Taking care of your hat the proper way is the first step to keeping it in good shape. It is usually common to either pick-up the hat from the front, pinching the dents, or by the edge of the brim. Always picking the hat from the front will certainly reshape the hat in the long run and if you continue to do this without getting the hat re-blocked for a long time the felt will eventually tear.
When picking your hat by the brim, you must do so in close proximity to the crown as much you possibly can to lessen the distortion of the brim over time. Ideally, you would want to handle your hat with care by the crown because the crown usually holds its shape better than the brim.
Prolong the life expectancy of your hat by properly storing, cleaning, drying and caring for it. The Hat Care tips below provide easy best practices to keep your hats looking their best at all times.
- Mind the shape
Your hat may not have a waistline, but it has to remain in great shape. If kept improperly, it doesn’t take much for a hat to dent, bend, and stop fitting correctly. If you can, keep every single hat on a peg or hook that is wide enough not to create any dimples. If necessary keep your hat on a flat surface, like a shelf in your closet, keep it upside down so that the brim doesn’t flatten out. For long-term storage, purchase a hatbox that provides support for both the brim and crown and at the same time also protecting the hat from dust and moisture.
- Use the correct brush
An ordinary brushing can work wonders for a dirty hat. Nevertheless, different hats need different brushes. The best way to clean a fur felt or wool hat is by using a soft bristle brush, while stiffer bristles perform best on suede, leather, and silk hats. For straw and Sinamay hats, a gentle pass-over with a small whisk broom will get rid of dust and debris.
- Avoid water
Regardless of the type of hat you own, it won’t enjoy being subjected to a torrential downpour. However, if you get hit with a surprise from Nature, shake off as much excess water as you possibly can. Do not go running for a towel. Although it is okay to gently wipe off a straw hat, for fur felt, wool, suede, and leather hats, you will need to brush off the water with the special brushes we just mentioned. Fabric and canvas hats may tolerate a little bit of water, but only during a gentle hand-washing. Whatever you do, do not use a hairdryer, your radiator, or your clothes dryer to dry your hat. They will do much more harm than good.
- Harness the power of steam
If your Sinamay, straw, or felt hat gets bent or dented, a certain amount of steam will go a long way. Just hold the hat over a steaming tea kettle or near a clothes steamer for about 30 seconds. And then, reshape the hat with your fingers. You may use an iron on your straw hats to press out the damage. Just use a low heat setting, or you’ll burn the straw.
- Use dry cornstarch
This household staple does a great job of getting rid of grease stains. Ensure you check the label inside your hat for specific care and cleaning directions. The cleaning tips above are just for reference should your hat not come with cleaning directions.