If you like to wear cowboy hats, you must know how to care for and store them properly! Hats may be made from a variety of different materials, including felt and straw. Here at Gone Country Hats, we are experts whose advice you can trust. Below, we discuss some of the best care and storage methods for western hats.
Proper Cowboy Hat Removal
A brimmed hat should be placed on and removed from your head while holding on to the brim. It's best not to hold the crown, or the part that sits on your head. Even though you see it in the movies, holding the front of the crown when you put a cowboy hat on and off can indent it unless you’re holding on to a large surface area. Holding the front of the crown can also deposit oils from your fingers that stain the hat.
Proper Short-Term Cowboy Hat Storage
If you’re just taking your cowboy hat off for a few minutes or a few hours, you don’t need to store it as meticulously as you would if you were taking it off for days, weeks, or even months.
If a coat rack is available, hang your hat on it. For stand-alone coat racks, hang your hat as far up as possible. This will prevent it from becoming misshapen due to any coats that people hang up later. For wall-mounted coat racks, hang your hat far away from other coats and hats on the rack. If no coat rack is available, you’ll have to store it another way. As tempting as it may be, you should never store your hat on a lampshade, especially if the lamp is in use (tried that, it wasn't pretty).
Unless your hat has a flat brim, lay it crown-down on a flat surface. This will prevent the brim from flattening while it’s not on your head. Just be sure to put it up on a high surface, as we all know how much damage a curious pet can do to our favorite hat.
If you’re traveling on a plane and don’t have a hat carrier with you, you can ask the flight attendant to store it in a safe place. You can also rest it on your lap for the duration of the flight. You should never store a loose hat in the overhead luggage compartment, as suitcases can shift and may squish it (ask us how we know).
While at a restaurant or bar with no coat/hat check available, the best choice is to simply keep the hat on your head. You don’t want to put it on the floor, have it take up space on your dining table, or risk it falling off the back of your chair!
Long-Term Cowboy Hat Storage
When storing your cowboy hat for an extended period, consider investing in a mannequin head or hat cone to retain the shape. Ideally, you should keep your hats covered to prevent any dust accumulation over time.
There are a couple of steps you should take to prepare certain kinds of hats for long-term storage. Your felt hat, for example, should be brushed out gently with a soft horsehair brush to remove any dust. Straw hats should be gently wiped with a damp rag prior to storage.
If you have a cowboy hat you love, you want to properly care for and store it so it’ll last as long as possible. Follow this advice from Gone Country Hats, and your hats will remain in pristine condition for years to come. Contact us today to learn more!