How to stretch out a hat?

Discussion in 'The Haberdashery' started by sid3000, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. I have a fedora that I adore but it's a little tight nowadays. I tried lightly pulling it in a few different directions but nothing changed. Can alterations or perhaps a different method make my hat a big bigger?
  2. AFG


    Buy a hat stretcher. They're about $20. I have one I'm not using, contact me by PM if interested.
  3. Oh, a hat stretcher, I knew that :whistling:
  4. djh

    djh Moderator

    Or if you have no joy with a hat-stretcher, any proper hat store should be able to re-block the hat for you and make it a little larger.
  5. How about a head shrinker instead?:biggrin1::blink::lol:
  6. I stretch out just about any hat I wear on account of my huge melon! You pay shipping, and I'd gladly rock your fedora for a day or 2! :thumbup:
  7. What I have done is to soak the hat in water, and wear it (at home) when it's still wet for an hour or so. Worked with both my leather and wool hat.
  8. I take it there's no way to stretch palm fiber?
  9. Yessir, there is. Gettin' it wet will do the trick. It will stretch out, but if it's not blocked or worn until dry, it will shrink again. When I'm caught in the rain wearing mine, I know it will shrink when I take it off and it dries. So ... it's either wear until dry or dunk and soak it next time I want to wear it to stretch it out again. Either way I'm wearin' a soggy hat.

    Also, there a couple of different palm type hats; those that are glued together, and those that are sewn. The glued ones don't take kindly to water.
  10. Is this what your are looking for ?


    I know, I know. I am clown :lol:
  11. Ummm....Harbor Freight has that same hat stretcher for less than half what they are getting for it on the Amazon link...
  12. I soaked it in warm water and wore it for the past hour. It was kind of uncomfortable because the hat was tight (which is why Im stretching it) and the water was getting cold. Used a hair dryer to speed up the drying before I got pnemonia! :lol:
  13. The "wet and wear" method works great for fur felt hats. The stretchers do the same thing, really but with the option to go a touch larger than your natural noggin would do.

    I've heard you can go up about a quarter size, but no more than that. It's easier to by them slightly large and shrink them down than stretch them out, and if they are slightly too large, you can "shim" them with foam tape or folded up paper under the leather sweatband.
  14. It's not the most comfertable way yo do it, but did you get it stretch out?
  15. It's definitely looser than before but still a bit snug for my preference. I may try it again in the next couple days or grab one of the stretchers from harbor freight.
  16. You could also try to put it onto a ball of some kind with the right size.
  17. The way I do mine is simple, though best done in private as you look an idiot!

    First turn the band out, especially if it a decent leather one. Get a pan of boiling water or a kettle and steam gently around the outside of the hat where the hatband is. This will soften the felt.

    Here comes the idiot bit. I take a thin glass drying cloth and drape it over my head and then put the hat on, pulling it down well. Sit with it on for ten minutes.

    The cloth does two things, 1. it makes your head slightly larger making that hat into a comfortable fit when it cools and sets and 2. it stops you scalding your head!

    I do this with most of my fedoras and trilbies from time to time. It has the advantage of actually blocking the hat to your head shape, as well as loosening it somewhat.

    Have fun


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