Hats can endure the test of time, but only if properly maintained. It’s inevitable that it’s going to get dirty from the elements life will throw at it. Dust, dirt and debris are only a few reasons you’ll need to know how to clean a wool hat, but don’t fear, we’re here to help with that. Before attempting to clean your hat, be aware of the material type. If the wrong cleaning technique is used on the wrong material, it can potentially destroy the hat, which nobody wants. My favorite stetson hats range from 4-6 years old, but they all look as new as the day I got them, and with proper maintenance and storage your hats can stay like new for years to come.
Cleaning and Maintaining Wool Hats
You’ll need a soft bristle brush, or in more extreme cases, a steam cleaner or powdered cleaner.
To clean a wool hat, begin by removing the debris with your soft bristle brush. Brush the top and bottom counter-clockwise with a soft bristle brush. Handle the handle gently during this process to prevent misshaping the hat.
Pro tip: Prior to brushing, use a lint roller to remove as much loose debris, it’ll be easier to clean the hat.
Place your hat on its top, use a hat stand or hang it from a peg or hat hook to help it retain its shape.
If your hat becomes wet, shake off excess water. Allow ample time for it to air dry away from high heat or direct sunlight. If possible, use a hat form to support the hat to keep the brim from flattening and the top or “pinch” of the hat from becoming misshapen.
A garment steam cleaner can be used shape and clean hat, but be careful not to over-steam and misshape the hat. For heavier stains, powdered cleaners may be used as well. Do not use liquid cleaners on the hat unless the fibers are synthetic.
Additional Cleaning & Maintenance Tips:
Some hats may shrink when exposed to extreme heat, such as drying by an open fire, so avoid any exposure to extreme heat.
Store your fedora in a covered hat box or on a covered head form to prevent dust settling onto the hat. Store upside down to prevent the brim from becoming misshapen. Cover your most valuable hats with a vinyl hat cover to avoid dust buildup, staining and odor accumulation.
Treat your hat with a waterproof and stain repellent spray to avoid moisture damage, make sure to follow all instructions on the package and avoid over application to avoid damaging the fabric.
If you hat has become dull and has lost its color due to time and wear, you may want to decide to dye your hat to refresh the color. Dying may also be used to change the color of your hat. We typically recommend contacting a professional dry cleaner that specializes in dying and/or offers dyeing services.
Over time your hat will start to show natural wear regardless of the maintenance performed. Embrace your hat’s unique marks and wear, it’s what gives every hat its unique character. Every hat has a story, make it your own.