Many people, me in the past included, might not know that we can actually wear our cowboy hat in different ways. I like to wear my hat with a brim slightly curved to bring a bold and strong Western image. How the brim curves, though, is much of personal’s choice. In addition, many people like to wear their cowboy hat with the brim lay flat. It actually how people of the original West World worn the hat. A flat brim of the cowboy hat can help them stay away from the sun.
How Should The Shape Of The Brim Of Your Cowboy Hat Is?
Although there are different trends of ways to shape a cowboy hat’s brim in the past and at the moment, nobody has the right to tell you how you should do it. The choice will all depend on your style or your requirement. That is the reason why you can have a lot of ways to shape your cowboy hat. You can buy a pre-curved cowboy hat in store with the brim stays exactly like the way you want it to stay. On the other hand, you can buy a flat cowboy hat and attempt to shape it yourself.
The idea of shaping your own cowboy hat might sound really tempting as well. You can change the shape of the cowboy hat‘s brim to whatever shape to match with your style. Not to mention that you can do this anytime on any day as well.
If you are not really confident on shaping your valuable cowboy hat, you can always bring your hat to a hat shop. I am sure the people working at the shop will be more than happy to help you out with your cowboy hat using their professional steamer.
And in case you want to shape your cowboy hat yourself, scroll down for more information.
First, let’s look at what we need to do before shaping our cowboy hat.
Luckily for all of us, it is not hard at all to shape our cowboy hat. Still, we need to know exactly what the material of the cowboy hat is in order to have a proper method of treating our cowboy hat. On the market, you can find out that the most popular materials of cowboy hats are fur felt, palm leaf and straw. Hence, there would be different steps on how to shape your cowboy hat. You can have a look at this collection of the best cowboy hats for men and women here to gain more ideas about how varied cowboy hats on the market are.
The first thing that you need to do is check the material which is used to make your cowboy hat. You can easily do so by looking for the tags that come along with the hat when you first buy it.
The next thing that you need to do is determining which shape of your cowboy hat you want to have. It should be based on your personal tastes and styles. There is no rule for a specific shape of cowboy hats. You can roll the brim of your cowboy hat one either side or both sides. You can also curve the brim all the way up. Then you can determine whether the brim should be folded up gently or sharply.
When you have in mind what you want to do with your cowboy hat, scroll down to see each step of shaping your cowboy hat for different types of fabric.
Here are the methods for shaping a cowboy hat depending on different materials:
1. How To Shape A Fur Felt Cowboy Hat
Most of the fur felt cowboy hats on the market come with flat brim so if you want the brim curving up, you need to shape the hat. There are many styles in which you can shape your brim.
Step 1: First, you need to prepare a kettle or a large pot. Make sure that it comes with an open spout for steam to come out later on.
Step 2: Fill the kettle with water and boil it for several minutes until you can see the steam coming out.
Step 3: Then bring your cowboy hat closer to the steam. Let a particular area of your cowboy hat stay above the steam for quite a while until that area becomes softer.
Note: Even if you want to curve the entire brim of your hat, just steam one specific area at the time. Otherwise, some parts of the brim might get cooled down even before you shape them.
Step 4: When the target area becomes soft, use your fingers to shape that area.
- In case you want your brim to slightly curve, just gently use your index finder and your middle finger to bend the upper brim towards the crown. Your thumb should be on the bottom of the brim to hold it.
- And provided that you want a crisper fold, press the steamed part on your tummy with the crown facing outward. Then bend the brim with a lot of pressure.
Step 5: Keep moving your fingers with the same motion and pressure until the steamed area get cooler and become firmer.
Step 6: If you want one side of the brim curved, your job is done. However, for a 2-side curved or entirely curved brim, you need to work on. Slowly rotate to the next area of the brim above the steam for steaming and repeat step 3. Try not to let the already curved part above steam for a long time as it can become softened and flattened.
Step 7: Finally, to help maintain the shape of your cowboy for a longer time, you can spray the hat with a hat stiffening spray. You can easily buy this product in various local Western stores or a hat stores.
2. How To Shape A Palm Leaf Cowboy Hat
In case your cowboy hat is made of palm leaf, you don’t use the steaming method. Instead, you would use a different method with lukewarm water.
Here is how to do so:
Step 1: First, you need to prepare a tub full of lukewarm water. Make sure that the tub is big enough for your palm leaf cowboy hat.
Step 2: Put your cowboy hat into the water. You can also put the brim only into the tub. Wait for quite a while until the hat is softened.
Step 3: When the hat is soft, take it out and let it drain off a little bit. Make sure you don’t wait for the hat to dry completely. Use your fingers to shape the brim to whatever look you prefer it to have.
Step 4: After you are done shaping the brim, put the hat in a cool dry place, ideally a hat stand, and let it dry.
3. How To Shape A Straw Cowboy Hat
You need to be careful if your cowboy hat is made from straw. There are 2 scenarios here. First scenario, there is no inner wire inserted around the outer bound of the brim. In this case, you can’t shape the brim as doing so will damage the material. Second scenario, there is an inner wire inside the brim. In this case, you can shape your cowboy really easy.
If an inner wire is attached to the brim of your hat, it can be woven directly into the straw. It can also be separated from the straw fabric and wrapped with a decorative layer to cover the metal brim.
All you need to do is finding the wire and gently bend it to whatever shape you like. One significant advantage of having a straw cowboy hat with inner wire is that you can try to shape it as many times as you want. And it won’t take long for you to shape it as well.
Finally, here are some tips you should know about shaping your cowboy hats:
- These methods above are used to shape your cowboy hats. Not only that, you can use these steps to reshape any cowboy hats with curved brim.
- After shaping your cowboy hat, you shouldn’t lay it down with the brim facing down. Doing so would ruin its shape. You should always store your cowboy hat in a special box or hang it in a hat rack. This article here Tips On Taking Good Care Of Your Hat provide some other tips on caring and maintaining your cowboy hat.
- Fur felt are different from wool material. Don’t steam your cowboy hat if it is made from wool.
- While you steam your cowboy hat, steam the brim from the outside. If you steam from the inside, the hot steam will damage the leather sweatband.
- In case your cowboy hat is of light color, use latex gloves while handling the hat to make sure your skin oils will not get into the hat.
As you can see, it is not hard at all to shape one’s cowboy hat, regardless of whether it is made of straw, palm leave or leather. I hope with all of the methods I mentions above along with the tips, you would be able to shape your cowboy hat in whatever look you like.
You can check in the hat maker’s sites for various ways of styling and shaping the brim of your cowboy hats. I assure you that it is a fun experiment and you would like doing it as much as I do.