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How To Stretch A Baseball Cap

How to Stretch a Baseball Hat – And Get the Perfect Fit

If you’re here, you might have bought and tried a new fitted baseball cap or a long-forgotten hat and got disappointed by its sudden shrink syndrome. Isn’t there the best way to stretch your baseball hat without ruining the shape? Of course, there is! Sit tight, and you will find out how to stretch your baseball hat easily, just by steaming, showering, and with a football. We also have a surprise miracle worker to stretch a baseball hat!

And by the end of the article, you will master the art of stretching baseball caps and can save a lot of your caps which were initially planned to find their way to the trash.

Can You Stretch a Baseball Hat?

Yes, with patience and gentle handling, you can stretch a baseball hat very easily. Whether they are made up of polyester, cotton, wool, leather, or cashmere, they can be stretched to a limited extent. The right stretching of a baseball cap depends on the material, duration of usage, and construction. So, be mindful throughout the process and follow our guide on stretching a baseball cap properly.

What to Know Before Stretching a Baseball Hat?

Read the Care Label

DO NOT TRY anything new without proper guidance and reading the care label. They are there for a reason. A garment’s care label can give plenty of information about what you should and shouldn’t do with your cap.

For instance, they mention the material of the cap. And don’ts like no tumble dry, no machine wash, etc.

Check The Visor

If your cap is a long-forgotten cap that you took from your grandpa’s closet, remember to check the visor’s material.

All caps’ visors before 1983 are made of cardboard and will risk ruining their shape when exposed to water. To know if it’s a cardboard visor, tap or flick the cap visor and see whether it sounds hollow. If it doesn’t, it’s a plastic visor. If it does, use the soccer ball to stretch your hat.

Check for Color Bleed

Before dealing your cap with water, make sure it doesn’t bleed colors. Color bleed occurs due to leaching out the dye when the cap is submerged in water.

Dampen a white cloth in water, and wipe any area of your hat. If the color sticks on the cloth, there are chances for color bleed, and you should avoid your cap in contact with water and simply use the hat stretcher alone.

Don’t Over Stretch

Don’t overstretch your cap in a hurry. Especially when using a hat stretcher, do not stretch more than ¼ inches at once. Stretching them beyond a limit, sometimes, can lead to tearing and damage of your hat.

How to Stretch a Baseball Cap

How to Stretch Your Baseball Hat Using a Hat Stretcher

How to Stretch Your Baseball Hat Using a Hat Stretcher?

This method works by using a hat stretcher which effectively stretches the size of the crown to be suitable for your head size. And as you guessed, this is the miracle worker to stretch hats. Steaming the hat while using a hat stretcher helps to loosen the fibers of the baseball hat and increases stretching.

Works for: hat stretchers are suitable for cotton, and leather hats, cotton-polyester blend hats,  3, 4, 5, 6, 7 panel hats, fitted or flexfit caps, etc

It doesn’t work for mesh panel hats

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Pop in the Hat Stretcher Into the Crown Of Your Cap

Firstly, pop in the hat stretcher into the crown of your cap. Make sure the labels are up, with the center panel parallel to the crown.

Step 2: Adjust the Center Panel to The Size of Your Cap

Secondly, twist the center panel to the size of your cap. Make sure it is placed evenly around the sweatband without being up and down. Tight the handle to fit with your cap snugly.

Step 3: Steam Your Cap

Note: If your cap is made up of leather,  SKIP THIS STEP. It’s not good to steam leather caps since the heat and moisture can rip and detoriatiate the leather surface.

Heat water in a cooking pot and wait for the water to start steaming. You can also use a tea kettle. Once you have noticed steam, direct steam to the outside of the band area. The heat and moisture from the steam will help to loosen the fibers. 

Step 4: Twist The Center Panel Of The Hat Stretcher To Stretch

Now, gently twist the center panel of the hat stretcher to stretch the hat.

MAKE SURE you don’t stretch more than ¼ ” at once. Over stretching your cap at once can lead to damage to your inner lining.

Step 5: Allow the Cap to Dry

Allow the cap to cool and dry WITHOUT SUNLIGHT, with the hat stretcher for at least 20-30 minutes. Rest it on a surface, in a way with the inner brim and crown facing downwards.

Use a Football To Stretch Your Baseball Hat

Use a Football To Stretch Your Baseball Hat

Let us give you a better idea of an effective tool to stretch your hat without spending on a hat stretcher. A football. A football helps you to stretch your cap while you inflate while wearing it.

Works for: All types of baseball hats, including non-adjustable fitted caps and leather caps

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Place The Soccer Ball Into The Crown

Firstly, wrap the ball in a bag to avoid dirt and place the ball into the crown of your cap. Don’t stretch too much while slipping in. You can also deflate your ball while doing this. And MAKE SURE the inflation point of the ball is accessible.

Step 2:  Inflate the Ball Using a Ball Pump

Secondly, inflate the ball using a ball pump to stretch the cap. Make sure you don’t inflate the ball too much to avoid damage to the cap’s sweatband.

Step 3: Let it Rest Overnight.

After inflation, let the cap sit overnight with the ball and adjust to the ball’s shape.

Stretch your Baseball hat By Steaming

Stretch your Baseball hat By Steaming

As mentioned earlier, steaming is one of the popular methods that professionals follow to stretch your cap. The heat and moisture from the steam penetrate the fibers and loosen the fit. 

Some of you might wonder that steam might shrink clothes. According to garment steamers, steam helps to loosen and relax the fibers while exposure to heat, e.g., a washing machine can cause shrinkage.

Works for: cotton, polyester, acrylic, nylon hats

It doesn’t work for leather caps and mesh hats

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Heat the Water in a Tea Kettle

Firstly, start boiling water in a tea kettle. Make sure you maintain steady heat throughout the process.

Step 2: Hold the Hat in Steam

When you notice steam, grab your hat by the brim with the use of the kitchen tongs. Stay at least 5-6 inches away from the steam. Do not overwet your hat, which makes reshaping difficult. Hold the hat in steam for a minute. Let it cool for 20 seconds. Repeat this at least 3 times. 

It’s good to wipe the moisture in your leather sweatband to avoid ripping.

Step 3: Let it Dry on a Hat Form

Finally, let your cap cool and dry on a hat form WITHOUT SUNLIGHT.

Spray and Wear Method to Stretch Baseball Cap

Spray and Wear Method to Stretch Baseball Cap

The spraying method of stretching hats is another risk-free method to stretch your hat. There is no need to wet the visor of your hat since it doesn’t have to stretch.

Works for:  acrylic, polyester, and fitted baseball caps

It doesn’t work for: leather caps

Materials Needed:


Step 1:  Spray your Cap with Lukewarm Water

Firstly, you have to fill lukewarm water in the spray bottle. Spray on the inner and outer crown of your cap except for the sweatband area. No need to spray on the visor too.  Don’t overwet the cap by spraying.

Step 2: Dry the Cap With a Hair Dryer

Secondly, dry the cap with a hairdryer. Turn on the highest setting and start blow-drying through the inner and outer crown of your cap.

Step 3: Place on a Hat form

Wear the cap on a hat form and let it cool and dry. You can also use a small bowl, balloon, or ball as an alternative to a hat form. This will allow the hat to stretch a bit.

Stretch your Baseball Cap By Modifying Your Sweatband

Stretch your Baseball Cap By Modifying Your Sweatband

 If your hat has grown old enough with the sweatband and you don’t mind modifying your sweatband, this is a quick method to make your hat fit larger.

Works for: All types of baseball hats

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Turn Your Cap Inside Out

Firstly, turn your cap inside out and fix it in a small bowl with the back of the hat facing your side.

Step 2: Make Cuts on the Sweatband

Take your sewing scissors or knife to make small cuts on the back of the sweatband. Be sure to be gentle and not make deep cuts that can slice into the hat itself. If none of the methods works for the material of your cap, this is a quick DIY to loosen your hat and stretch to your head size. 

Which Is The Right Fit When Wearing a Baseball Cap? 

Make sure you wear the right fit, not too tight or not too loose. A tight cap can cause compression headaches, and a loose cap can blow off in the wind. If your finger can fit easily in between your cap and finger, that’s a sign for a right fit.

How to Care for a Baseball Hat?

  • ALWAYS use hat cages while washing your hat in the washing machine or dishwasher. Baseball hat washing cages protect the shape of your hat and prevent shrinking.
  • DO NOT DRY YOUR CAP IN SUNLIGHT. Exposure to a hotter temperature can make your hat fade and shrink.
  • Wipe clean your hat after every use with a damp cloth. Let it dry and freshen up in a cool, dry environment. Sweat, humidity, and sunlight can all cause hat shrink syndrome.
  • Frequently washing your cap every day can cause shrinkage.  While washing your cap, DO NOT SWISH THEM in the water while handwashing. Frequent motion in water can cause the cotton and wool hats to shrink.
  • DO NOT WRING or TWIST your hat. Wringing your caps after washing can lead to unnecessary damage and the breaking of fibers.

Final Thoughts

Can you imagine how fantastic it feels when you stretch your Baseball hat all by yourself without spending a penny on a new hat or going to a hat professional? Now to quickly recap, you can stretch your baseball caps by spraying, fixing a soccer ball, and steaming. The only thing you should keep in mind is, do not to steam leather hats and wipe clean the leather sweatbands of your polyester and cotton hats to avoid ripping. Instead, you can choose a soccer ball to resize leather baseball hats and make it fit better.

And here’s the real kicker, hat stretchers are available at affordable prices to stretch your hat effectively without ruining its shape. Now, we really care for your hats and have provided the ultimate guide on how to stretch your baseball hat. What are you waiting for?

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