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Tips for Removing Wrinkles From a Hat

By Taylor James


Updated on

So, your hat is wrinkled and frankly it is not looking good. How can you quickly remove those unwanted creases and start wearing your hat with confidence once again.

Steaming a hat is the best method for removing wrinkles from a hat. Steam softens the bonds in the fabric molecules of the hat without drying it out. This method is less harsh than washing a hat, which can easily cause distortion.

Read on to find out more about the best techniques for using steam to remove wrinkles and more tips to avoid damaging your hat.

Wrinkled fedora hat

Steam your hat in the bathroom

One of the gentlest ways to remove wrinkles on your hat is to take it into the bathroom when you are having a hot shower. The steam from the hot water can be enough to get to work softening the hat material enough to eradicate those unwanted creases. Don’t get your hat wet in the process though as this may do more harm than good.

Steam your hat over a kettle or pot of boiling water

Using the steam from boiling water is a very effective way of removing stubborn creases. Be very careful not to put your hands under the steam as it will be very hot. It is advisable to steam small sections of the hat at a time to keep better control over the process.

What type of hat fabric responds best to steaming?

The hat fabrics made from both natural and synthetic fibres can respond well to steaming. Typically natural fibres are more prone to wrinkles compared to synthetic materials.

Hats made from cotton are relatively easy to take care of. Baseball caps and bucket hats are examples of hats that are often made of cotton. Removing wrinkles from these hats should be straight forward.

Wool also responds very well to steaming but as it can be quite delicate, so less heat is required. Often beanies and cloche hats are made from wool. Great care needs to be taken when washing wool hats, so gentle steaming works well to remove unwanted creases.

Silk hats also respond very well to steaming. Hats such as top hats, bowler hats and other fine hats are often made of silk. As with wool, however, it is important that silk is not exposed to too much heat.

Linen hats are also ideal for steaming. Hats such as summer flat caps are often made of linen. Linen is extremely prone to creases due to its stiff fabric. This stiffness can be great for keeping us cool in the summer heat but keeping a linen hat looking wrinkle free can be a challenge. Linen hats will hold up under hotter temperatures and will need to be steamed for longer to get the desired results.

Straw hats can be steamed and reshaped. Panama hats are good example of straw hats that can become creased if not folded correctly. This guide to folding a panama hat will help to reduce creases.

Synthetic materials such as polyester also respond well to steaming and will often crease less to begin with. A lower level of heat is required to remove wrinkles from a polyester hat. Too much heat can cause damage to synthetic materials.

Are there any hat materials that should not be steamed?

Caution should used if steaming a waxed hat as the heat will likely melt the wax layer applied to the hat. Fabrics such as velvet, which are delicate should be treated very gently. Caution should also be applied to leather hats, although gentle steaming should be fine. It is always wise to start by applying steam to only a small section of hat first to avoid any costly mistakes.

Avoid ironing your hat where possible

While it is certainly possible to iron a hat it does requite some careful consideration and preparation. It is rarely a good idea to apply an iron directly to hat fabric as the risk of burning and discoloration are high. Ironing if not done carefully can also add unwanted creases. Because hats can’t be laid flat like clothes it makes the process of ironing a hat more difficult.

If you are facing a stubborn crease that steaming does not remove then ironing may be an option. Always start with the iron on a low temperature. To avoid putting creases in the wrong places it is advised to stuff the hat first in order to set the shape you wish the hat to hold.

Final Thoughts

Give steam a try before using other methods to remove wrinkles from your hat. Always start on small area and adjust intensity where needed. Use a brush after steaming to hep reshape your hat. Ultimately prevention is better than cure so be careful when packing your hat. Check out this guide for tips when packing a hat in a suitcase.

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.