Don’t get bent out of shape. (Caring for your summer hat.)

I have a weakness when it comes to hats. Which means, I have a storage problem. Currently, they’re stacked in piles, with ones that no longer suit me acting like a stand at the base. This actually works pretty well, but I’m always interested in ways to better care for hats.

Here are some tips for keeping your straw hat in shape…

When resting your hat on a table, rest it on its crown, rather than its brim.

When hanging it up, make sure the peg rests on the sweatband—if your straw hat has one. (Otherwise, just try to keep the end of the peg from leaving any pressure on the crown.)

If putting away for a while, pop out any dents and try stuffing the entire hat with tissue paper. Keep it out of direct sun.

Don’t let it get wet! (This is nearly impossible for me over the summer! I’ve ruined too many hats this way.)

To Re-Shape

Good straw hats can generally be reshaped. But it’s not always easy.

To remove small wrinkles, or to angle the brim back down, place a damp cloth on the hat’s brim and iron it at a very moderate temperature, then reshape it with your hands delicately.

If you need to go further, you can try steaming the crown: Set a full kettle on the stove, until the steam is escaping steadily. Being very careful not to burn your hands, position the warped area over the steam for up to 30 seconds or until the fabric is evenly saturated, and then reshape the area with your fingers without overworking the fabric. Allow it to cool and stiffen.

Any other favorite tricks? 

P.S. Hatmaking in Tuscany and a favorite hat shop in Puerto Rico.

[Photo taken at General Store in Outer Sunset]

Related posts:

Travel Guides

Browse By Category