Most if not all fur felt hats are shower-proof, and can confidently be worn in light to moderate rain without fear of the material or shape being damaged.
Constant wear in HEAVY rain will cause any hat to distort and potentially shrink over time. Let your hat dry naturally, away from any heat source, while resting on its crown.
Brush counter-clockwise with a soft-bristle brush to remove dust and light marks.
Most hats can also be treated with water-proofing spray for extra protection, but always remember to spray a test area first, to make sure the product won’t mark the felt.
Never leave your felt hat in extreme heat conditions, such as the dashboard of a car, or near a heater/radiator. This will mainly cause leather sweatbands to shrink or warp.
Some wool felt hats are produced to be ‘water resistant’ or ‘crush-proof’, and will indeed be so for a certain amount of time. At Brisbane Hatters we prefer to err on the side of caution and recommend that wool felts not be worn in the rain, or used as packable hats unless absolutely required.
Over time wool can shrink, fade, and lose it’s shape if treated roughly, and can be much trickier to repair than fur felt if this happens.
General care tips for wool hats are the same as for fur felts, but for cleaning it would also be good to keep a sticky lint-roller handy. Wool can generate more static than other materials, and that lint roller will be better for removing stubborn specs and animal hair.
Handwoven Panama hats can be just as much art as they are fashion, and some extra care should be taken when handling and wearing them.
Take you Panama hat on and off by it’s brim, and not by its pinch (the posted part of the crown). Regular handling of the pinch can cause the straw to crease and eventually split, even if the fabric is reinforced. The more that you can avoid this, the better your Panama will look and behave (and protect you!).
We recommend never wearing your Panama in the rain. The straw can absorb a small about of moisture, and this won’t damage the material itself, but prolonged dampness can make it fall out of shape. Your hat can most likely be re-blocked if this happens, but prevention is always better than a cure. Brisbane Hatters does not recommend trying to waterproof your Panama hat.
Keep Panamas and natural straw hats out of extreme heat conditions. This can dry out the straw and cause it to become brittle. If you live in a particularly hot or dry area, it’s best to spritz your Panama hat every so often with a mister (spray bottle) to stop the straw from drying out too much.
A note on rollable Panama hats: There certainly are still Panama weavers in Ecuador that make incredibly high grade, rollable hats. These exquisite pieces must be woven and shaped in a very particular way in order to make them *reliably* packable, and can sell for many thousands of dollars. Less expensive versions of rollable Panamas do certainly exist, but should always be folded as infrequently as possible to retain the integrity of the straw. Just because you ‘can’, doesn’t always mean you ’should’ when it comes to foldable hats, especially if the price seemed too good to be true.
Do not get paper hats wet. They are made of paper. They will lose their shape. Paper weave or paper braid hats can be excellent to wear in the sun, as their lightweight and inexpensive, which is especially handy if you’re on holiday, but they are not all-weather hats.
Hemp and raffia hats have a similar set of instructions. These will certainly be tougher than paper straw, but can soften considerable with exposure to moisture/rain. Stiffened hemp hats, such as those from Akubra, can be worn in showers and re-stiffened over time if need be, but for any softer styles, this should be avoided.
Cloth caps and hats generally need little care, and can be warn in almost any conditions. Exceptions to this rule would be caps containing cashmere, which should be kept out of heavy rain. If you do get caught out, let the cap dry slowly, then brush it down along the nap of the cashmere to smooth out the fibres.
A gentle spot-clean or hand wash will get out most stubborn stains using an appropriate fabric cleaner. We advise not to machine wash, soak, or dry clean your cloth hats, just to be safe.
Wipe over with a damp cloth if soiled, or dust can simply be brushed off with a soft bristle brush. To keep your hat soft and flexible for as long as possible, avoid leaving it in extreme heat (ie, on a car dashboard). If your leather hat or cap is going to see constant rain or snow, we recommend regularly treating it with a fabric water-proofer.
All leather, especially the Crackle finish roo leather hats, will show natural scarring and variations. These are not seen as flaws, but rather add to the life and story behind the hat.
Always store your hat either upside down on its crown, or on a suitable hook or hat stand. This will help maintain brim-shape, and reduce the amount of dust or muck that settles on in.
If your hats are going into storage for the off-season, we recommend using a sturdy box packed with acid-free tissue to support its brim and crown. Also throw in some silica packs (the little de-humidifiers that come in shoe boxes and new bags) and some moth-balls or lavender soap. This will reduce the chance of any nasty surprises the next time you wear it.
If something goes wrong with any of the above, please feel free to contact us at Brisbane Hatters and we can provide any repairs or maintenance that your new favourite (or old favourite!) hat requires.