-With Care, Felt Hats develop more character and become better with age.
-Only touch your hat with clean and dry hands.
-When you put your hat on or take it of or need to adjust it, handle the hat by the front and back of the brim. Otherwise it might lose it's shape and get dirty.
-Flexing your hat may eventually weaken the body of the crown and brim and make it lose its ability to keep its shape.
-Never handle your hat by holding the crown, it will get fingerprint oils on it.
-Do not pick up your hat/fedora by the pinch, it will may misshape it. In a straw fedora the pinch will crack. In a Felt hat is may split the felt.
-Do not place hat on its brim.. it may flatten or lose its curve especially when it is wet.
-Consider using a rain protector. Some hats made of canvas, felt or straw can have applications of Scotchguard to help make the hats waterproof.
-However... some manufacturers do not recommend this. Some suggest silicone based waterproofing and others do not endorse that.
-Place your hat upside down on it's crown in a clean area.
-Short term, place your hat on a Styrofoam or hat head. You can make a tube or set on covered oatmeal box or coffee can.
-Do not leave your hat in the car or in the sun as the humidity may cause it to lose shape and the sweatband, cotton, wool or leather, could shrink or distort.
-Hats of any material may be sensitive to prolonged exposure to direct sunlight causing colors to fade.
-When traveling it is best to transport your hat in a hat box with a handle to insure protection.
-Occasionally flip down the sweat band so it can dry and air out. If your sweatband regularly soaks up a lot of sweat or hair oils then make sure you dry it out often. If you must clean the sweatband... be very careful. Try using a toothbrush dipped in a mild soap solution and scrubbing. Rinse and blot very carefully. Do Not Get the hat wet or it will stain.
-Make sure your hat is in good condition before storing.
-Do not store a dirty hat!
-Remove any stains or dirt
-Steam out creases.
-Brush your hat if appropriate.
-Place hat in a hat box with a lid.
-Stuff the crown with tissue...
-Either set the hat on its crown, filled with tissue... or use enough tissue so that the weight of the hat is not on the brim.
-Cardboard rings can be easily made.. a strip about 28 inches long and 6-10 inches high... taped together so that your hat can set in it upside down with the brim weight having most of its weight rest on the cardboard and the crown.
-Hats of similar shape and sizes can be stacked 2 or 3 high using tissue between each hat.
-Hats may be wrapped individually in plastic.
-Plastic or paper bags with cedar balls or moth balls or a small bag of lavender may help keep the moths and other hat eaters away. -Do not let the repellant touch the hat.
-Store bows by stuffing tissue in the bows and place in hat box with lid.
-Prop feathers up with tissue paper gently supporting them.
-Veilings need to have tissue to support them in proper shape while storing.
-Other decorative embellishments may need to be covered in tissue to keep them from staining the hat.
WE STRONGLY ADVISE THAT YOU FIRST SEEK A PROFESSIONAL'S OPINION ON CLEANING YOUR SPECIFIC HAT TYPE.
-The cleaner your hat is kept, the longer it will last and the better it will look.
-It is always wisest to have your hat professionally cleaned and shaped.
-Remove surface dirt with soft hat brush. Use a dark bristled hat brush for dark hats and light colored bristled hat brush for light hats.
-You can use a lint remover or some painters tape to remove stubborn lint.
-If hat gets something sticky or dirty dripped or splashed on it... immediately run under a gentle stream of room temperature water and tap with fingertip and let dry naturally.
-Always let your hat dry naturally.. Never use a blow dryer or any forced air to heat/dry it as it may shrink.
-Some stains and blemishes may be steamed out. Be very careful.
-Hats should be brushed regularly... Most hat manufacturers suggest that you start brushing your hat on the left side of the hat and move counter clockwise, brushing towards the back. Brush Brim and crown in same direction.
-Brush clockwise on underside of brim
AS A LAST RESORT!!! IF YOU ABSOLUTELY ARE NOT GOING TO HAVE YOUR HAT PROFESSIONALLY RESTORED BUT WANT TO TRY ONE MORE THING BEFORE THE HAT IS TOSSED OUT.
-Freshen wool hat with a whisk brush.
-Some wool hats with very stubborn stains can be gently sanded with an emery board or a piece of sandpaper. Be careful because you can create a bald spot.
-Some oil and grease can be brushed off. Sprinkle some baby or talcum powder on the stain and surrounding area and brush with hat brush.
-Try a mixture or 1 teaspoon of baby shampoo or very gentle shampoo with a cup of warm water, run gently with a hat brush.
-As a very last resort some stains might be removed with dry cleaners fluid although it is not recommended except by a professional.
-Smooth leather hats may be treated as soft leather shoes. They can be waxed and buffed with a clear shoe polish, darker polish can often cover scratches.
-A smooth leather hat may be waterproofed using a soft bees wax and a damp strong sponge. A tiny bit goes a very long way.. Use bees wax very sparingly.
-Saddle soap cream can be used for cleaning and conditioning.
-For cleaning straw hats:
-Brush them frequently.
-For light dirt use a piece of velvet that has been held in the steam for a few seconds. Rub in circles.
-For very stubborn stains.. try some dry cleaners fluid.
-For light straw try ½ teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide and ½ teaspoon of warm water
-For dark straw hats try ½ teaspoon of ammonia and ¼ cup of water.
-For straw hats that have been slightly crushed or dented hold the hat over a constant stream of steam while constantly moving the hat. Shape and dry naturally.
-Flowers can be steamed back into shape... steam and shake gently
-Sometime acrylic spray can be used to help old flowers keep their shape.
-Lace can often be clean by a gentle swishing in a dish of warm soapy water...soak and squeeze, soak and squeeze... Never rub or twist.
-Rinse the same way and then smooth out on a towel and place another towel on top
-Some Ribbons can be dusted off using a puff of velvet cloth. They can often be steamed. Using a curling iron to restore a curl is possible. Always store ribbons loosely with other ribbons.
-Veilings can be dusted and pressed... make sure you use waxed paper and a medium hot iron.
-Feathers can be dusted with other feathers... dipped in a mild soapy solution, rinsed and hung up to dry. Do not ever steam feathers.
-Never wash painted fruit decorations... just gently dust. Water will probably cause the paint to run.
Often a felt or straw hat that loses its shape can be held in a stream of steam and gently reshaped by hand.. Wool often remembers. Do not use an iron... the steam may run out. Hold over a pot of boiling water.
-Hats are removed for the National Anthem, the passing of the Flag and funeral processions
-It is suggested that men and women both remove their hats during the national anthem... unless the woman is wearing a very proper hat.
-It is usually considered proper for men to remove their hats in the presence of a woman.... it is charming mostly it is act of courtesy and respect.
-It is also considered proper for a man to remove his hat while on an elevator if possible, especially if a lady is onboard.
-Men normally remove their hats when entering a building or reaching their destinations.
-Removed hats are held in hand in such a way that shows only the outside and the lining is never visible.
-It is appropriate for women to wear hats inside a church and considered inappropriate for men.
-If a woman wears a hat into a theater she may leave it on unless it causes those behind to move their heads to see around it.
-It is considered appropriate for a gentleman to tip his hat to a lady in passing... he may replace it after passing. If he meets a lady to speak with, he should either tip it or remove it, but them replace it if they start to talk or walk.
-It is very poor manners and could be considered quite insulting for a man to tip his hat to another man.