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Cowboy Hats Shrink Overtime or Not?

Cowboy Hats Shrink Overtime or Not?

To determine whether cowboy hats shrink or not largely depends on their material. In general, cowboy hats are made from three main materials: straw, felt, and leather.

To have a clear answer, we need to go through the characteristics of these materials.

In fact, felt and straw cowboy hats tend to shrink, while leather cowboy hats won’t shrink or just shrink very little.

Today, this article will give you a deep look into this matter. Let’s check it out!

Key Takeaways

  • Straw cowboy hats only shrink when the temperature is too low. But when they do, their shape will be affected and hard to recover naturally.
  • Felt cowboy hats reduce their size the most when in contact with high heat such as warm water or a hairdryer.
  • Leather cowboy hats tend to get smaller a bit in cold temperatures, but this does not last long. In contrast, they tend to stretch over time.

Straw and felt cowboy hats can shrink while leather ones tend to stretch

You cannot expect leather cowboy hats to shrink because the nature of leather is to stretch over time. Unlike straw or felt, leather will soften over time if it gets wet constantly by your sweat. Given the tension on your head, it will gradually stretch.

Both leather cowboy boots and cowboy hats have the same characteristics. If anyone tells you that these items can shrink, it’s a lie! Maybe they can shrink a little bit at first since your sweat dries and cool down, but this won’t last long. The leather still continues to stretch as its nature.

Leather cowboy hat

The leather cowboy hat

If you want to tighten the leather hat, you can adjust your hatband, or use hat tape or an elastic band to attach to the sweatband. The method of using heat or water is not recommended.

However, the same won’t happen to felt and straw. These materials won’t soften but they will shrink instead.

For felt cowboy hats, they will reduce their size when in contact with high temperatures. That’s why people often don’t use warm water to clean them or avoid using a hairdryer to dry them.

Felt often made from natural animal hair. It shrinks when the heat increase, making the woven structure tighter. Thus, we can say that the felt cowboy hats will shrink.

Felt cowboy hats turn to be smaller a bit when the cold season comes. But this won’t last long as the temperature goes up.

In case you want to tighten your felt cowboy hat without using a band, you can use the above methods (warm water or heat them). But don’t over-shrink it or you will ruin its shape.

old man wears The Ranchman white cowboy hat from Tecovas

The Ranchman felt Cowboy Hat from Tecovas | Image copyright Tecovas Boot Company | #CommissionEarned

Regarding straw cowboy hats, they do not really shrivel too much except when used in heavy rain. Just like other things, it will shrink at low temperatures.

Woven straw is very tough and stiff, so it’s hard to shrink! But once it does due to too low temperature, it’s very hard to recover. The shape of the straw cowboy hat will be affected very badly.

Those wearing straw cowboy hats recommend not to use these hats in the cold weather or rainy season. Besides the inadequate warm protection, keeping their shape is worth noting too.

In my personal experience, I will try my best for choosing a straw hat that fits well the first time. I’ll not wait for it to stretch or shrink.

Straw cowboy hat

The Straw Cowboy Hat

Before you leave

As you can see, each type of cowboy hat has different characteristics. Some types can stretch while others don’t!

It’s very hard to make a leather hat fit tighter by shrinking it. Meanwhile, you can do this for straw or felt hats due to the nature of these materials.

In short, most cowboy hats can shrink, you should be aware of this to care for them properly.

A cowboy hat with good care can last for a lifetime and be your soulmate.

Good luck!