Cowboy Hat Care

Our Six Gun cowboy hat with a hat stretcher in it, sitting on our wooden hat stand. The best way to display your hat.

Cowboy Hat Care

Traditional Cowboys seldom cleaned their Cowboy Hat – other than a simple slap with their hand, or against their leg as they picked themselves up. A rinsing was something rain or snow provided, or the hat got a bath when it’s owner did. Good Hats were for the wealthy, a Range Cowboy made do with one – for every occasion. We subscribe to the traditionalist way – let your custom beaver fur-felt cowboy hat age gracefully with you!

  • Ever wonder why your cowboy hat seems to shrink if it hasn’t been worn in a few weeks or months? This is one of the most common problems that hat owners experience. The reason is fairly straight forward. When you wear a cowboy hat chances are you will sweat in it, which will get the leather sweat band wet, sometimes even really wet. Then the hat is taken off and not worn again for a week or 2 or maybe months. During this time the leather sweat band dries out, thus causing the leather to shrink slightly, causes the fit to tighten up. Generally wearing your hat for a day will stretch it out again, but if you have our hat retainer/stretcher – this little tool will either keep the size and fit correct, as the sweatband/hat dries, or stretch it out for comfort when the fit tightens.
  • If you sweat up your hat make sure you wipe the sweat band and hat liner down every day. Sweat is acidic in nature and is a breading ground for bacteria, and will rot any material over time. After a sweaty day in your hat, it should be wiped down with a damp cloth with mild dish soap on the sweat band and hat liner, anywhere you sweated. Then put the hat stretcher in it to hold the size as it dries overnight. A hat is no different than a pair of jeans, shirt or socks and underwear. It is worn against your skin and should be cleaned as described. You’d never wear a pair of jeans for 5 years without cleaning it, the same standard should be applied to your hats. 
  • When your hat gets wet let it dry naturally. Don’t put it in the furnace room or use a blow dryer on it! Put a hat retainer/stretcher in the hat to hold the proper size. A good hat is similar to a pair of jeans; the hat will shrink slightly when wet and stretch out when worn again. Our wooden hat stretcher is a very useful tool to keep all your hats fitting properly, for a small price.
  • When your hat gets dirty or dusty, easiest way to clean it is with a hat brush, or even better vacuum it with a shop vac. Careful with the shop vac – only for quality working hats!
  • Never lay your hat brim down! NEVER! EVER! This puts a lot of stress on the brim and will cause it to lose its shape. Be sure that you place the hat on its crown with the brim up, if no other option is available.
  • Hang the hat on a hat stand, coat hook, or some other such perch. That way the curled part of the brim is not taking any weight. Our wooden hat stand is a great alternative.
  • KEEP THE BOX YOUR CUSTOM HAT COMES IN FOR MOVING OR TRAVEL. Hard plastic “hat cans” are also a great solution for travel and storage. If you are storing your hat for an extended period – put it in a bag as dust will damage your hat over time – but be sure to leave the bag open slightly to allow air to circulate. If you don’t mildew may occur. Never store your hat for extended periods of time upside down, gravity will act on it and the shape will distort.
  • Always try to leave your hat in a cool, dry environment. NEVER in direct sunlight – or fading may occur. Probably not the best idea to leave it in your vehicle.
  • Should you spill whiskey, beer or some other tasty beverage on your hat, once you stop crying; rinse the spot immediately with COLD WATER ONLY! If you use warm water it can set the stain. Once the fur-felt is dry, brush with a hat brush, or an old toothbrush, to bring the nap back.
  • If you get chocolate or some other sticky substance on your hat let it dry before attempting to clean. Grab a small knife and gingerly scrap the crud off. If you want to try returning it to like new – there are numerous commercial cleaners available for your Cowboy Hat. Most large western wear chains have a selection to choose from.

Disclaimer! Supplied as information only – your own common sense should always be followed.

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Re-enactor friends of the last best west


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