Don’t you just hate it when your felt hat gets squashed, and you have to cough up a few bucks every time to reshape your felt hat by going to a professional or buying a new one? Keep your chin up because your favorite hat can be resized at home very easily and effectively without ruining your hat shape. Whether it’s crushed, shrunk, stretched, bent, or softened, you will know how to reshape your felt hat and bring back its missed charm when you stay until the end!
Now, recharge your batteries, and we will walk you through the whole process of how this actually works!
Felt hats are generally made up of sheep’s wool or any other wool, rabbit fur, or beaver fur by firstly wetting, stirring them. The natural fibers undergo a pounding stage, in which they have a natural tendency to get interlocked with each other by hot water and steam. The 160 °F hot water will help the fibers shrink and tighten. And then, they are ruined through a roller machine to stretch and dry. What we have been told is just half of the process, and it’s important to understand how it’s made.
Felt is the most commonly chosen material to manufacture many types of hats. Fedora, Panama hats, bowler hats, berets, cowboy hats (10-gallon hats), boaters, ascot caps are most commonly made up of felt.
Now let’s dive in to check out how to reshape your felt hat, whatever style you have!
Of course, yes! Steaming is the most common and safest method to reshape your wool or beaver felt hats without any problems. Since they have undergone steaming during their manufacturing process, it’s not new to them and can work wonders to loosen their fibers and soften them, enabling you to reshape your felt hat.
Make sure you use a towel to wipe the hatband and liner of your hat if it is made up of leather or any water-sensitive material since steaming leather can cause damage.
How to Reshape a Felt Hat
How Do You Reshape a Felt Hat Without Water?
Check out the 3 easy steps on how to reshape your slightly misshapen felt hat without the usage of water.
- Bowl or a paper bag with newspapers
- A pile of books
Step 1: Push Out the Creases of Your Crown and Brims
Firstly, take your felt hand in hand and gently push out the creases and dents at the crown. Also, reshape the brims of the felt hat.
Step 2: Reshape the Crown With Bowl
Secondly, use a bowl that mimics the size of your head and can fit into the crown. If you don’t have a bowl, you can also use a paper bag filled with torn newspapers and stuff it into the crown.
Step 3: Reshape the Brim of the Hat
Make sure the hat is pulled down and flat on the surface. Overlap the brim of the hat with heavy books and leave it overnight.
PLEASE TAKE NOTE that water or moisture has a chance to cause damage to the headband and sweatband of your felt hat if it is made up of leather or suede. So avoid the contact of steam with the leather band.
If your hat is really squashed out of shape, go for a steaming method. If your felt hat has a leather liner inside it, you probably need to remove it to prevent deterioration of the lining.
Remove the Lining of Your Felt Hat
- Flip open the sweatband of your hat.
- Use a seam ripper to cut the threads around the lining which hold it in place.
- You can remove them or stitch them after reshaping.
If you are in a hurry and don’t want to remove the hat lining, you can use a towel to wipe them frequently and avoid soaking in the steam.
Step 1: Boil Water in The Kettle
Firstly, start boiling water in the kettle. While boiling, spray water evenly around your hat without making it too wet.
Step 2: Show Your Hat to The Steam
After the water is boiled, expose your hat to the steam. Ensure the steam penetrates from the outside crown to the inside to loosen the fibers and soften them. While steaming, USE A TOWEL to wipe the sweatband or liner and prevent damage.
Step 3: Reshape the Felt Hat
After the hat has become softened, use your hands to push out the creases and dents gently. Next, show the brims to the steam and reshape the felt hat.
Step 4: Let it Dry For a While
After steaming and reshaping the hat, let it dry for a while on a hat form. If you don’t have a hat form, stuff a small bowl or a balloon into the hat to retain its shape for a long time.
Do you feel that your hat is floppy and want to stiffen the brims? Here’s an excellent method to stiffen your felt hats and make them fit better!
Step 1: Spread a towel to the surface
Firstly spread the towel to the surface and keep your hat flat on it. In most cases steaming the hat will help to soften the fibers and harden automatically when it cools.
Step 2: Spray the Stiffening Spray Evenly On the Hat
Read the instructions for your felt stiffener. To make your hat stiffer, spray the felt stiffener over your hat, especially more to the sides.
Step 3: Let Your Hat Dry
Let your hat dry for a while on your hat form. If there is not enough stiffness, go for a second coating after it becomes dry.
Is your felt hat shrinking from time to time? Here’s an easy and effective method to stretch your hat in 4 easy steps.
- Hat stretcher
- Tea kettle
Step 1: Pop the Hat Stretcher into the crown of your hat
Firstly, take the hat stretcher in your hand. Pop it inside your crown and make sure it’s not up and down and lined along with the sweatband.
Step 2: Adjust the Center Panel of the Hat Stretcher
Slowly, adjust the center panel of your hat. Make sure you don’t stretch them by more than ¼” at once.
Step 3: Steam Your Hat
Boil water in the kettle, and wait for a while. When you notice the steam, expose your hat to the steam using kitchen tongs.
Keep your kettle at a simmer to maintain steady heat, and don’t expose the leather lining of your hat to the steam to prevent deterioration. Keep a towel in your hand and WIPE THE STEAM off the leather band frequently.
Step 4: Dry for a While
After stretching, let the hat cool and dry for a while without removing the hat stretcher. Put on your stretched hat after it’s dried.
Step 1: Note Down the Head Circumference of Your Hat
Take your measuring tape, measure the head circumference of your hat and note it down. Wear your hat and see how it fits. Either you might feel loose on all sides or loose in the sides.
Step 2: Cut the Foam Padding
Cut the hat padding according to the marked length. Turn your hat upside down and flip up the sweatband. It’s up to you to cut into a long rectangular strip to cut your hat or two small rectangular pieces to stick to the sides.
Step 3: Wear the Hat With the Non-Stick Foam Padding
Insert the foam padding into the sweatband of the hat. Wear it and see how it feels.
Step 4: Stick The Hat Padding Into the Sweatband
Unpeel the padding and stick it to the inside of the sweatband. Press them around the sweatband gently, and you’re good to go!
If you have a hat with you, it’s normal for it to come out of shape due to accidental sitting or improper storage. But it’s not good to sit in your hands and blame the hat.
To sum up, steaming your felt hats is an easy and effective method to bring them back into shape! To make it stiffer, use a felt stiffening spray; NEVER starch your felt hats. To stretch, the hat stretcher does wonders. Are you feeling a loose fit? You can make them smaller with hat pads without shrinking. Even though it might sound a little tricky to you, you are going to be very pleased with your hats when they come out well!
By now, you will have realized how to reshape your hat and what you need. So, are you making your first move to reshape your felt hat?