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How To Reshape Cowboy Hats

How to Reshape a Cowboy Hat – All Things You Should Know

Whether you have bought a new cowboy hat or found a crushed hat in your granddad’s closet, observing the shape of the cowboy hat is very important before wearing it. You might notice nasty marks, creases, and wrinkles due to improper storage or handling or fitting. Regardless of whether your cap is squashed out of shape, shrunk and needs to be stretched, or too big to fit, you’ve landed on the right page to check on how to reshape your cowboy hat and make it look brand-new!

How Should a Cowboy Hat Fit?

No matter where you are, donning a crisp and sharp, structured cowboy hat looks top-notch and steals the attention of the crowd. It’s normal for a cowboy hat to fit loosely on the sides and tight on the front and back of your head. But if you feel your cap is loose on all sides, the wind can easily steal your cap by blowing off from your head! A tight-fitting cap can result in a headache and other symptoms.

To know your cowboy hat fits right,  wear your cap, insert a finger between the hat and your head. If it wents through comfortably, this is a good indication that the cap is not too tight.

How to Reshape Cowboy Hats?

How to Reshape a Felt Cowboy Hats Using Steam

How to Reshape a Felt Cowboy Hats Using Steam?

Steaming is a good choice for ideal felt caps made up of wool, rabbit fur, or beaver fur. The heat and moisture of the steam penetrate the fibers and loosen the fabric and remove their wrinkles. Here’s how you can do it easily!

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Boil Water in the kettle

Start boiling water in a kettle that has a large spout. Using a standard garment steamer can also work, but not very effective since the steam isn’t concentrated enough to penetrate fibers.

Step 2: Show Your Hat to the Steam

Use your kitchen tongs to expose your hat to the steam carefully. Steam the outside of the crown and the other shapeless areas of the hat. The felt will get soft if it is well steamed.

NEVER STEAM the inner side of your hat if it is lined with a leather sweatband since it can get damaged. Also, DO NOT OVERSTEAM the cap since an overly moist hat can shrink and also makes reshaping difficult.

Step 3: Reshape Your Hat

After steaming, use your hands to gently reshape the creases and dents until it takes the desired shape. You can also shape it according to your favorite style.

Step 4: Let it Cool

After reshaping your cap, let it cool and wear it on your head to get adjusted to your head size. Frequent handling might again change the shape of your cap. You can also steam your cap one section at a time (steam the part, shape, and dry it) to achieve better results.

Step 5: Stiffen the Cap

After reshaping the cap, you can also use any hat stiffening spray to spray at the crown and brim to keep it in position. This is a helpful tip for people, especially those who have shaped the sides of the brim upwards.

How to Reshape a Leather Cowboy Hat

How to Reshape a Leather Cowboy Hat?

You can steam your leather caps, but it can lead to an increased risk of damage if it is too hot on the quality of your leather cap, especially if they have cracks on it. There’s a much easier method than steaming. Check out!

Materials Needed:

  • A paper bag stuffed with newspapers or a soccer ball
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Cloth 


Step 1: Moist the Areas of Hat to be Reshaped

Spray water around the part of the cap to be reshaped. Wet the areas thoroughly. Use your hands to relieve the creases, bends in the crown and brim of your hats. Wipe the overly wet areas since over-soaking can cause stains and damage the leather.

Step 2: Use A Hat Form to Bring it Into Shape

If you don’t have a hat form, use a paper bag and stuff newspapers into it. Make sure the bundle is tighter to fit on the cap and stretch the deformed area. Also,  the cap should be pulled all the way down to the surface with an object inside it.

Step 3: Let It Dry

Let the hat dry with the paper ball away from direct sunlight. Wait for a few days for effective results. If you don’t feel your brim is flat, you can stack your old books around the brim and let them sit for a few hours.

How to Reshape a Palm Leaf Cowboy Hat

How to Reshape a Palm Leaf Cowboy Hat?

When your cowboy hat is made up of palm leaf, you’re lucky! Here’s the easiest, quickest method to shape your palm leaf cowboy hat.

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Fill the Tub With Water and Submerge Your Cap

Firstly, fill lukewarm water in the tub. Do not use cold water since cold washing your palm leaf cap creates mold. Too hot water can be very sensitive on your cap.

Step 2: Pop Out The Creases of Your Cap

After submerging it in water for less than a minute, you can notice the fibers will be more softened.

Use your hands to push out the creases gently and unfold the misshapen crown. And style the brim and the crown of your cap according to the way you like.

Step 3: Allow it to dry.

Dry the cap in a well-ventilated area without exposure to direct sunlight. Let it rest on a hat form or wig stand to ensure there is no moisture to prevent mold.

How to Stiffen a Cowboy Hat Without Shrinking

How to Stiffen a Cowboy Hat Without Shrinking?

Does your favorite cowboy hat don’t fit you very well? Here’s an amazing hack to stiffen the cowboy hat without shrinking it.

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Cut the Hat Size Reducer Tape

Firstly, note down the head circumference of your cap and cut the hat size reducing tape according to marked length. For some of you, your hat might be only loose at the sides, so you need only two small rectangular pieces according to your preferred length.

Step 2: Try it Within Your Sweatband.

Flip up the sweatband of your hat and insert the padding inside the hat. Wear it and check how it feels.

Step 3: Paste the Padding in the Sweatband

If you’re satisfied with the way your hat fits, carefully peel off the adhesive layer of the tape and affix the pieces into the cap’s sweatband. Gently press the padding all around the sweatband.

How to Stretch a Cowboy Hat

How to Stretch a Cowboy Hat?

Do your cowboy hats often shrink and cause you a headache? Here’s an excellent method of using a hat stretcher to stretch the cap without ruining the shape!

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Place the Hat Jack Into Your Cap

Firstly, place the hat jack into your cap and make sure the woods are placed in the under seams of your cap and the center handle is parallel to the crease of the crown.

Step 2:  Twist Center handle to Stretch The Cap

Tighten the center handle of the hat stretcher to fit your hat snugly. DO NOT STRETCH the cap more than ¼ inch.

Step 3: Show The Cap In Steam

Boil water in a kettle and expose the hat to the steam. By doing this, the hat will get nicely adjusted to the hat stretcher’s shape.

Step 4: Allow the Cap to Cool and Dry

Allow the cap to cool and dry. Make sure that it’s lying flat on the surface, with the brim facing downwards. Remove the hat stretcher after it has dried.

How to Shrink  a Cowboy Hat

How to Shrink a Cowboy Hat?

Shrinking your cowboy cap is easier than you think! Many sources around the internet recommend washing it in the machine at the hottest temperature setting.

Your hats definitely can shrink at the hottest temperature; however, they can ruin the shape due to the machine’s agitator and clothes overload. Hats made up of beaver fur, rabbit fur, felt, and wool can shrink in steam. Do not rush with the process.

Materials Needed:

  • Kettle
  • Kitchen tong


Step 1: Spray the Hat with Water

All you have to do is spray the hat with a little bit of water. Do not overwet the cap.

Step 2: Show it in Steam

Boil water in the kettle and show it in steam to shrink the cap for 5-7 minutes.

Step 3: Check the size frequently.

Try the cap in between on your head while steaming to prevent over shrinking.

Reshape Your Straw Cowboy Hat in Hot Shower

How to Reshape a Straw Cowboy Hat Using Hot shower?

Straw cowboy hats are usually made with a wire at the edges of the brim to hold their shape. For hats without a wire, it’s good to steam your straw hats since they can easily get too dry and need moisture often. The cracking sound of your straw cap is a telltale sign that your cap needs moisture. Here’s how to do it!

Materials Needed:

  • Hot shower


Step 1: Turn On the Shower to the Hottest Setting.

This is a very easy method that can save you time! All you have to do is, turn on the shower to the hottest setting.

Step 2: Hang the Straw Hat on a Hook or Shower Door

Next, place the straw cap to the nearest place to the steam. BE VERY CAREFUL not to expose your hat to hot water since overheating can dry out the straw or even melt, brittle, or break.

Step 3: Wait For a While

Don’t forget to save all the running water in a non-plastic tub! Shut the door and wait for 5-10 minutes.

Step 4: Shape Your Straw Hat

Pop-out the dents and creases outwards in the crown of your cap. Feel the wire of your straw hat in the brim and shape your hat. Be gentle with the shaping wire, and adjust the way you like. Let it dry.

Note: You can also use the kettle method to steam your straw hat and reshape it. If your hat is not too out of shape, you can also curve the wire without the need to steam it.

Reshape a Cowboy Hat

Final Thoughts

Looking for a professional hat shaper to reshape your hats every time can make you cough up a few bucks every time!

This is the time for you to save all your hats without spending money and treat your caps professionally without ruining the shape. Whether your cap has been squashed out of shape, shrunk, or stretched, you might have now had a clear idea on how to reshape your cowboy hat and what you should and shouldn’t do with your hat. So, why are you still waiting on the fence?  Give it a go!

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