How To Stretch A Hat

Just like we need a good stretch when we wake up in the morning, some hats may require some stretching, too. To get a hat to fit perfectly, all it may need is some stretching.

How To Stretch A Hat

Of course, achieving the perfect fit typically depends on what hat you own and what material it is made out of. For instance, those made from natural fibers tend to shrink over time, due to sweat, heat, and if you wash it.

However, if you find that your hat is a little too tight (obviously your brain is too big), you do not need to ditch it right away or invest in a new one. There are some simple techniques to try first to resize your hat.

As you know, hats are not “one size fits all.” That is why most baseball caps come with an adjustable strap to help them fit better.

But, this isn’t the case with many other types of hats, such as fedoras, trilbies, or winter wooly hats. 

If your particular hat is too small for you, it will be uncomfortable. And, sometimes, the next size up is too big. In this case, your best bet is to stretch it. 

In today’s post, we are going to guide you through the various ways you can stretch a hat that doesn’t fit quite right. By the end of this article, you should be showing off and wearing your hat comfortably!

Before You Buy A Hat

Before we show you the different ways to stretch a hat, there are some things you should consider before buying a hat.

Firstly, always select a hat that is comfortable on your head. Choose a super tight or fitted hat and you could start to suffer from headaches from the increased tension. 

On the flip side, you don’t want to invest in a hat that is too large. Wear one of these and you’ll have to worry constantly about it falling off your head, especially when it’s windy. 

Generally speaking, you can figure out if a hat is the right size for you if you can place a finger between the hat and your head. 

Once you have found your dream hat, it’s time to break it in.

Breaking In A New Hat

One of the easiest ways to get a hat to fit you properly is to break it in. By this, we mean you should simply wear it. 

If it is a little too tight on your head, try wearing it around your home, even if you’re watching TV or washing the dishes.

In time, your head will naturally stretch the material and after just a few wearings, the hat should become more comfortable to wear as it becomes customized to your head shape and size. 

Ways To Stretch A Hat

1. Use A Hairdryer

If you have tried wearing your hat around the house but it’s still too tight, you can try stretching it with some water and a hairdryer.

However, this tactic only works with cotton hats, straw hats, classic felt hats, and baseball caps.

Start by filling a spray bottle with lukewarm water and then spritz the cap or hat’s inside and band, plus the crown’s outside. Do this until the hat is damp. 

Now, set your hairdryer to its hottest setting and blow-dry the hat until it is almost dry. When the hat is still a little damp, start to wear it. This will allow it to adapt to your head shape and size and start to mold perfectly.

Always be careful using this method, though, especially with old caps that may have bills made from cardboard. You can try this technique with other garments too, such as shirts to make them bigger. 

2. Use A Soccer Ball

Use A Soccer Ball

That’s right, you can grab that old soccer ball and stretch your hat out until it fits properly! This technique is especially useful for non-adjustable fitted hats.

Start by wrapping the soccer ball in a plastic grocery bag. This will prevent your hat from getting dirty. Now, place the ball into the hat, making sure you have access to the inflation point on the ball. 

Here, the ball should fit easily into the hat and slip out effortlessly, too. If not, you can inflate the ball further. 

Simply leave the ball sit in the hat overnight and repeat if required. 

3. Steam The Hat

Another method that has been used for centuries is to stretch your hat with steam. This effectively loosens natural fibers in the hat’s material and this technique is possible with various materials, including straw, wool felt, and cotton. 

All you’ll need is:

  • A blow dryer
  • Pot of almost boiling water or a kettle of water

Begin by heating up the water until it is near a boil. Take a hold of your hat’s brim and angle it so its interior is approximately five to six inches from the kettle or pot’s steam. Hold it in this position for around a minute, making sure sufficient steam reaches the inside band, too.

After one minute, move the hat away from the steam for half a minute and repeat the process up to four times. 

Now, set your blow dryer to its hottest setting and blow dry the inside of the crown until it is nearly dry. Once it is a little damp, place it back on your head and allow it to stretch on your head. 

In Summary

Just because your hat is too tight, it doesn’t mean you should get rid of it. Try our methods above to try and stretch it until it fits comfortably.

You can also use a hat stretching device, such as a hat Jack. This works for straw and felt hats and works much like a shoe stretcher.

But, rather than buying a new tool, we recommend trying the cheapest options above first. 

Willa Price
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