Care Instruction for Felt Hat
01 - Placing
Improper ways of placing (e.g. in a folded position) result in deformation of the hat. Placing the hat on an appropriate-shaped support like a hat rack/stand or a flat surface is recommended.
02 - Encountering rain
Felt has water-repellent quality. It can repel water in light showers but will not hold up in heavy rains. So try to avoid wearing a felt hat when the rain is heavier than a drizzle. If it really gets wet, make sure it is keeping its shape and leave it on a flat surface to dry.
03 - Cleaning
The part that gets dirty easily in a hat is usually its sweatband. It can be cleaned by water and soap, or makeup remover for greasy stains.
For the felt hat itself, use simple tools such as a lint roller or soft brush to remove dust on the felt surface. If there’s a minor stain, use cotton or tissue to dab alcohol onto the stained area, and then wipe clean with a piece of wet cloth.
In the case of heavy stains, it is possible to wet the hat completely to clean, but remember this requires reshaping the hat from scratch. Immerse the hat in slightly warm water and wash gently by hand with soap. Squeeze the water out by hand and then spin-dry. Shape the hat into its original form or the intended shape when it is still wet.
04 - Reshaping
Wool felt is like a soft sculpture and has memory quality. You can form the felt into a desired shape when wet, and it will retain such a shape after it becomes dry.
If you want to instantly adjust the shape of the hat, you could put the kettle on or use a steam iron and put the hat over hot steam to soften the felt. You then shape the softened felt by hand until you achieve a desired result and let it dry. You will be surprised how just a tea kettle can help shape your hat!
However, felt hats can get floppier over time. Besides reshaping your hat with steam, if you hope the shape to remain longer, you may also spray cloth stiffener inside the top of the hat and under the brim of the hat.
05 - Long-term storage
Felt is animal fibers and is susceptible to damage by insects/household pests, especially when more grease and dirt is adhered to felt. Therefore hats should be cleaned and placed in breathable and sealed bags before long term storage. Attention needs to be paid so the shape of the hat is not compromised.
Insect repellants (e.g. mothball) do help deter bugs, but should not directly touch felt hats.