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Papa Nui

A-26 Shinki Horse Hide cap. 10th Anniversary Issue Widow Maker

A-26 Shinki Horse Hide cap. 10th Anniversary Issue Widow Maker

Regular price $ 200.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $ 200.00 USD
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‘In Korea, the Air Force used to take the F-86 jocks out onto the field before dawn, in the dark, in buses, and pilots who had not been shot at by a MIG in air-to-air combat had to stand up. At first Gus couldn’t believe it and then he couldn’t bear it - those bastards sitting down with their custom A-26 Papa Nui leather caps were the only ones with the right stuff! The next morning when they tumbled out there in the dark, he was sitting down. He had gone up north toward the Yalu on the first day and had it out with some howling supersonic Chinese just so he could have a seat on the bus and wear an A-26 Papa cap.’


   Any Korean War flyboy who knew his mettle also knew that being a hotshot pilot meant having a style that stood apart from the mil-spec world of the airforce. After a tour of missions above the Yalu with the sky thick with Migs, R&R options were always welcome and a quick trip to Tokyo was an opportunity to unwind and visit the local tailor for a custom leather squadron cap.

   Drawing inspiration from these Jet Jockeys and their custom caps, Papa Nui has worked closely with Japan’s finest leather facility in Himeji, Hyogo prefecture, and the John Lofgren Company to introduce the A-26 cap.

   The A-26 is a beautiful limited edition mechanics style cap that is realised in front quarter veg tanned Shinki Hikaku Horse hide. Shinki has a naturally rustic and antiqued grain and is a textured luxury hide that darkens and smooths with time and wear. This cap is the perfect pairing with any A-2 aviators jacket and its new anniversary issue Widow Maker is a stand out. Two new versions, Black Tea core Shinki and All Natural Veg Dyed Shinki. All cotton sweat bands for moisture absorption and comfort and a fully pliable visor for a devil may care flip up styling.

This is truly the Ace of Caps and the best leather cap on the market.

-All veg tanned front quarter Shinki horsehide construction. 

- black tea core with wear and show through the inherent horsehide character.

-Natural colour will ‘suntan’ on exposure to light.

-Japanese milled Olive drab Herringbone Twill sweatband and silk milliners bow.

-New Papa Maru flag inner patch and Papa Nui rayon cotton labelling.

-Pliable flip up Visor.

-Special limited edition Olive drab Herringbone Twill keep bag with Black Widow print designed by Adrian McKay Graphics.

-Made in Japan by the John Lofgren Bootmaker Co.

* Note Important. Sizing on this cap can be adjusted. A very careful quick soak in warm water will relax the leather and make it extremely pliable. To stretch you can place over the knee and pull firmly to increase fit options. To shrink follow the same principles, but increase water temperature, towel dry excess. In both methods place the cap on when damp and with the palms smooth down the crown to the shape of your head and then wear till dry, making small incremental adjustments as needed. This cap will mold to shape and should feel like a soft helmet and not a cloth ball cap.


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6 total reviews

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Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
Jason H.
Beyond a leather cap!

After having eyed the Shinki horse hide A-26 for quite sometime now I finally pulled the trigger. The black one was actually my second choice (bought at S & S) and I cannot put into words at how this cap looks and feels in the flesh. Being a huge fan of anything Lofgren Japan makes I don’t know why I’m surprised!
After following the instructions of giving it a quick “sloosh” in warm water and wearing until dry, my mind is completely blown of the fit. The way this thing molds to the skull is something that has to be experienced to believe! Certainly worth every single nickel paid. Thanks to Papa for the direction on fitting. Super happy and can already say that given availability, I’ll definitely buy a second. Such a killer, beautiful piece!


Worth every cent, the seven months waiting for the cap to arrive and the tricky forms i had to fill in for the custom service. Would absolutly do it again.

No worries my friend always here to help!

The Atoll Rescued Me

While cruising on a routine top cover air patrol over a sea of a billion crappy caps I was lucky enough to spot a sharp glint of bright white light. Intrigued, I dropped altitude, spied a lone, lush atoll and the unmistakable message of a Morse signal: *- - * *- *- - * *-

One word --"PAPA." Before me lay the approach --the smoothest PSP Marsten Mat runway I've ever been on-- power graded to zero bubble by the Shopify Beach Battalion.

As I taxied through the welcoming, gorgeous & inspiring compound, years of futile soul crushing "cap" patrols came to an abrupt and pleasing end. Papa gave me the nickel tour, introduced me to his buddies O'Shea and Lofgren, and loaded me up for future adventures.

In the end, the irony was that while Papa was quite at home on his atoll . . . I was the one being rescued.

Always willing to throw your a lifeline my friend. The Atoll welcomes, beckons, one and all.

J B.W.

So awesome I bought two!

How could you not, these are a work of art!!

Val S.

A hat for the most worthy. Honestly I’ll love this damn hat forever!