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thesugarlady

Any Tips For Reshaping A Western Hat?

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I'm in a bind right now. I have a show coming up Saturday, and can't find anybody within an hour drive that can reshape hats.

I have a felt hat that I've had for at least 15 years that needs some tweeking and hopefully, just a bit of reshaping. (it's not one of those "el cheapos" either. It's a nice western, beaver hat.)

Is this something I can do myself?

A little background, I'm am artsy-fartsy by nature, have plenty of experience in sculpting using many mediums, so I'm not your typical never done anything crafty person. I am a master of BS magivering.

It just needs a little tweeking, as it hasn't been worn in 10+ years, and it's curled up slightly in the front, instead of sloping down. ( I probably didn't store it right.)

I got too used to growing up in MS, I could hop over the the local Cowboy Corner, hand my hat to the nice man in the back, and could watch him reshape my hat in minutes. Ugg, anybody near me said they'll take at least a week.

Edited by The Sugar Lady

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Do you have a tea kettle? Get it steaming good, then hold the hat about 10 inches above the steam until slightly damp. Then start hand shaping it the way you want it. Keep repeating the process until you get it where you want it. Then gently hold the brim in shape until the felt dries. Slow process. This is just a quickie band-aid until you can get it to the pros. Always set your hat upside down on the crown. Helps preserve the brim.

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I was taught to shape hats by a pro. :smilie: I suck compared to him but i do know a little about it.

Yes, Jazz is correct, get a tea kettle going. Dampen the hat with steam until it becomes pliable. Gentle, small movements, no big changes. If you have to steam it to make it fit (sometimes hats shrink in storage), steam where it's tight and then put it on and wear it awhile, it will shape to your head.

HTTY & GBTUSA

BUMPER

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Straws are a lost cause when they get bent.

Wool felt is cheap...it doesn't reshape well.

HTTY & GBTUSA

BUMPER

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I got caught in a pre~barrel race gulley washer rainstorm wearing a palm once.

Gooey gluey crap drooled off of that hat while it all but melted around me. I wore it dry and it survived as I recall. My love of palm hats didn't.

I've steam shaped straws and my palm .... be careful how wet you get them. Deal with a straw/palm? One season hat. Who cares if the shaping experiment goes south?

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I used to shape hats at two different western stores I worked at. Was taught by a custom hat maker that made my felt. I love that hat, it is now a tad to small and I have to steam the inside a bit before I wear it to not get a headache. But to the question at hand, yes tea kettles are your best friend here or a small pot of water. You want a good small steady stream of steam to get the hat maluable(sp). Then little by little work with it. Don't be afraid to use a clean counter, your arm, leg or any other body part to fix your hat. I love to use a counter for a nice crisp front corner and use your forearm for a nice rounding effect.

If you don't have a tea kettle, does anyone else you know so you could borrow it. Or do you have any western stores around you that have a steamer that you yourself can use. If you know a dry cleaner, they have garment steamers that can work as well. Just throwing a few more ideas out there in hopes it helps. Oh and one more thing, the lower the X's the less it will hold the shape and stay. The higher the X's the better it will shape and stay true to form. A XXXX will only hold for a while before giving out unless you put a stiffner on it. At least that is what I have found from my experience.

Good luck

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I now keep my hat parked atop a hat stretcher. Got it for a few bucks at a garage sale. I just put it in and tighten it snug and it keeps my hat from shrinking down tight. I want to make something shaped like the hat stretcher but on a stand, so I can park my hat there. It's called a hat saddle.

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I need one of those hat stretchers!!!! I'm glad ya'll said that about the hat shrinking. I surely thought I was just getting a fat head. (My husband would probably agree to that one. Ha Ha)

I took the day of before the show, so now, I'm sitting at home, with a pan of water (no tea kettle) slowly trying to stretch my hat, and shape it a little at a time. Nothing like the hpic of me, still in my jammies, in glasses, with bed head, sitting at the computer with a cowboy hat on that's cutting off circulation to my brain. LOL

I wish I'd taken before pics, I'm kinda proud how it's coming along. I steam a little bit, shape it, hit it with steam in the crown, and stick it on for a bit, and study what else I need to change. It no longer resembles an amish hat. LOL

EDA...I checked the inside of the crown, the hat's an xxxxx. So is that good or bad? I thought I understood the xxx post, but now I'm not sure sure. (Perhaps I need to take the hat back off, to get some blood flowing!)

Edited by The Sugar Lady

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I need one of those hat stretchers!!!! I'm glad ya'll said that about the hat shrinking. I surely thought I was just getting a fat head. (My husband would probably agree to that one. Ha Ha)

I took the day of before the show, so now, I'm sitting at home, with a pan of water (no tea kettle) slowly trying to stretch my hat, and shape it a little at a time. Nothing like the hpic of me, still in my jammies, in glasses, with bed head, sitting at the computer with a cowboy hat on that's cutting off circulation to my brain. LOL

I wish I'd taken before pics, I'm kinda proud how it's coming along. I steam a little bit, shape it, hit it with steam in the crown, and stick it on for a bit, and study what else I need to change. It no longer resembles an amish hat. LOL

EDA...I checked the inside of the crown, the hat's an xxxxx. So is that good or bad? I thought I understood the xxx post, but now I'm not sure sure. (Perhaps I need to take the hat back off, to get some blood flowing!)

[ROTFL] I hope your hat stretches before your head gets too squished!

If you lived closer to me I could have loaned you mine.

And you would have saved the blood supply to your brain!

Good Luck at the show, have lots of fun and take pics!

[smiley Wavey]

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A 4X is the base model of hat and what is most widely sold. My hat is a 10X but most of my hats before that were 4X's. The higher the X's the more beaver fur it is. They are now substituting beaver fur in hats with buffalo fur over the last few years. So your hat will be all rabbit and beaver since it is an older model. The older hats even the 4X were great for holding shape and shapeability. But the newer ones really are not good quality.

I'm glad your hat is coming along, feels good doesn't it :smilie:

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I'm really starting to hate that wet, melty feeling I have on my skin when I put the hat on right after steaming it. I'm always scared it's melting my hair. [shocked]

It's still cutting off circulation to my head, but seeing as how I'm only going to be wearing it for a few minutes during my classes, I'll be okay. Who needs to think anyway. LOL

Once I get the finished product together, I'll take a pic.

Thanks for the info brlracr624. That would explain why my hat's held it's shape pretty well through the years. I think I got the thing when I was about 11, and I'm now 29. Other than it occasionally looking amishy once every few years, I've never had any problems. I only had it reshaped once or twice before that I can remember.

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Anything below a 4x is crap. I wear a 10x and hubby has a 10x as well. We like ours, as they are easier to shape and hold the shape well. Good luck in your show, if you get this before you leave.

Dianne

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How did you do at the show?

And as for the tightness....your head has grown since you were 11 so for a class or two yea it might be ok, but man I'm getting a headache just thinking about that.

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