How to Shape a Straw Hat

by Chyrene Pendleton ; Updated September 28, 2017

Knowing how to shape your straw hat will help it last longer.

straws hat abstract image by Radu Razvan from

You can find straw hats for men, women and children in numerous shapes and sizes and just about any color. Organic straw hats have a natural, grassy smell, sometimes sold in its natural color. Prices can range from around $20 to over $100, depending on the style, quality and brand name. Knowing how to keep your straw hat looking new means taking the time to shape your hat when necessary and store it properly so it retains its value and shape for years to come.

Items you will need

  • Straw hat
  • Boiling water
  • Tissue
  • Hat box
  • Mannequin head form (optional)
  • Covered coffee can (optional)
  • Clean dry cloth
  • Waterproof spray
Step 1

Boil a pot of water and hold your straw hat over the steam. The steam loosens the straw, making it more flexible. Gently reshape your straw hat using your hands.

Step 2

Wipe your hat with a clean, dry cloth if it gets wet. Turn the hat sweatband out and smooth out the creases and dents using your hands. Place your hat on a platform such as a mannequin head form or on a covered the can. Allow the hat to dry.

Step 3

Stuff tissue in the crown. Keep your straw hat in shape by storing it in a covered hat box, upside down on its crown or by wrapping it in plastic. If you need to store your hat temporarily, place it on the mannequin head or the covered coffee can.


  • Help keep your straw hat clean and in shape by handling the hat by the brim. Only touch your hat with clean, dry hands.

    Protect the shape of your straw hat by spraying it with a waterproof spray. This helps protects your hat if you get caught in the rain.


  • Never leave your straw hat sitting in the sun or laying in your car. The heat and humidity will cause your hat to lose its shape.

    Do not let your hat sit on a flat surface. This causes the front and back of the hat to bow up, and the sides to bend down, eventually changing the hat shape permanently. Place your hat on its crown on a clean surface.

    Do not pinch your straw hat on the crown’s front as you put it on or remove it. Pinching the crown will cause the straw to crack. Instead, pick your hat up by the brim with clean hands.

    If your straw hat becomes wet, do not try to dry your hat with a hair dryer or place it in the oven. This will shrink the sweatband of the hat.

Photo Credits

  • straws hat abstract image by Radu Razvan from

About the Author

Chyrene Pendleton has been a business owner and newsletter editor for more than seven years. She is a freelance writer with over 25 years experience and teaches a variety of topics, including alternative health, hair care and metaphysics. Pendleton is a certified television show producer, radio talk-show host and producer, and a computer programmer with a bachelor's degree in computer science.