Buying a cowboy hat isn't like buying any old hat. It's a commitment and an honor that comes with some particular rules to follow to ensure its longevity and style. We've covered the essentials for cowboy hat care below, such as storage, cleaning, washing and shaping.
How to Store a Cowboy Hat
If you don't plan to wear your cowboy hat for the day or have been wearing it all day and need to let your head breathe, make sure you place it somewhere that supports the hat from the inside, such as a coat rack or post. Ideally, you should put your hat on a dedicated cowboy hat stand or rack, but as long as you remember to store it somewhere with support, your hat should survive.
Don't ever lay your cowboy hat brim-down on a surface. Instead, you should flip it over so that the crown is resting on the flat, even surface. Of course, these suggestions only apply if you don't have a cowboy hat stand — which you might want to get.
For permanent or long-term storage, place the hat in its original box or a container of equal standards, preferably with a cowboy hat liner to help it maintain its shape.
Heat and cowboy hats don't agree, especially for leather cowboy hats. If your hat spends too much time in the heat or under a scorching sun, you risk warping, drying out and even shrinking it. Instead, make sure you store it in a cool, dry place.
How to Clean a Cowboy Hat
Your cowboy hat is bound to get dirty at some point or another. Whether from rain, snow or too much roughhousing outside, you don't have to worry about accidentally dirtying the hat. Cowboy hat cleaning isn't too difficult.
If you've got a spot of dampness on the hat, leave it out in a cool, dry place (ideally on a cowboy hat stand), flip the cowboy hat sweatband down, and let nature run its course to dry.
You should never try to speed up the drying process with a drying machine, blow dryer or any other automatic drying device. Using drying equipment to speed up cleaning stains will only cause more damage to your hat.
However, you may find some more specific cowboy hat care rules and standards to follow depending on your cowboy hat material, whether suede, straw, leather or felt.
How to Clean a Leather Cowboy Hat
If you want leather cowboy hats to last a long while, you might want to consider investing in specialty products, a kit or dressing oil. You need to periodically oil your leather hat to ensure its longevity and keep it protected. After oiling the hat, you can wear it wherever and whenever you want, but you should try to avoid rainy days if you can help it.
How to Clean a Felt Cowboy Hat
When it comes to felt cowboy hats, you'll want to adhere to the previous suggestions and then some. You can go so far as to use a damp cloth or sponge and work counterclockwise around your hat.
If the hat doesn't need that thorough of a clean, but you'd like to get some of the dirt or lint off, you can use the sticky side of some tape to get the job done.
How to Clean a Suede Cowboy Hat
Suede cowboy hat care requires a bit more attention when it comes to cleaning. You'll want to brush the hat with a bristle brush frequently to help the suede maintain its pristine appearance. If you get dirt on the hat, you can always use a bit of sandpaper to buff out the residue if your brush doesn't get the job done.
For more particular stains, you can use a suede bar—either light or dark depending on the suede color—for removal. Water stains may leave marks and cause the brim to lose its shape, but you can fix this with some steaming and reshaping — a complimentary service at Pinto Ranch.
How to Clean a Straw Cowboy Hat
Similar to felt cowboy hat care, you can use a damp cloth or sponge to wash stains and dirt out of a straw cowboy hat. If your hat has a heavier or more seeped-in stain, you can also apply some generic window cleaner to help get it out.
How to Shape a Cowboy Hat
A cowboy hat's shape is what gives it that Western edge. But, life happens, and over the years, your hat can lose its shape, especially if you wear it often. You can reshape a cowboy hat as frequently as you need. To do so, you'll need to steam the hat first.
Steaming the cowboy hat will loosen up the fibers to mold back into whatever style you choose. Once you've steamed it, you can fold the sides to your desired curl shape until they take hold. There are many different Western styles to choose from when it comes to reshaping and shaping a cowboy hat, so have fun with it.