Taking Care of Your Cowboy Hat


Johnny CrawfordTaking care of a cowboy hat – or western hat, to some – is not difficult, but there are a few rules you need to follow.

Rule 1 – Stow your hat upside down.  That’s right, you store your cowboy hat upside down, on the crown.  This might look odd, but if you store it right-side up, eventually the brim will flatten, and you’ll look like something other than what you want to look like.  Obviously, you also want to store it on a clean surface, or keep it in the box the hat came in, but either way, it goes upside down.

Rule 2 – Keep your hat reasonably clean.  If it’s a felt hat, like the one pictured above, you use a soft brush.  With the brush, start at the left side of the hat, brush it counterclockwise toward the back, and go all around the hat.  If it’s a straw cowboy hat, you can just wipe it with a clean damp cloth.

Rule 3 – Keep your hat away from excessive heat.  I know, cowboy hats are supposed to be worn under the blazing sun, and that’s okay – but you don’t want to store it near a stove, or a radiator, or in your car window.  If you do store your hat this way, the combination of perspiration and heat is going to make your sweatband shrink, which you don’t want.

Rule 4 – Dry your hat properly.  Again, I know cowboy hats are supposed to be worn in the rain and the snow, but once you’re in out of the elements, shake off any excess water, then turn down the sweatband and let it dry that way.  Do not rest a wet hat on its brim, because this will surely cause it to lose its shape.

Rule 5 – Take care of that sweaty sweatband.  If you’ve been perspiring a good deal, or you use gel or other stuff on your hair, follow Rule 4, and occasionally turn down the sweatband and let it dry.

Rule 6 – Don’t use liquid cleaners on your hat.  If you have a felt hat that has a grease stain or water stain, try cleaning it with a small amount of cornstarch or baby talc.

Rule 7 – Keep your hands off the crown.  When you put on or take off your cowboy hat, hold the brim in the front and back simultaneously.  You want to avoid handling the crown, or pushing it down. 

Rule 8 – Wear your cowboy hat proudly!  The cowboy hat is part of all Americans’ western heritage, and is never out of place.  A good hat, taken care of properly, will give you many years of service in all kinds of weather and, worn properly, will earn respect and admiration from others.