What cowgirl doesn't have a hat? I bet you've got at least two if not more: a felt and a straw. So, how do you properly care for your prized hats, and how do you store them when not in use? Glad you asked! That's exactly what this blog post is going to tackle today.
There are some small differences in care of felt heats compared to straw hats, and I'll address that first. All other tips are just common sense, and can be applied to both felt and straw. The main difference between these two types of hat is that felt is meant to get wet (and protect you from rain, sleet, snow), and straw is not. So, if your straw hat accidentally gets wet, the first thing to do is wipe off the water with clean, dry cloth, and then, stand the hat on its inverted hatband placing it on a clean, dry, level surface. Then, let the hat slowly dry on its own, but make sure that the brim is not touching the surface the hat is sitting on because pressure on the wet brim will make it warp. As for wet felt hats, again invert the hat band so it's sticking out of the hat, then stand the hat on its band using a clean, level surface. Don't use heat to speed up drying because it will shrink the leather hat band, and don't let the brim touch the surface either. If, at any point, you see that your hat has lost its proper shape, it's time to take it to a professional for re-blocking.
Here are some more tips to help you keep those hats looking good for a long time:
- Never set your hat down on its brim because that could cause the brim to flatten or warp. Instead, turn it upside down, and place it with the top of its crown resting on a flat surface.
- Put your hat up at night on a hat rack or use the hat box.
- Don't hold your hat by the crown when putting it on or taking it off. Use the front or back of the brim instead, but make sure to hold it as close to the crown as possible to avoid ruining the shape of the brim.
- Never leave your hat in a place where it can get really hot, because heat can damage the hat. This is especially true for felt hats.
- When cleaning your hat, let it dry first, then dust it off with a hat brush, soft sponge, or a dry cloth. Always brush the crown and top of the brim along the perimeter counter-clockwise, but brush the bottom of the brim in a clockwise motion.
- During the long periods when you're not wearing your hat, the best place to store it is in the hat box as that will protect it from dust, sunlight, and damage.
Last but not least, especially if you're superstitious, never put your hat on your bed. True, placing it there won't damage either the hat or the bed, but an old western superstition claims that this brings bad luck.
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