Cowboy hats are timeless fashion accessories that exudes style and class. Whether you’re heading out to a rodeo or just want to add a touch of western flair to your outfit, a cowboy hat can be the perfect finishing touch. However, over time, cowboy hats can become misshapen or lose their shape, making them look less than their best. This guide will help you understand how to stretch a cowboy hat to restore its original shape and ensure it fits properly.
Understand Cowboy Hat Sizing Before Stretching
Before you start stretching your cowboy hat, it’s important to understand how hat sizing works. Hats are measured in inches, and the size of the hat corresponds to the circumference of the head. A size 7 cowboy hat, for example, would fit someone with a head circumference of 7 inches. It’s important to note that cowboy hats typically run one size small, so a person with a head measurement of 7 inches would actually need a size 8 cowboy hat.
How to Determine if Your Cowboy Hat Needs Stretching
If your cowboy hat feels tight or uncomfortable, or if it’s difficult to put on or take off, then it may be too small and in need of stretching. You can check the size of your hat by measuring the circumference of your head with a tape measure or a string, and then comparing it to the size of the hat.
Stretching the Crown of Your Cowboy Hat
One of the most common areas that needs stretching on a cowboy hat is the crown. To stretch the crown, you will need a bowl or can that is slightly larger than the crown of the hat. Fill the bowl or can with hot water and place it inside the crown of the hat. Allow the hat to sit for several minutes, then gently press down on the crown to stretch it out. Be careful not to press too hard, as this can damage the hat. Repeat this process as necessary until the crown of the hat is the desired size.
Stretching the Brim of Your Cowboy Hat
If the brim of your cowboy hat is too tight or too narrow, you can stretch it out using a similar method. Wet the brim with hot water and then use your hands to gently stretch and pull the brim until it’s the desired shape. You can also use a hat jack or a wooden hat stretcher to stretch the brim, but be careful not to overstretch it. This can cause the brim to lose its shape or become too big for certain activities such as driving with a cowboy hat.
Caring for Your Stretched Cowboy Hat
After stretching your cowboy hat, it’s important to take proper care of it to ensure that it retains its shape and fit. Always store your hat on a hat rack or in a hat box to help it retain its shape, and avoid exposing it to extreme heat or humidity. If your hat gets dirty or stained, use a mild detergent and a soft brush to clean it. You can also take your cowboy hat to a professional hat cleaner or hatter for proper cleaning, blocking, or reshaping.
Stretching a cowboy hat can be an easy process that can restore its original shape and ensure a comfortable fit. It’s important to measure the size of the head to determine if stretching is needed, and to be gentle when stretching the hat, to avoid damaging it. Remembering to take proper care of your hat, can ensure that it will remain in great shape for years to come. With the right techniques, a cowboy hat can be worn for any occasion, whether you’re out on a ranch or just going for a casual night out with friends.