How to Steam a Felt Hat

Reshape a felt hat with steam.
Reshape a felt hat with steam. (Image: Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Don a hat and your whole persona and outlook can change. Go instantly from boring to bold or from dull to dramatic. A felt hat may be a lightweight fur felt or a heavier wool felt. You can usually tell the difference by looking at the edge of the brim. Because fur felt is lighter, it requires no binding, while wool felt will often have a binding around the raw edge of the brim. If you wish to reshape a felt hat, steam it carefully.

Fill the stockpot about three-quarters full of water.

Place the stockpot on the stove top and turn the burner to high. Wait until the water reaches a full boil and then reduce the heat to medium.

Hold the felt hat about 6 inches over the stockpot so that the steam rises directly into the felt. Move the hat around inside the steam vapors for about 30 seconds to saturate the felt and then remove the hat from the steam.

Manipulate the hat with your hands immediately to shape it into the shape you desire. For example, if you want a more pronounced crease, create the crease with your hands while the felt is damp. If your hat has a dent that you want to remove, smooth out the damp felt with your hands.

Allow the felt to cool and dry and assess the hat’s appearance. After the felt dries, it should hold the shape you created. If the felt needs more shaping, repeat the process.

Tips & Warnings

  • Work slowly and carefully to steam a felt hat. Too much steam can get the felt too wet, which might stretch or distort the felt. Shape small areas at a time instead of the entire hat.
  • An iron may not produce enough steam to steam a felt hat.

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