While a straw cowboy hat may suit your style, it can be damaged easily. You may accidentally crush the hat when storing or transporting it. The straw can also tear, leaving you with a hole in the hat. Fixing a straw cowboy hat is not very difficult. In some cases, all you need is a little steam to make the hat look as good as new. If the hat is severely out of shape, you can iron it.
Shape the Hat
Boil water in a saucepan or kettle on the stove. Put a lid on the pan while bringing the water to a boil to trap steam inside.
Remove the lid or open the spout of the kettle to let steam escape. Hold the straw cowboy hat over the steam. Move it around in the path of the steam to expose any dented or creased areas to the steam.
Turn the stove off and remove the cowboy hat from the steam. Smooth out the creases or dents with your fingers.
Wet a towel with the hot water and wring it out so that it is damp and not dripping wet.
Drape the damp towel over the bowl and place the hat on top of it. The hat's opening should face up. Wrap the hat in the towel and stuff the edges of the towel into the crown of the hat. Let it sit overnight to restore the hat's shape and add moisture to a stiff, dried out hat.
Turn the iron on and put it on a medium setting. Place the brim of the hat on the ironing board. If the hat's brim curves, place it upside down on the board so that you don't iron the curve out. Run the iron lightly over the surface of the brim. Straw will burn if you let the iron sit on it too long, so move quickly.
Repair a Tear
Cut three pieces of plastic mesh netting that are slightly larger than the size of the hole.
Place the pieces of netting on the backside of the hole, either under the brim or inside the hat.
Thread the needle and tie a knot in one end of the thread. Push the needle through the netting and the gaps in the straw's weave. Don't push through the straw itself because you'll create holes in the straw and cause further damage.
Pull the needle back through the weave of the straw and the netting. Continue stitching the netting to the inside of the hat until it's securely in place. The netting acts as a patch and should conceal any tears in the hat.
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Based in Pennsylvania, Emily Weller has been writing professionally since 2007, when she began writing theater reviews Off-Off Broadway productions. Since then, she has written for TheNest, ModernMom and Rhode Island Home and Design magazine, among others. Weller attended CUNY/Brooklyn college and Temple University.