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How to Reshape a Leather Hat

Updated February 21, 2017

Wearing a handcrafted leather hat can be a great way to show your sense of style to the world. A leather hat can be a perfect way to keep the sun out of your eyes and to protect your head from the cold if you are an avid horseman or outdoors lover. Fine leather can often cost a pretty penny, so when your hat gets out of shape, restoring it to its original form is probably very important to you. With a little bit of patience, your hat can be back to normal.

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  1. Find something solid that resembles the shape of your hat. Objects commonly used include bowls, balls and wig stands. For a more precise fit, purchase a hat shaper, if you don't already own one. Hat shapers come in the shapes and sizes of all popular types of hats and are sold by many hat and millinery supply shops.

  2. Place your misshapen hat on the object. This should be done as though you are placing it on your head, making sure the crown is pressed all the way down over your chosen object. After doing this, you should notice the leather hat beginning to look more like its old, familiar form.

  3. Brush any dirt or dust off of the hat.

  4. Wet the areas of the hat that need to be reshaped. This can be done with water or with hat shaping spray. Hat shaping spray can commonly be purchased from hat supply shops. If using water, it may be useful to put the water in a spray bottle for easier application. Regardless of what you use, make sure the area is thoroughly wet.

  5. Form the hat into the desired shape by forcefully creasing, pushing and pinching the leather with your hands. It's vital to do this immediately after performing step 4, while the leather is at its wettest point.

  6. Set your hat out to dry in a safe place. Do not yet remove the hat from the object you are using to shape it.

  7. Periodically check in on your hat as it dries, taking the time to fine-tune its shape if needed.

  8. Repeat steps 4 through 7 as needed. Sometimes it will be necessary to do this, as the desired shape is not immediately formed.

  9. Remove the leather hat from the object you used to hold its shape.

  10. Tip

    Properly caring for your leather hat helps to keep it in the best shape possible. Periodically apply leather care lotion using a soft cloth. Apply the lotion using a circular motion. Use a soft bristle to remove any dirt that may come into contact with your hat.


    Avoid exposing your hat to high heat as this will cause the leather to warp and it can become misshapen again.

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Things You'll Need

  • Hat shaper
  • Water
  • Hat shaping spray
  • Spray bottle


About the Author

Sarah Schreiber has been writing since 2004, with professional experience in the nonprofit and educational sectors as well as small business. She now focuses on writing about travel, education and interior decorating and has been published on Trazzler and various other websites. Schreiber received a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications.

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