7 Things You Can Do to Care for Your Stetson Hat
Since John B. Stetson made his first hat in 1865, the Stetson name has been synonymous with American Western style. Today, the large Stetson factory in Texas manufactures quality hats in many different sizes, styles, and colors, allowing this unique authentic Western tradition to carry on through the generations. The Stetson brand represents the rugged American West and the country lifestyle that we all know and love.
Stetsons are made with a percentage of real beaver fur, and the company maintains an intriguing and enigmatic reputation by hiding the exact manufacturing formula from the public. Nonetheless, every hat is beautiful, soft, and delicate. If you are a cowboy or cowgirl with a Stetson hat in your collection, you understand the company’s dedication to quality, style, and functionality. But it takes time and effort to care for your Stetson.
1. Keep it clean. There’s no need to go overboard, but it is important to clean your hat on a fairly regular basis to keep it looking its best. You might notice that Stetsons collect a lot of dust and surface dirt, and over time, the exterior can begin to appear faded and worn.
If you own a fur felt Stetson, you’ll have to be careful when doing a routine clean. Use a soft brush and rub it in counterclockwise circles, starting at the left side of the hat.
2. Keep it dry. Stetsons are made for cowboys, so they’re built to last; it’s not the end of the world if your hat gets a little damp or even wet. However, it’s advisable to learn the proper way of removing excess water from your fur felt Stetson.
Find the self-conforming leather sweatband, turn it downwards, and then rest the hat on the band so it can air-dry naturally. If you rest the hat on its brim while it’s soaking wet, it will start to lose its shape.
3. Store it in a dry place. Humidity and heat can cause severe damage to fur felt Stetsons, so it’s imperative that you find a safe place to store your hat when it’s not being worn. If you live in a warm climate, this might be easier said than done, but there are some steps you can take to make sure your hat isn’t affected too drastically by the temperature.
Radiators, stoves, and lamps are some of the most common culprits indoors, so avoid placing your hat near any of these for any long period of time. If you leave your hat on the seat of your car, the sun can spill in through the window and cause the sweatband to shrink.
4. Dry it after every time you wear it. You might not think about the damage your perspiration and hair products can inflict on your Stetson, but even after one wearing, you might notice the sweatband shrinking due to the moisture. If you use a lot of creams, gels, and hairspray, they can seep into the felt or straw.
To prevent the moisture from sinking in too deeply, take precautions. Turn down the sweatband occasionally so your hat can dry when you’re not wearing it. You can save yourself a lot of trouble in the long run if you take this small step between each time you wear your hat.
5. Don’t touch the crown. It might seem like the easiest and most natural way to pick it up and put it on, but holding your Stetson from the crown can actually damage it.
Instead, handle your hat from the brim. Grasp it from both the front and back, and be careful when putting it on. This may seem like a small, trivial thing, but it’s true–the less you touch the crown, the better your hat will look.
6. Don’t use liquid cleaners to degrease it. It’s a common misconception that you can use liquid cleaners to remove grease or water stains from a Stetson fur felt hat. These hats are made with high-quality fur, and as such, they require the utmost care when cleaning them.
If you notice an unpleasant water or grease spot on your hat, don’t worry. You can lightly rub a little baby powder or talcum powder on the surface, and the stain should disappear. Cornstarch also works.
7. Don’t store it right side up. Your hat should be stored upside down, on its crown, or in a box. Avoid storing it right side up, especially on a flat surface; the brim will start to flatten itself out if it is stored right side up for too long.
If you do choose to store it in a box, make sure the interior is clean, dry, and secure. Again, humidity and moisture can seriously affect the material of your hat.