How to Replace a Sweatband on a Cowboy Hat

by Katie Jacobson ; Updated September 28, 2017

Replacing the sweatband on your cowboy hat will improve its fit and comfort.

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There are many reasons you may want to replace the sweatband in your cowboy hat. Excessive use may wear down the material, and excessive heat can cause leather sweatbands to shrink. If this is the case, replacing the sweatband is often more economical than buying a new hat. It is preferable if you have a favorite hat with which you do not want to part.

Remove the old sweatband using a seam ripper.

Measure the inside of your hat. Cut the leather to that length to make the sweatband. The length of the sweatband must match the hat measurement exactly or the hat will be uncomfortable and not fit properly. Cut your leather a bit longer at first. Lay it in the hat before making the final cut, for extra precision.

Begin sewing your new sweatband. Use a small needle and a fine silk thread to avoid making large holes in the hat. Keep the band flush against the surface of the hat as you sew.

Use your sewing machine to sew a seam where the two ends of your sweatband connect.

Make a bow out of the ribbon and sew it by hand to the seam of your sweatband.


  • To prevent your sweatband from shrinking, keep your hat out of extreme heat and store it on a hat rack when you are not wearing it.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Katie Jacobson has been writing since 2008. Her writing is also featured in valeveil’s "CASEBOK/Ekphrasis" project, as well as on and in "NextWords." She holds a B.A. in English from Occidental College and a writing M.F.A. from CalArts.