Care for Felted Hats
After wearing a hat for a while it may need cleaning. Customers ask “Can I wash my hat?”
It’s quite easy to care for wet felted hats made from wool. But, there are a few things that need to be checked out before washing.
If you can feel a wire along the edge of hat’s brim, or if there is beading, then it’s wiser not to immerse in water because millinery wire and (many) beads do better not getting wet. Instead, carefully spot clean with a damp cloth, that way the wire and the beading will be fine.
All of FeltHappiness hats are made from sheep wool and are wet felted using soapy water and agitation. So most of them can be washed if they don’t have wired brims.
The key to washing wool felt is to limit agitation and temperature changes, These changes can shock the fibers and shrink your hat so that it becomes too small. Many people have had this surprise when machine washing wool sweaters.
Really, it’s quite easy to care for felted hats. Five Steps to Cleaning a wet felted, wool hat
Step 1. Fill a bucket or wash basin with lukewarm water. Make sure that the bucket is roomy enough so that the hat won’t be crowded. Add a half teaspoon of gentle soap, such as Woolite, dish washing soap or shampoo. The water does not have to be extra sudsy with soap.
Step 2. Gently submerge felt hat in water and let sit 20-25 minutes. You can swish it about, but don’t agitate it too much.
Step 3. Remove hat and tip out the dirty water. Refill basin with clean, room temperature water. Let sit ten minutes.
Step 4. Remove from water and blot dry in a clean,towel.
Step 5. Shape with a small, dry towel on inside, smoothing and pulling to return hat to its proper silhouette. Tuck the millinery ribbon inside the hat.
Voila! Here’s the clean and dry felted hat!
While the above hat is clean, it still has what is technically called ‘the fuzzies,’ where wool is pilling and coming loose.
In an upcoming blogpost, I will show how to take care of this problem.
Hope that this has helped explain how easy it is to care for felted hats.
Please let me know, if you have more hat care questions.