How to Care for Felt and Wool Hats

  • , by Alex Torres
  • 4 min reading time

Being a hat wearer is something of a proud distinction. Wearing a hat can really help you stand out in a crowd, and fashionable hats offer an easy way to make a style statement that rivals anything you might spot in a fashion magazine or on a runway. Yet if those men's and women's wool hats look a little worse for wear, you'll be making a statement for all the wrong reasons. Whether you enjoy it or not, part of the joy of owning a hat is making sure it stays clean. That's particularly important for materials like wool and felt, which have a tendency to pick up dirt and hang on to it. Fortunately, basic maintenance and care can make all the difference.

Use a Hat Brush

Hat brush

That fashionable hat of yours needs all the TLC you can give it, especially when it starts to look a little unlike its usual self. A hat brush made with horsehair bristles is a great tool to use on any of your felt and wool hats. Be sure to use lighter colored bristles for a hat of a lighter shade, and darker toned bristles for a darker hat. Otherwise you might risk some color transfer from the bristles to the hat. Simply use gentle strokes to dislodge any dirt that may be embedded in the wool or felt. Move in a counter-clockwise direction to effectively remove more stubborn particles. You may not be able to see every single speck, but you will make a dent in the dirt.

Other Methods

Lint Roller

If your men's felt hat is looking a little dusty, you can solve the problem easily with a lightly damp-not soaking-cloth. Use it to gently lift and dab away the dust. Sometimes the most beautifully made men's wool hats and women's wool hats may collect fuzz, lint, or even pet hair after a little bit of time has passed. This is a job for a lint roller, which you can simply run over the hat until all debris is lifted. If you don't have a lint roller, you can also use tape to handle the mess. Wrap it sticky-side up on a finger and drag it over the felt or wool for quick results.

Tackling Stains

  1. It can be a little more alarming when you spot a stain on men's and women's felt hats. A little persistence, though, can pay off. If you're dealing with felt, use a soft rubber sponge to gently attack the stain. Rub away until it disappears.
  2. You can clean your fashionable hats made of wool with nothing more than some mild detergent and cold water. Fill a basin with water and add a tablespoon of soap. Immerse the wool hat in the water and move it around gently. Allow it to soak for at least five minutes. Then pour out the soapy water and fill with clean cold water. Place the hat in water again to ensure that all of the soap is rinsed away. Next, the hat will need to dry completely. You can place it in a dry towel and roll it up to start, before unrolling it and placing it on a different dry towel and allowing it to air dry. Another option is simply to set it on a tabletop in a cool, dry room.

Perfect Storage

Hat against a wall

How you store your fashionable hats is just as important as how you maintain them. In fact, proper storage is a standard part of basic maintenance, and if you care at all about the longevity of your men's and women's wool hats, you'll make that extra effort. Never store a hat on its brim; you run the risk of disrupting its silhouette and breaching its normal shape.

It can be tough to reform a hat back to its original position! Another option is simply to hang it on a flat peg that won't pinch or otherwise disturb the wool or felt. If you aren't going to wear your hat for a while, keep it free of debris by storing it in a dedicated hat box. Keep the box in a dry and cool environment, so that there's no risk of moisture damage.


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