How to Care for Berets

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In 1943 British soldiers gave maroon berets to their American counterparts in the 509th Parachute Infantry as a thank-you gift for their service. Since then, the beret has not only made its way as standard American military headgear, it also enjoys status as a classic fashion statement. Usually made from wool felt, cotton or fleece, a beret can stay looking new with proper care and storage.

Keep It Looking Good

Step 1

Brush the beret with a stiff-bristled hat or clothing brush to remove dust, lint and debris.

Step 2

Apply lint removal tape to detach especially stubborn lint.

Step 3

Spot clean small stains. Dampen a dry piece of cloth with fabric stain remover and then press against the stain to saturate. Wipe the cloth gently back and forth. Rinse the spot thoroughly with a water-dampened cloth and lay the beret flat to dry.

Full-On Cleaning

Step 1

Take wool berets to your dry-cleaner. Washing it with water may result in shrinkage.

Step 2

Hand-wash fleece or cotton berets. Fill your sink or washtub with cold water and add a small capful of a gentle formula liquid detergent. After soaking and swishing the hat in the water for a few minutes, rinse it thoroughly under cold water.

Step 3

Lay the beret flat to dry on a terry cloth towel.

Store It Safely

Step 1

Wrap the beret in a plastic bag.

Step 2

Lay the wrapped beret in a small hat box -- photo storage boxes often work well, too.

Step 3

Place a lavender sachet or moth balls inside the box to keep pests away.

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