Caring for your new cowboy hat is important if you would like to keep it for years. We often have people come into the store talking about their fathers or grandfathers cowboy hat that has passed down through the generations. We want to go over three of the most important things to do with your hat so you can help it have a long life.
Cleaning Your Hat
It’s assumed that if you bought a cowboy hat you’ll be wearing it on a regular/semi-regular basis. Your hat is going to get dirty just by wearing it, whether it’s at a horse show or out with friends you’re bound to get something on your hat eventually.
Dark colored hats will typically show dust quicker than a light colored hat, however a dark hat will hide stains easier than a light colored hat. One of the easiest ways to care for dust on your hats is using a hat sponge. Hat sponges come two to a package, one for light, one for dark colored hats.
To clean your hat with a hat sponge gently rub the sponge (dry) over the hat with the direction of the nap (the material – wool or fur), typically in a counter clockwise motion taking the material from the front to the back of the hat.
After cleaning you’ll want to take a finishing brush and brush off any anything the sponge has brought to the surface of that hat. You’ll want to make sure to use a dark colored finishing brush for dark colored hats and a light colored finishing brush for light colored hats. By doing this you won’t be mixing the nap from dark hats on a light hat and vice versa which will take you back to the beginning with cleaning your hat.
It’s also possible that you’ve gotten some sort of stain on your hat like grease from your horses’ muzzle. Bickmore has created two colored sprays that work in helping remove those stains. The Ultra-X light colored spray is for light colored hats and the Ultra-X dark colored spray is for dark colored hats. After spraying the stain with the spray you will need to let the affected area dry. By allowing it to dry the product can work at removing the stain. Once dried you’ll take your hat sponge and work out the dried ultra-x spray.
Protection from the Elements
Cowboy hats, whether wool or fur felt, are not naturally water resistant. We recommend using some sort of waterproofer to protect your hat from rain and snow. Gardmore by Bickmore is our preferred waterproofer. Gardmore waterproofer is a non-darkening formula that protects against stains and water with out sealing the wool or fur. Because it’s a non-sealing waterproof it allows it to be useful on leather boots allowing them to continue to breath and have a longer life.
Another way to protect your cowboy hat is a by purchasing a western hat carrier. Hat carriers are made of a hard plastic and are designed to be small enough to fit in an over head bin of an airplane. The carriers come in a variety of colors and sizes so you can find one that fits just about any hat.
Storing your Cowboy Hat
If you bought a fur felt then you likely got a hat box with your hat. The hat box is a great way to store your hat as it’ll protect it from dust, dirt, and from becoming misshaped. If your hat did not include a box we do offer boxes for purchase ($10), but there are other ways to store it as well.
As mentioned above, a hat carrier is a great way to protect your cowboy hat. It’s also a great way to store your cowboy hat. Each carrier has dialed knobs that adjust at the base so your hat can rest on a safe surface that is free from any pressure being put on the brim, thus maintaining its shape.
If you do not have a hat box or hat carrier you can always set your hat on its crown on a flat surface. This will help keep the brim from becoming deformed. If for some reason you’re unable to set your hat on its crown you can always hang your hat on a hook or bed post. Finally if none of those options are available you may set it on a shelf or ledge with the front of the brim hanging off. By laying it flat with the front over the edge it’ll take pressure off the brim and help it to maintain it’s shape longer.
There is a lot to taking care of your cowboy hat and we want to make sure it lasts you as long as possible. Doing any of the above is sure to help lengthen the life of your hat. If you find that cleaning your own hat seems like to big of a task, we are more than happy to clean and shape your hat for you. To get a hat cleaned it costs $10 and we ask that you give us a couple of days to really get it cleaned.