How To Stretch a Felt Cowboy Hat – Tips And Tricks

How To Stretch a Felt Cowboy Hat? You may be finding it hard getting a comfortable fit from your new felt cowboy hat. Don’t be alarmed.

 Several individuals have this complaint with the first purchase of a cowboy hat.

Fortunately, stretching your hat is an easy process that you can do at home with just a few simple steps. 

This article will show you how to stretch a felt cowboy hat using safe and effective methods. 

By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to achieve a custom fit for your cowboy hat, making it more comfortable and stylish to wear. Let’s get started! 

Table of Contents

Can You Stretch a Cowboy Hat?

straw flax woven stetson

(straw flax woven stetson)

Can you stretch a cowboy hat?

You can! You can stretch your cowboy hat to a desired shape and size. Of course, you need to know and apply the most suitable methods for your cowboy hat.

Straw and leather cowboy hats are delicate and need the right stretching approach to avoid damaging them.

Felt cowboy hats are durable, and many ways can work for stretching them without damage to the hats.

For instance, steaming a straw hat will likely damage it, yet steaming is good for felt hats. 

Things to Remember Before Stretching or Reshaping a Cowboy Hat:

Before stretching your cowboy hat, look out for some essential things.

You need to know the type of hat you are reshaping and the methods that work for that type of hat.

You also want to avoid anything that will cause your cowboy hat damage. 

Check Your Cowboy Hat Type

Cowboy hats come in different forms, which include felt, cotton, straw, polyester, and leather. 

Checking your cowboy hat type is the first thing to do before you stretch it.

You will then know the most suitable method to stretch the hat and avoid practices that won’t suit your hat. 

Check Your Cowboy Hat Label

A label always comes attached to your cowboy felt hat. Check the label. It will tell you how to maintain and utilize your hat.

You will also find instructions on the proper method for stretching your hat. Pay careful attention to these instructions. 

Avoid Steaming Leather Cowboy Hats

vintage cowboy leather hat

(vintage cowboy leather hat)

Steaming is not a good option for leather hats because the heat and moisture destroy the hat. Consider other stretching methods when it comes to stretching your leather hat.

If you are steaming a cowboy hat with a leather band around it, wipe off the moisture from the band with a towel. 

Avoid Overstretching Your Cowboy Hat

Whether using your hand or a hat stretcher, be careful not to pull too hard on your felt cowboy hat.

Overstretching your cowboy hat will cause it to lose its shape or tear. You do not want this to happen; hence, pull gently on your hat when stretching. 

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Avoid drying your cowboy felt hat under direct sunlight since the heat will damage the hat. The best way to dry a cowboy hat is to hang it on a hatstand and let it dry by natural air.

You should also know that using a hair dryer to dry your hat will cause damage.

Different Methods For Stretching Or Reshaping Your Hat?

Not all methods work for stretching your cowboy hat. While some techniques are adequate, others will only cause tearing and damage to the hat.

In this section, you will find different ideas on stretching your felt cowboy hat to the desired shape and size. 

Break It In

smiling girl in a felt cowboy hat

(smiling girl in a felt cowboy hat)

The most natural way to reshape your cowboy felt hat is to keep wearing it until it takes the shape of your head. The more you wear the hat, the more it expands to suit the size of your head.

Stretching your hat by this method may take longer than other methods, but it works perfectly.

Spray And Stretch

Spray and stretch involve using only water and a spray bottle. Fill a spray bottle. The water should be lukewarm. Spray it along the inner and outer crown of your felt hat.

While spraying, be careful not to let the hat get soaked; excess moisture will kill your hat. For the spray and stretch method to work effectively, wear it on your head to dry.

Wearing the hat ensures it expands to fit your head size as it gets dry.

Using Steam to Shape Your Hat

Steaming is an effective way of stretching felt cowboy hats; it also works for straw cowboy hats. You can use the steam off your boiled water to reshape the hat.

You start by boiling water in a kettle and then placing your hat over the steam so it softens. Use a tong to hold your hat over the boiling water to avoid getting burned.

After steaming, reshape the hat with your hands; pull gently so it doesn’t tear or damage. Place the felt hat on a hatstand to dry in a cool, dry place.

Direct sunlight is not suitable for your felt hat, so avoid this method of drying your hat. 

Use Hat Stretching Tools

gas mask hat holder

(gas mask hat holder)

Hat stretching is the most effective way of stretching your felt cowboy hat. The hat stretcher is an excellent choice for those who want to expand their hat.

You first need to attach the hat stretcher to the inner crown of the hat and hold it over boiling water.

After steaming the hat, twist the hat stretcher to expand the hat to your desired shape.

It would help to leave the hat stretcher in place for a while, then dry the hat on a hatstand.

Use A Soccer Ball

You can use a soccer ball to stretch your felt hat to a desired shape and size.

The first thing you need to do is to soften the hat. You can use a spray bottle filled with lukewarm water or steam the hat over boiling water.

Next, fit a soccer ball into the hat and leave it there overnight. Repeat the process if the felt hat has yet to stretch to your desired size by the following day. 


mafioso wearing a felt cowboy hat

(mafioso wearing a felt cowboy hat)

Now you know how to stretch your felt cowboy hat, don’t waste any more time. Just follow the rules on stretching your felt cowboy hat, so it doesn’t get impaired.

Watch out for the instructions on the label attached to your felt hat. Avoid sunlight, and don’t pull too hard on your felt hat when stretching.

If you follow this read appropriately, you will have no problem resizing your felt cowboy hat.

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