Dirty hats always bother us, especially felt fedora hats, so how to clean them? This article will tell you. Let us go step by step.
First, let's explain what felt is. It starts with wool, a natural fiber from sheep. After high temperature, fumigation and extrusion, the wool fibers are fused together to form wool felt.
The cleaning instructions we outline here apply to wool felt hats, not all felt hats, while felt can also be made from rabbits, beavers, chinchillas, or other furry animals.
Just as you need to be careful when cleaning suede, leather or straw hats, it's important to take a gentle approach when cleaning felt hats.
The best way is cleaning it after each wear. This may sound extreme, but it doesn't actually take much time or effort.
All you need is a soft-bristled brush, such as a toothbrush or hat brush specially designed for this purpose. Gently sweep away dust or dirt in a counterclockwise direction to keep the fabric smooth. Another great tool for keeping a felt hat clean is a lint roller—just roll it through the hat's fabric to remove dust and debris. You can also just use a strip of tape and dab it on the hat.
If you store your hat properly and keep it clean regularly with a hat brush, lint roller, or tape, the cleaning process will be much easier than letting the dust settle over time. Even so, you may need to pay extra attention to some stubborn stains.
Lightly dampen a clean cloth or small sponge (makeup sponges will do) with cold water to remove dirt. Make sure the cloth or sponge is damp but not soaked with excess water. You can also use a bit of a mild cleanser if you think it's necessary - at your own discretion, of course.
Please read the directions on the cleaner carefully, be sure to use it safely on your specific hat to avoid further damage to your hat. Not all felts are created equal! Certain chemicals may stain, damage or destroy any felt with a special coating or application. Always check your label or contact your hat maker for special cleaning instructions.
Be careful with chinstraps (especially leather) and any other decorative elements; take care of them as best you can. Wipe the cloth or sponge counterclockwise in a circular motion. If the hat is dark, use a dark cloth; if the hat is white or light, use a white cloth.
For more stubborn stains, sprinkle cornstarch, baking soda, or baby powder directly on the stained area and dab it. Let the baking soda, cornstarch, or powder absorb the oil and grease for at least 20 minutes. Brush off the powder and see if the stain has been removed.
Repeat the process and allow your hat to air dry if necessary.
When cleaning felt hats, full immersion in water has a higher risk of damage to the hat, make sure to try spot cleaning the hat before attempting a full hand wash.
Fill a basin or sink with cold water, then add about a teaspoon of a non-bleach mild cleanser such as Woolite.
Test by soaking an inconspicuous area for a few minutes before submerging the entire hat in water to make sure the color doesn't fade and the fabric is intact.
Gently remove any stains with a soft bristle brush, then let sit for at least 15 minutes. Be careful with chinstraps and other decorative elements, especially ones that are easily damaged by water.
Next, submerge the entire cap in water for about 30 minutes. For heavier dirt and stains, you can soak the hat for a few hours, but make sure to check it every hour or so. Rinse the cap with running cold water and squeeze carefully to remove excess water.
Place the hat on a clean dry cloth and pat.
Air dry the hat in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight.
Proper hat storage is a big part of maintaining hats. Store it properly and it will keep its shape and look newer longer.
When not wearing a hat, keep it in a hat box or store in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Not only will this keep it as dust-free as possible, but it will keep the hat from fading. If the hat is left wet for a long time, the moisture can cause irreversible damage to the hat. Never store hats in direct sunlight or in hot, dry places, such as cars. This will also cause irreversible damage to the cap.
Store hats on hat racks or hat pins whenever possible. Note that storing hats on hooks for too long can also cause hats to lose their shape. Therefore, use pegs to store your hats for less or a short period of time, such as overnight.
As odd as it may seem, the best way to store hats is to turn them upside down so that the crown is on the bottom. Arranging hats this way keeps the brim neat. As long as the crown is placed on a clean surface and not smashed or pushed in, it should be fine. If you have more than one hat and need to save space, and they have a similar crown shape, you can nest them together.
Try to use these methods to clean and store your fedora hats.