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Tips For Replacing a Ribbon on a Hat

By Taylor James


Updated on

Hat ribbons can make all the difference to a hat. Not only do they help bring a hat to life but also complement the colors in an outfit. Overtime a ribbon may need replacing, either due to general wear and tear or because you want to give your hat a fresh look.

If you are not sure how to go about changing the ribbon on your hat then this simple guide should be a useful start.

1. Prep your hat

If you want to replace the ribbon and add a new one, remove the old ribbon along with the remaining trims. If you see old adhesive marks, clean them with a small damp cloth dipped in dishwashing liquid. Straw and wool hats can be cleaned with a dry brush.

2. Reshape the hat

Gently reshape your hat on a round form or over a rolled newspaper or towel. Once your hat is free from marks and is nicely shaped, you are all set to proceed with ribbon replacement. Using steam can help when reshaping a hat.

3. Measure the hat

Measure the hat’s circumference at the base. Make sure your tape measure is at the widest part of the crown of the hat where the new ribbon will go.

4. Cut the ribbon

Cut the ribbon approximately 4 inches longer than the measurement of the hat. You won’t need more than an inch or two but it’s good to have some extra for safety which you can always trim later.

5. Iron the ribbon

Once secured on the hat removing any creases on the ribbon will be difficult. A creased ribbon will tarnish the look of even the nicest hat, so ensuring your ribbon is well pressed is an important step.

6. Place the ribbon

Lay the ribbon flat against the crown and hand stitch the hat band in a place where the ribbon ends join. You can even consider making easily removable hat bands by joining the ribbon ends with elastic and hiding the elastic with an embellishment like a flat ribbon bow. If your hat already has a bow attached then be careful to line up the bow before securing the ribbon.

You can also buy pre-sized hooked ribbons that will make the job much easier. Just be sure to buy the correct size. Fitting the ribbon will just require lining up the small hooks on the ribbon at the most appropriate place on your hat. Some replacement ribbons are stretchy and designed simply to be placed on the hat, such as this one on Amazon. While these can work, getting the correct fit is crucial.

Accessorize your hat if needed

Brooches and or tassels can be used in innovative ways to give your hat a style upgrade and make a fashion statement. Pick embellishments and decorations that work well with the color and style of your ribbon as well as your hat.

Final thoughts

While these steps are fine for basic ribbons, for more elaborate or expensive hat bands consider taking your hat to an expert. For ease of use and for people wanting to change the ribbons on their hats more regularly, then pre-sized hooked ribbons may be an ideal option.

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.