Have you ever walked into a shop and laid your eyes on the hat of hats, the one that was meant for you, where-was-it-all-your-life kind of hat? Then, you go to try it on and low and behold, it just about covered your eyes because it drooped so far. All of a sudden, you need to know how to shrink a hat.
It is essential to know that all is not lost if the hat of your dreams doesn’t start by fitting the right way. Here are approaches for shrinking hats that work on specimens from fedoras to baseball caps and anything a new era of hats might bring.
If you have a fitted cap that you wish to fit better, look through our list and pick a remedy that works best for you and the cap’s material.
How to Shrink a Fitted Hat
There are many different types of people that come in all shapes and sizes, preferences, and dislikes. Along with all of those different kinds of people come differently sized hats.
To make just about any hat, from a baseball cap to a fedora, fit the right way for you, these are quick and easy processes. These are also an excuse for cleaning a baseball cap, and several of these approaches give you a chance to do that as well.
Just like with all other clothing, hats are made from a variety of materials. Some may make your hat fit more tightly than is comfortable so you need to know ways to stretch a hat. For others, they may be too large to fit properly on your head.
Cotton shrinks easily but does 100% polyester shrink? Yes, you can shrink polyester hats fit better so that it doesn’t fall down over your eyes at inconvenient times.
Ways to Shrink a Hat
The most straightforward and easily reversible option is always the best one of the ways to shrink a hat to start. You want it to be the perfect fit, not settled on top of a hair-do. You can use multiple items as hat adjusters.
Use a headband or a sweatband and settle it on your head right around where the rim of the hat sits typically. Put the new hat carefully on top of whichever you choose to use. Make sure it doesn’t stick out from under the brim of the cap, so it doesn’t look odd.
This practice works well for baseball hats, fedoras, or anything that might sit slightly deeper on the head. Since sweatbands are generally thicker, use one of these to make up for even more space.
Some hats may require a little more work than sticking a headband on before the cap gets put on. You may require a more permanent fix than wearing a headband each time you wear your hat. These are the kinds of jobs that hat tape works to fix.
Hat tape, otherwise called hat sizers, works well in polyester hats and most other fitted hats of different materials. This kind of tape often comes in foam strips with the other side as an adhesive.
Cut the tape for the approximate circumference around the inside of the hat, or two pieces for the sides.
To insert the tape, lift the band on the inside of the hat and add the tape to help disguise its presence and keep the softer fabric closer to your head.
After placing it under the band, see if this correction fixes your problem by gently sitting the cap on your head. If this is comfortable, take off the hat, and peel off the back on the adhesive side. Gently replace the foam where it sat previously and tap it gently into place.
Using a Washing Machine
Using a washing machine is one of the most common techniques people learn for how to shrink a fitted hat or for shrinking shirts and pants that just don’t fit right.
There is less control when using a machine, though, so be careful not to shrink it to half size, like it could with a wool hat. Some people may even use a dishwasher, although this gives you even less control.
Start by placing the fitted baseball cap or other types of hats into a garment bag. The bag helps to protect the fitted baseball hat. Some fibers in hats are not made to be washed in a machine, so the bag keeps it from getting beaten up and destroyed.
You can load other clothes of similar colors in with the hat to avoid wasting water. The pressure from the other clothes can help to shrink the cap faster. Then, put in a non-bleach laundry detergent, whatever the recommended amount depending on your load size.
To shrink the hat a lot, use the hot water setting. If it should only shrink a little, use warm water or even cold water. Make sure that the washer is on a gentle wash cycle to keep the hat from getting battered.
After the wash cycle, the hat might already have shrunk enough to get the job done. Carefully try it on to test it out, wet and all. You can dab excess water off with a towel before putting it on.
If it doesn’t fit yet, throw it into the dryer on a medium-high heat setting, or the highest if there are a lot of shrinkages necessary. Cotton fibers quickly shrink this way.
Give the Hat a Shower
Another approach to shrink a hat is actually to wear it into a hot shower. It presents a more hassle-free process and can also be simulated with a spray bottle and hot water.
We have no exact instructions on how to shower with a hat, just make sure you wear it in. Allow the hat to soak thoroughly. This is the perfect opportunity for cleaning a baseball cap or washing the hat, so give it a scrub too.
When you get out of the shower, start the drying process by dabbing the excess water off with a paper towel so that it isn’t dripping anymore.
To dry the hat, you can wear it, throw it in the dryer if it needs some more work, or use a hair dryer set to high heat to have a smaller shrinkage impact and get it dry quickly.
Shrink Hats with Your Hands
If you have a hat that is made with more sensitive material or shouldn’t shrink too much, hand washing the hat is an excellent method.
Fill a pot or a sink up with hot water. Do not use boiling water since this often destroys the hat structure. Add the laundry detergent to the water and mix well. Do not use bleach detergent.
Dunk the hat into the soapy water. Depending on how hot your water is, use kitchen tongs to take the hat in and out, so you don’t burn your hands.
Allow the hat to sit and soak in the water for at least 30 minutes. Different fibers shrink at different rates, so carefully check the hat every ten minutes or so to make sure it doesn’t shrink too far.
Once finished, take the hat out and rinse off the soap suds. To dry, use one of the ways listed in the shower approach: air dry it on your head so it conforms to the right shape, throw it in the dryer, or use a hairdryer.
How to Shrink a Hat using Steam
Steaming a hat works well for some hats, like those made of cotton. Steaming is recommended to only shrink a hat a little bit. If it is a bigger job, it is better to get a professional to do it.
Can you shrink leather hats or other garments? Yes, you can make them a little smaller but a huge size difference is not feasible.
Too much steam ends up destroying a hat’s finish and may even impact the structural integrity of the hat. This possibility is more likely with fitted hats like fedoras and trilbies.
To steam a hat, use a kettle on your stove and wait for steam to generate from the spout. The heat generated from the steam, in this case, makes using tongs necessary. It is essential to distance yourself at least six to eight inches away from the kettle.
Allow the steam to reach the hat, soaking it through inside and out. The high heat from the steam allows you to reshape the hat by carefully kneading it into the right position to the exact hat fit.
It causes shrinking as it heats up and cools down. Repeat this as many times as required to obtain the desired shape and size.
Now you can walk into a store anywhere in the world, and when you see that perfect hat, it doesn’t matter whether it fits perfectly or not, because you know how to shrink a hat.
Make sure to find out what kind of material the hat is made from to select the practice best suited to the hat and do as little damage as possible.
As you are walking around in the peak of style with your assortment of new, specially fitted hats, we hope you think of us. If you enjoyed our tips on how to shrink a hat, please share these hat shrinking ideas on Facebook and Pinterest.