How to Stretch a Leather Hat

Australian Hat image by Richard Seeney from

Many people purchase accessories, such as leather hats, from online stores. We cannot try on these hats before we buy them and therefore can be left with hats that are too small. Leather hats also have a tendency to shrink after they have not been worn for extended periods of time and when they have been left in the sun for too long. Wearing a hat that is too small is uncomfortable and looks odd. But don't throw out your ill-fitting hat just yet. There are a number of procedures and products that can stretch your leather hat for a better fit.

Sit down and place the top of the leather hat on one knee. Insert your hands into the crown of the hat and pull outwards very gently. Hold the pull for five seconds and then release. Rotate the hat and repeat the pulling motions until the hat is evenly stretched. Try the hat on and repeat as necessary until you achieve the desired size.

Use a sponge or spray bottle to dampen the leather hat with warm water. Place the wet hat on your head or on a hat stand that is the size of your head. Leave the hat in place until it is completely dry. The leather will stretch to accommodate the new size.

Purchase a hat stretcher that is designed to accommodate your hat size. Dampen the hat with warm water and insert the hat stretcher into the band of the hat. Adjust to your proper hat size. Allow the hat to dry completely while the hat stretcher is in place. The leather will dry to the appropriate size.