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Hats are a popular clothing item and are worn for almost every occasion to protect against the sun and wind. However, no matter how well you take care of your hat, accidents happen. Whether your hat gets crushed in your suitcase or your Aunt Bertha sits on it at your cousin’s wedding, know that this doesn’t mean the end. Whatever your hat endures, you can restore it to its original shape by following a few simple steps.
Keep in mind that materials like felt can be significantly damaged if you apply heat to them, like a hairdryer or iron. So before you reshape your hat, always make sure you know what your hat is made of and the proper way to clean and handle those materials. For example, it’s never a good idea to clean hats with a dishwasher.
The following are ways to reshape your crumpled or flattened hat:
- Stuffing — One of the easiest ways to reshape your hat is to stuff it. To do so, pop out the dents of your hat, then stuff the entire hat with tissue paper. After a couple of days, you can check to see if your hat retains its original shape without the stuffing. If the hat has not returned to its original form, stuff it again and wait a few more days. Once the hat has regained its shape, you can remove the stuffing.
- Leather reshaping — For leather, you can reshape the hat using bowls, balls, and wig stands. Make sure that whatever you choose to use is approximately the size of your head, then place the hat on it as if you were setting the hat on the crown of your head.
Brush any dirt off the hat, then wet the portions of the hat that need to be reshaped. When the leather is sufficiently wet, use your hands to adjust the material by pushing, pinching, or creasing until your hat assumes the proper shape. Once the hat dries, you can remove it from the object and wear it.
- Steaming — This is a good option for hats made of felt, wool, or straw (if the straw hat doesn’t have a wire brim). Boil a kettle full of water on your stovetop and maintain the temperature until the steam emerges from the spout steadily but not too strongly.
Hold the warped part of the hat over the steam for 30 seconds. The material should be fully saturated. After the cloth is wet, start reshaping the crumpled area with your fingers. Once you’re finished reshaping the hat, allow it to cool and stiffen.
Since you are dealing with heat, be sure to watch your hands and arms during the entire process so you don’t emerge more damaged than your hat was. Also, be careful because hot water can discolor your hat. That’ll leave you with another headache trying to restore the color of your hat. This process will be even easier if you have an electric steamer.
While reshaping your hat can take a bit of time, it’s worth it to breathe new life into an old favorite piece of headwear. Your hat can maintain its original form for years to come — no matter how many times it encounters your Aunt Bertha.