Shaping a cowboy hat
July 9, 2013 6:06 AM   Subscribe

Need help shaping a cowboy hat.

Ok, I received a "novelty" cowboy hat a little while ago (i say novelty as its more of a 'straw hat'). Its a cowboy hat with my sports team's logo on it. It was a little bit damaged during the shipping and I am wondering what are some tips to get it back to shape. It is very similar to this picture, and my only issue is, one of the sides is flat and the other one curves up a bit (which is what it should do). I am just curious how to get both of them to be curved up so they are uniform.

Thanks in advance.
posted by dbirchum to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (4 answers total)
Best answer: Every summer I take my straw panama out of the top wardrobe. Inevitably it has suffered and I reshape it carefully over a steaming kettle. 23 years and still going strong.
posted by BenPens at 6:21 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Steaming kettle at full boil (producing a column of hot steam) is exactly right. Straw doesn't take much steam at all, just work the fold you want while slowly drawing it through the steam, back and forth. Hold it in the shape you want a few seconds to let it cool off. Watch you don't get burned.

It's called "blocking" a hat, if you want to google for more specific guidance. It's a fine art in the southwest.
posted by spitbull at 6:34 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

By the way, are you sure it is really straw? A lot of novelty straw hats are plastic, fake straw, and while you might be able to shape them over heat, you may also risk melting the plastic, which can cause burns and ruin the hat. Be careful.

If so, you can also put the hat between heavy objects to hold the curl you want for a couple of days, same way it got damaged in reverse.

Real straw smells like straw when it gets wet from steam.
posted by spitbull at 6:39 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Hi all.

Wow. Thanks so much. Steam, hey? Blocking? I had no idea.

And I just checked my hat - its 100% straw (says it on the tag).

posted by dbirchum at 6:44 AM on July 9, 2013

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