How to Care for your Cowboy Hat

Today we’re going to cover an issue all hat-wearers face: How do you keep your hat looking new?

Since we have sold hats for over 106 years, we’ve had quite a bit of experience on how to keep that hat looking as if you had just bought it.

Here is F.M. Light & Son’s tried and true system:

For Straw Hats:

1. It’s quite simple: Wipe your hat with a clean, dampened cloth, rubbing in a counter-clockwise motion, moving towards the back of the hat.

2. Straw hats are designed to get wet; if it does, just shake your hat off to remove the excess water. To let it dry completely, turn out the sweatband, and let the hat stand on the sweatband, or rest it on its crown to dry. Do not dry it near a heat source, a this may cause it to change shape.

Helpful Tips for Straw Hats:

To make sure your straw doesn’t get stained around the crown, turn the leather sweatband on the interior out, so that it can dry away from the hat. Do this occasionally, or whenever your hat is damp.

For Wool, Felt & Fur Hats:

1. Using a soft brush, or brim brush, start brushing on the left brim of your hat, in a counterclockwise motion, around the entire length of your hat. Use a dark colored brush for dark hats, and a light brush for light hats. After brushing, use masking tape to remove any lint, by gently patting your hat with the tape.

2. If your lightly-colored hat gets a spot of grease, or a water stain, you can clean it with a bit of cornstarch or baby powder. Do not use liquid cleaners!

3. Fur hats are fine to get wet, simply follow the directions for drying straw. Felt hats, however, are not designed for wet weather. If it does get wet, however, turn out the sweatband, and let the hat stand on the sweatband, or rest on the crown to dry. If you’re planning on using it often in the rain or snow, consider a wool hat, or purchase a rain cover.

Helpful Tips for Wool, Felt, & Fur Hats:

Avoid exposing your hat to heat, such as radiators, lamps, stoves and car windows. The mixture of perspiration and heat may cause shrinkage of the sweatband! Never leave your hat in your car trunk, or car, as the shrinkage of the band also causes the hat itself to shrink – and it won’t fit anymore!

Store your hat upside down, resting on its crown, on a clean surface or in a box. If you rest your hat on its brim too often, it may cause it to flatten. A hatbox, or hat rack (if your wear it very often) is very useful for storing your hat.

When you put on, take off, or adjust your hat, hold it by the front and back of the brim, not the crown. This will help maintain your hat’s shape and keep the crown free from dirt and oil.

If your hat gets rained on, make sure to even out the bumps and dents as much as possible.

Now you’re a cowboy hat pro! If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call – we would love to help you out! Also, we can steam, clean, and reshape your hat in-store. If you follow these directions, you’ll be well on your way to having a life-long cowboy hat!