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Hat Care

How to store and clean your new or favorite hat. 

Caring for a wool felt hat:        SHOP WOOL HATS      


  • lay hat upside down when setting it on a surface. Laying it on the brim will flatten and distort the brim.
  • do not expose your hat to high heat, such as a hot vehicle, fireplace, 
  • if your hat is wet, from rain or sweat, flip up the sweatband and lay the hat upside down, or hang it on a hook and allow it to dry naturally. Do not use hair drier or clothes drier or subject it to heat (fireplace); heat could cause the wool hat to shrink. Felt will retain the shape it dries in, so make sure it is shaped as you like. If your hat is soaked, best to dry it on hat from. You can use a container and paper in lieu to stuff crown to retain original shape.
  • hold the brim of your hat not the crown when removing it from your head to maintain shape of the crown. We prefer picking up the hat with thumb inside at sides and fingers barely touching brim.
  • make sure your hand is relatively clean when handling your hat; at least of grease.


  • remove dust and dirt by brushing with soft brush (hat brush designed for felt hats would be the best)
    • begin on one side and work your way around with short strokes (counterclockwise preferred)
  • wipe with damp cloth
  • remove lint after brushing, you can use small piece of masking tape 
  • spot cleaning can be done with steam, super fine sand paper, or damp cloth
  • dry cleaning is best
  • never throw it into washing machine or dishwasher


  • if you seldom wear your hat, store it in a hat box or bag. Fedora, safari styles should be kept on a hat stand or crown stuffed with tissue, so it doesn't sit on brim. Women's floppy hat can lay flat. 
  • you can stack similar crown shaped hats to save space
  • hang it on a rack, wider and flatter hook shape is preferred
  • wool hats can be reshaped with steam. Use steamer, or over boiling pot of water-of course with caution.


Caring for a natural straw hat:           SHOP NATURAL STRAW HATS

  • Grabbing your straw, panama hat by the pinch of the crown, could distort the original shape, or cause cracks and holes, especially the firmer weaved, glazed natural straw hats. Best practice is to hold it by the brim when removing from your head. 
  • place your fedora, safari style hats upside down, on its crown when setting it on a surface or hang it up. This prevents the brim from curling up when you store it.
  • to dust off, use a soft brush.
  • to remove stains, wipe with a cloth or sponge, dampened in warm water and soap, do not let straw get too wet.
  • if your hat gets wet, dry it with a cloth, then let it dry naturally with the brim turned up
  • steam it to shape if necessary
  • misshapen flat brim straw hats can be shaped carefully with a lukewarm--not hot-- steam iron
  • store it on a wide, flat hook, or in a box supported on a hat form or tissue at the base of the crown so it won't lay on its brim

Caring for a natural palm straw hat:     SHOP PALM STRAW HATS

  • handle the hat by the brim, constant squeezing and pinching can break the palm fibers
  • stray palm pieces can be trimmed off, if you don't cut the tread the palm braids will not unravel
  • clean stains and spots with damp cloth, you can use mild soap or a magic eraser if needed
  • to clean the inner band, place a hand towel between the band and the inside of the hat, and use a small brush, sponge or cloth with soap and water. Dry with a towel, then dry it in the sun upside down 
  • palm straw is naturally water repellent, so small amount of rain or water will not damage the hat, let it dry completely before putting it away. Wipe off water and line dry in well ventilated area
  • if the brim has a crease or flattened, use an iron with a cloth and iron the brim all around, reshape with your hand, repeat.
  • store the hat on a wide peg, or upside down 
  • to travel, pack the crown and place hat upside down on top of the suitcase 


    Caring for a paper braid hat:              SHOP PAPER BRAID HATS

    • Fortunately, or unfortunately most of the "straw" hats nowadays are made of paper braids sewn or woven. Cotton or polypropylene blend paper braid used to achieve a certain look, feel or function (better UV protection, better resistance to water, packable).  More about paper braid
    • Brush off dust or soil with soft brush.
    • Spot clean only with damp cloth or sponge. 
    • Do not soak. It will alter the shape or completely ruin your hat. Keep in mind these hats are made mainly for sun protection, not for rainy days.
    • you can pre-treat you hat with water repellent agent, to make is more water resistant
    • Misshapen, creased hats can be gently steamed - 4" away - with a tightly rolled towel placed underneath (sauce pan, hat form can also be used), then push fibers in line. For rough bumps, let it dry under a weight. Test in small area for color bleeding before, and protect your hands. 


    Caring for a leather hat:             SHOP LEATHER HATS

    • Pick up your hat by the brim as described above if you want to keep the original shape of the crown. Though, we love the look of a well-aged leather hat as its unique creases and wrinkles. If you agree, pinch the crown.
    • Scarring and subtle variations naturally occur on genuine leather which makes each hat unique and enhances its character, and proves its authenticity
    • If your hat gets wet, wipe with dry cloth. Let it air dry on flat, clean surface.
    • Never leave your hat in an enclosed area where it is subjected to extreme heat. It will cause shrinkage.
    • Do not dry clean, tumble dry, wash in dishwasher, use bleach.
    • Smooth leather hats may occasionally be treated with quality leather dressing. Brush off surface with soft brush, or wipe with damp cloth.
    • Suede hats can be cleaned with a stiff brush; stains can be removed with fine sand paper.
    • You can treat your hat with waterproof spray.
    • men's leather hats


    Caring for a soaker hat:               SHOP SOAKER HATS

    • These hats are made of micro-suede material. Composed of fine polyester fibers. Soft to the touch, light weight, durable and feel like real suede. This material absorbs liquid and dries slowly. Thus, provide the evaporative chilling effect on hot summer days.
    • Hand wash with cold to lukewarm water, or wipe with damp cloth. Use mild detergent. 
    • use lint brush if needed
    • Dry flat or hang it to dry in the shade.
    • Do not use bleach, tumble dry, dry clean, or leave in an enclosed area where it is exposed to extreme heat (i.e. on dashboard in your car) 
    • Aussie Chiller (soaker) Hats
      • wash with mild soaps, or stain removers. Bucket hats and caps are dishwasher and machine safe, but do not put them through dry cycle or into the dryer. Air dry. 
      • pack flat. Will retain shape with only minor and temporary creases. Wet to restore shape.
    • RAIN: these hats provide some rain protection, as they absorb water.


    Caring for an organza fabric dress hat:         SHOP ORGANZA DRESS HATS

    • silk organza hats should be dry-cleaned!
    • synthetic organza fabric can be hand washed with mild detergent.
    • dry away from heat. You can place it on a hat form, but most dress hats have wired edge brim, so they stand on their own.
    • to get rid of wrinkles, use steamer-watch your hands! or steaming iron on low setting with a press cloth. You can also let the steam in the bathroom do the work. 
    • Shout wipes work well to remove makeup stains from the inner band
    • place in hat box or bag to keep dust off. It can be difficult to shake dust off the embellishments on the hat, such as feathers


    Caring for a cotton, linen bucket style hat:     SHOP COTTON BUCKET HATS

    • They are usually washable -check tag-, but they could shrink.
    • Use cold to lukewarm water and mild detergent
    • hang, or place on hat form to dry, or on round container in lieu of hat form
    • steam or iron if needed

    Caring for canvas Hats

    • use a brush to remove dirt
    • spot clean stain with wet cloth, use mild detergent if needed.
    • waxed or oiled cotton hats can be rinsed off

    How to wash washable hats

    Hats that are made of soft materials that don't stand by themselves, such as a cotton bucket hat, can be washed in a washing machine. Use cold water, gentle cycle with mild detergent. Do not use Woolite, it will make your hat floppy, and could interact with the adhesives used in making the hat (securing hat band). Don't use fabric softener. Always air dry. Baseball caps can also be washed in the washing machine.

    Hats that hold their shape on their own, are best washed by hand. Let them soak in water with mild detergent or liquid hand soap. Use a soft brush or wash cloth to remove stains. Rinse with cold water, do not use fabric softener. Shake or pat with towel to remove excess water. Air dry on a form to retain their shape. 

    How to wash baseball caps in the dishwasher

    Though, we mention this option here, we really dislike this technique. The best way to clean your cap to retain its shape and color is hand washing as described above. If you have an inexpensive cap, you can wash it in the washing machine. That said, here is how to wash a cap in the dishwasher.

    • use a cap frame around the cap
    • place the cap with the frame on the top rack
    • run regular cycle with detergent, make sure it does not contain bleach
    • air dry with or without cap frame

    Descriptions and Names of Men's and Women's Hat Styles and Parts of a Hat