Looking after your hat

Hats often improve with age, but they need caring for to stop them looking battered.

The secret of good hat life is cleaning, storage and good upkeep.


Make sure you only touch your hat with clean dry hands.

When you don or doff your hat or need to adjust it, handle thehat by the front and back of the brim to avoid loosing its shape or getting it dirty.

Place your hat upside down on its crown in a clean area.

A dented felt hat can be fixed using steam.

Flexing your hat will weaken the body of the crown and brim and make it difficult to shape.

Don’t handle your hat by holding the crown as it will get finger oil on it.

Don’t place hat on its brim as the brim will lose its curve especially when it’s damp or wet.

Short term place your hat on a Styrofoam or hat head. You can make a tube or set on covered oatmeal box or coffee can.

Hats of any material are sensitive to prolonged exposure to direct sunlight which causes colours to fade.

Transport your hat in a hat box with handle when travelling for full protection.

If your hat needs a clean then take it to a professional cleaner.

Wet Hats

Felt hats can get wet but not ideally for long periods. If your hat gets wet, pat and shake off the excess water.

For fur felt turn down the leather sweatband and stand the hat on the sweatband so it can dry naturally. Never sit a hat on its brim when wet as this can cause it to lose its shape.

Never put a hat away wet, this will cause mildew and ruin your hat.

Wet hat dos and don’ts

  • Always dry your hat out if it gets wet
  • Don’t put your hat away wet
  • Don’t dry your hat out on its brim

Waterproofing Hats

Consider using a rain protector to avoid getting your hat wet. Some hats made of canvas, felt or straw can have applications of Scotchguard to help make the hats waterproof.

Rain protector is worth thinking about for hats made of canvas, felt or straw. Scotchguard can be applied to waterproof you hat although some manufacturers do not recommend this and prefer silicone based waterproofer.


Do not expose your hat to direct heat from stoves, radiators, lamps and car windows. The combination of heat and perspiration will shrink the sweatband. Never leave your hat in a hot car or sun as the heat may cause it to lose shape and the sweatband, cotton, wool or leather, could shrink or distort.

Heat dos and don’ts

  • Avoid heat from stoves, radiators, lamps and car windows
  • Never leave your hat in a car on a hot day
  • Never leave your hat in direct sunlight


To keep perspiration and hair dressing from penetrating to the outside of the straw, occasionally turn down the sweatband so it can dry between wearings.

Occasionally flip down the interior sweatband air with increased frequency if you sweat a lot.

Hat Removal

To put on or remove your hat, hold the brim in front and back; handle the crown as little as possible. Avoid handling your hat by the pinch, it will eventually damage it.

Hat Covers

Expensive hats need protection from the rain when you don’t have an umbrella. Hat Covers can be transparent which are good for special occasions so you can still see the hat. A useful cover should be small enough to fit in your handbag or pocket.

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