Home > Hat Tips > Hat Stretchers Explained: Tips on Using Them

Hat Stretchers Explained: Tips on Using Them

By Taylor James


Updated on

So, you want to make your hat a little bigger? Perhaps you have purchased a second-hand hat, or the new hat you’ve bought isn’t available in a bigger size. We have put together a few tips on stretching your favorite piece of headwear safely.

In this article, we focus on a specific piece of kit to stretch your hat, but before you go out and buy one, there are a couple of things you can try first.

Hat Stretching Tips

If you try your hat on for the first time and it’s a little too snug, the best thing to do is keep wearing it. The more you wear it, the more the material will naturally loosen and fit better. This will work well if your hat only needs a little stretching.

Another way of stretching your hat only requires water and a hair dryer. Spray the outside of your hat with lukewarm water until it is damp all over (but not soaked), then grab your hair dryer and use it on the highest heat setting until your hat is nearly dry.

Then pop your hat on and leave it until it is completely dry. This method works best on softer materials, like straw or cotton, baseball hats included.

Using a Hat Stretcher

If those techniques haven’t worked for you, or you want a quicker way of stretching your hat, then you’ll need to go online and purchase a ‘Hat Stretcher.’

A hat stretch is round or oval and made of two pieces of wood, fitted together with a piece of metal, usually called a turnbuckle. This metal rod in the middle is what extends to make your hat stretch.

You can check out these popular hat stretchers on Amazon.

It only takes a few small steps using a hat stretcher;

  1. Insert the stretcher into your hat, making sure the fabric fits well around the rounded wooden pieces
  2. Either by hand or using a small wrench tool, begin turning the turnbuckle in the middle of the stretcher until it starts to make the extender bigger
  3. Just do a few turns at a time and keep taking the extender out to try on your hat; you don’t want to extend it all the way and make it too big!

Using a hat stretcher is suitable for most kinds of hats, baseball, bucket, or cowboy hats included, any hat with a softer material like cotton or leather can be stretched.

Most stretchers will help make your hat a few centimeters bigger, but it is important not to push it past its’ limits.

As you stretch it, keep an eye on the stitching; if you stretch your hat too much, it could permanently damage it! Stretch it over a slower period to get the perfect fit and keep your hat in pristine condition.

About Taylor James

As Philip Treacy once said, “How a hat makes you feel is what a hat is all about.” And on that note, I hope you enjoy your hats and find the site useful. Learn more about Hat Realm's Editorial Process.