Whether you’re into making your own hats or just love wearing hats, learning to take care of your hats properly will help to keep them looking their best for years to come. In this blog, we’ll take a look at ways that you can care for your collection of hats and fascinators and cover topics such as handling, storing, cleaning and repair.
One of the easiest ways to keep your hat in great condition is to make sure that you handle it correctly. And while different hats may have different care instructions handling is one area that is fairly standard across all types of hats. Avoid picking up your hat by the crown and where possible pick it up by the edge of the brim with clean, dry hands.
When placed on your head put it into position by placing your hand on the crown, rather than the brim. For the majority of hats, you should avoid getting them wet as this can cause it to lose its shape. If your hat does get wet then let it dry naturally to help it keep its shape.
Although you won’t see the sweatband while wearing your hat it is often the most stained part of your hat due to perspiration, makeup and hair products. Luckily the sweatband is simple to clean to help keep your hat smelling fresh. Fabric sweatbands can be folded down and cleaned with a mild clothes detergent and water mixture. Use a soft brush to scrub the surface and blot with a clean damp white cloth to remove stains.
For leather sweatbands, you can use commercial leather cleaning products to remove stains and odours and fold down in the same way as you would a fabric sweatband to clean. Leave to dry naturally while still folded down and once dry use a leather conditioner to keep it supple.
Hat exterior cleaning
The most visual part of your hat the exterior should be cleaned frequently to help stop the build-up of dirt and dust. Use a soft bristle brush or lint roller to remove dirt, dust and lint and work around the hat slowly following the nap of the fabric. For delicate trim like feathers, ribbons and flowers you can use a hair dryer on a low cool setting to blow away dust. Sticky tape can also be helpful for removing dust and lint from your hat.
Dented crown repair
One of the simplest ways to remove a dent in the crown of a hat is to hold the hat over the steam from a kettle for a few seconds. The steam should help soften the material and let you simply push out the dent or crease in the material. Once the dent has disappeared you can simply let the hat dry out and the dent should have disappeared.
Droopy feathers can be resurrected by placing over steam for a couple of seconds, while broken feathers can be mended with a touch of PVA added to the broken section of stem. Bent feathers can be straightened with hair straighteners on their lowest setting when used on the stem. Feathers which have gone past the point of repair can be removed and replaced from most hats by pinching out of the glue if this fails you can always snip them off at the base.
Storing your hats and fascinators
For short and long-term storage of hats and fascinators, it really is hard to look past a decent set of hat boxes. Not only do they help to keep your hat free from dust and dirt, but they also help protect the colour from bleaching in the sun. Hats should be stored upside down on their crown or supported on a bed of tissue paper so the weight is not placed on the brim. Feathers, flowers and veils should also be propped up using tissue paper to make sure they keep their shape.