that engulf her home, whether talking towering groves of Quaking Aspen or the ill-fated bison that was once as emblematic of the West as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Her 3-year-old business, Art 4 All, issues a total of 24 prints a year — four for each season — all of which make use an Indonesian art technique that’s reliant on hot wax and layers of vivid dyes. The result is a classic trucker made of corduroy or wool, one that comes outfitted with a snapback design and plenty of character. Artwork is rarely as easy to show off in the backcountry.

Check out Art 4 All to make a purchase, or to browse Paffrath’s collection of artwork.

Images: Abby Paffrath


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