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June 16, 2022 4 min read

How To Fix a Hat

Has your hat ever been misshapen from taking it on vacation, keeping it in storage, or letting a friend borrow it? If you said yes to any of those, this blog is for you! Whether you are a Gigi Pip hat collector or you've just made your first purchase, we are letting you in on the hat expert's secret tohow to fix a hat.

How to Reshape a Felt Hat With a Steamer

  1. Steam the area of your hat that needs to be reshaped.
  2. Make sure you can feel the material soften slightly.
  3. Use your hands to push out the dents + straighten the brim.
  4. Let the hat cool.

 Olive Rue flat brim felt hat

Fixing your hat's crushed areas is the most straightforward with a steamer. Let the steam envelope the hat one section at a time. The steam will make this area softer and more pliable so you can easily reshape that specific spot with your hands. Avoid letting the hat get too wet - if this starts to happen, let it dry out and take another pass at it a few minutes later. 

There are multiple ways you can steam out a dented crown, a wavy brim, + anything in between using an industrial steamer or a handheld clothing steamer you can get from any store like Target. You can also boil a pot of water at home, or even throw it in the bathroom to steam while you shower. 

Here at Gigi Pip, we use an industrial steamer because we have a large volume of hats to handle every day. Don't worry, no matter what device you have, we’re here to walk you through each option! 

How to Fix a Hat with a Boiling Pot 

Don't have a steamer on hand? No biggie, you can boil water in a tea kettle or a regular pot you would use for cooking. As the water boils, hold your hat about a foot from the steam, or open the tea kettle and let the steam roll out onto your hat one section at a time. If you’re a fan of multitasking, simply set your hat on the bathroom sink + let the steam from your shower work its magic. 


How to Fix a Hat Using a Hot Shower

Steam your hat by turning on the shower to a hot setting. Remember to shut the door to keep the steam in. Keep in mind you want the hat to get steamed but not too wet. Hang your cute hat away from the water's steam on the back of the door, or set it on the bathroom sink for about 20 minutes or so + that should do the trick! This method also works great for floppy hats that have creases in them + is a good first step when restoring a bent brim after major damage.


How to Reshape a Bent Hat Brim

Maude cinnamon pencil brim felt hat

To fix a bent hat brim, steam the area until it becomes pliable. You can then use your hands to work the brim into your hat’s original shape. We recommend using a flat, clean surface to guide you as you reshape the brim. 


How to Restore an Upturned Brim

Rancher-style hats like our bestselling Monroe + our popular Zephyr hat upturned brims. They’re flat near the break line, where the crown meets the brim, then the brim begins to turn up slightly toward the edge. 


An upturned brim takes a little more technique to steam. Near the break line, you’ll want to flatten it evenly all the way around. When you’re happy with that part, aim some steam underneath the brim near the edges. Gently reshape the brim back to its original form. This type of brim will take more finesse than a more relaxed floppy brim. 


Reshaping a Floppy Brim 

Reshaping a floppy hat brim can easily be done with the shower or boiling pot method. Just keep in mind the brim is designed to be floppy and hold less of a shape. Floppy felt hats need less steam, similar to a straw hat. 


How to Reshape a Crushed Straw Hat

Boater style women's straw hat

Straw hats or sun hats might get smashed going to or from your vacation destination. With time, steam, + technique you can fix your straw hat. 

Whenfixing straw hats, make sure the steam is not too much for the type of straw you’re working with. Start with the brim of the hat and work your way around. Shape it as you steam. 

Lay the brim flat using any kind of weights you have around, like books, so that the brim dries evenly. The crown of your hat will dry in the shape you’ve molded it into whether it’s a boater or fedora. 


Tips for Reshaping a Fedora Hat

flat brim brown fedora

Everything from a smashed brim to a dent in the crown can cause you to need to reshape your fedora. Using steam to loosen up the wool fibers is a great start. Use these simple tips to get your hat back into its original shape:

  • Use both hands to guide steamed sections of the hat back where they need to be. You can use an open palm for large, flat areas like the brim, and your fingers to focus on smaller parts such as a pinched crown. 
  • Be sure to check the overall shape of the fedora every few adjustments so that the general shape keeps moving in the right direction. 
  • The brim is one of the most classic elements of the fedora. Use photos for inspiration + as a reminder of the style of your brim while reshaping it so it ends up looking new! 
  •  Felt hats sometimes require just steaming the brim. Make sure it is heated evenly and work your way around the hat until it's back to its initial shape.

If you need to reshape your hat no matter the condition it’s in, the material it’s made of, or the style, you now have the knowledge + the confidence to do it! Your favorite hat can always be fixed with our tips + techniques for steaming, restoring, + reshaping your felt or straw hat.   xx