Does anyone know of a good hat person, ideally near Charlottesville, VA?
I bought a 'fashionable' hat, spent way too much money on it and it's too small for my 7 3/4 size head. So I want to get it steamed and stretched to fit me. Not sure if I have to actually be present when they do it or if I can just mail it off somewhere.
Assuming you are talking about a felt western hat:
Go to a western store that shapes hats, they will do it for you in a minute.
If you want to try yourself, get a tea kettle, get water boiling in it, so steam comes out of the spout, that is what hatters use.
Put the inside band of the hat in that steam stream as you rotate it around and around, so it gets damp evenly and put it on your head and keep it there until it dries, now stretched and formed to your head.
If you want it a bit bigger, put a hand towel or paper towels or cloth on your head so it dries a bit less snug.
Be sure to wait until it is dry to take it off, as the same method works to make it smaller and you definitely don't want that, I don't think.
Steam also works if you want to shape the top and/or brim.
Go light with the stream at first, you don't want the felt so damp it becomes noodley and loses it's shape.
Thanks ladies! I guess I can try it myself. It has a cloth band sewn inside, I'll have to deal with that. And it has a separate studded band that goes around the crown, which is tied with leather. So I have to figure out a way to undo the leather knot and retie that.
Honestly, it's not my wisest purchase but I'm bound and determined to wear it
I would first see if a store can do it for you.
If not, try the steam without taking anything off it, everything there, the inside band, be it cloth, rare, or leather, more common and any outside band should stretch right along with the felt.
Only take stitches out or untie stuff as last resort.
The hat stretcher is what hat stores use.
You may find something around your house that could work similarly, like a tapering bucket the size of your head, if your head is rather round and don't want to use your own head.
Get a wire and put it around your head.
Use that pattern wire to measure buckets and other such round containers until you find one that will work.
Cowboy felt hats are rated with x, the more x the thicker and tighter the felt and better the hat may hold it's shape.
If your hat is kind of flimsy, be careful, you can get it lopsided easily.
Yeah, I think you're right. I gotta find a professional to do it. Resistol this ain't, it's a felt hat made in China.
Okay, I know I said I had a 7 3/4 size head but a BUCKET? Seriously? Hahahaha
Never heard of a felt cowboy hat made in China, but would not be surprised.
Coming from there, no telling what it is made of.
Treating it like a regular cowboy hat may not work.
It may self destruct if you steam it.