How to Care for your Hat

 “Can I wash my hat?”

Felt is an eco-friendly, material that is water and stain-resistant. Dust isn't a problem - just give it a shake. 

While wool resists dirt and dust mites, it can eventually get dirty.

So after wearing your hat for a while, you may want to clean it. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to care for a felted FeltHappiness Hat.

Most of the hats are hand washable. After all, FeltHappiness hats are made by sprinkling soapy water onto sheep wool and then massaging so that the fibers shrink to make felt.

However, due to construction, some of the more elaborate wizard-style hats are best just being spot-cleaned.

When in doubt, check the label. There ~should~ be a care tag sewn to the inside. 


Sample of FeltHappiness Hats' Care tags for Hand Washing

If the Tag says No

If your tag advises not to wash or if you cannot find a tag, then you need to examine your hat. If you can feel a wire along the edge of a hat’s brim, or if there is beading, then it’s wiser not to immerse your hat in water. Millinery wire and many beads do better not getting wet. Also, if the hat has a super-wide brim, then it's probably best not to wash because re-shaping can be slightly challenging. 

Instead, for these more delicate hats, carefully spot clean with a dampened cloth. By spot cleaning, the wire and the beading should be fine.

It's Raining?

Of course, you can still wear your hat in the rain - after all, felt is made with soap and water. However, if your hat gets drenched, pat dry with a towel. Then, allow to air dry by sitting the hat over a wine bottle or small towel so that the hat can retain its shape.


If the Tag Says Yes - How to Wet Wash

The key to washing wool is to limit agitation and temperature changes, These changes can shock the fibers and shrink your hat so that it becomes too small.

As you may know, many people have had this surprise when machine washing wool sweaters.

 Really, it’s quite easy to care for felted hats.  


Five Steps to Cleaning a Wet Felted Hat

1.  Fill a bucket or wash basin with lukewarm water. Make sure that the bucket is roomy enough so that the hat won’t be crowded. Add a DROP of gentle soap, such as Woolite, dishwashing soap or shampoo. The water does _not_ have to be extra sudsy with soap.



Plastic Dishwashing Tub with Method Dishwashing Soap for handwashing felted hats.

2.  Gently submerge felt hat in water and let sit 15-20 minutes. You can swish it about, but don’t agitate it too much.


Felted Hat submerged in plastic dishwashing bucket. Use cool water and a drop of soap.


3.  Remove hat and tip out the dirty water. Refill basin with clean, room temperature water. Let sit ten minutes.

Rinse out all the soap, using cool water. Again, don't agitate the felted hat.


4.  Remove from water and blot dry in a clean towel.

Dry felted hat by rolling it up in a clean, dry towel.


5. Shape with a small, dry towel on the inside, smoothing and pulling to return the hat to its proper silhouette. If needed, tuck the millinery ribbon inside the hat.  For hats with brims, allow to dry over a bottle so that the brim rests free.

Damp felted hat with a small towel curled up inside to help keep the hat's shape.


Voila! a clean and dry felted hat!

Top view of a gray, handfelted beret after it has been hand washed.