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Thread: Can You Stretch A Straw Hat A Size?

  1. #1
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    Can You Stretch A Straw Hat A Size?




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    A while back I picked up a Resistol straw hat in size 7 5/8. I have had a "stretcher" in the hat since I picked it up but I cannot seem to stretch it out to my size, 7 7/8. I am thinking about getting the hat soaking wet and trying to stretch out the hat. Is this going to ruin it? I have some issues I would like to ask about. My hat stretcher is almost at its limit of length at 7 7/8 and is made of wood. I am concerned about getting it wet and breaking the wood. Could I place a wash clothe or something between the strecher and the hat to keep water from swelling the wood? If I had a normal persons size head I would just sell this hat and get one the right size. Getting ANY hat in my size is such a mission that I am looking to kick this hat one size up. Is this a job best left to a profesional blocker or can it be done at home. What is likely to go wrong? Any advice would be appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Anyone? Can I stretch a 7 5/8 to a 7 7/8?

  3. #3
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    I would use a hat stretcher. If you want to send it to Ecuador they'll do it for free.
    The Panama Hatworks of Montecristi- in the Panamas biz since 2001

  4. #4
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    If one were to use a hat stretcher on a straw hat, say to increase it a size, would it distort the line of the crown as in the photo below?


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panamabob
    I would use a hat stretcher. If you want to send it to Ecuador they'll do it for free.

    Ha! I have a Brother-in-law in Peru. Maybe I can send it to there instead!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by photobyalan
    If one were to use a hat stretcher on a straw hat, say to increase it a size, would it distort the line of the crown as in the photo below?


    Yeah that is the effect I am seeing as a result of my use a stretcher. I stopped before it got too bad. I was thinking about getting the hat wet and using my head as a stretcher. Afterward I would wash it out with clean water and then using the wooden stretcher to allow it to dry larger than it is now. I may dunk it in water for a few minutes and go mow the yard this weekend to see if this trick will work. If not, oh well.

  7. #7
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    Is the height of the distortion the same height as that of the leather inner band? I've seen some hats want to shrink or go back a bit, but the leather inner won't let it in that area.
    The Panama Hatworks of Montecristi- in the Panamas biz since 2001

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panamabob
    Is the height of the distortion the same height as that of the leather inner band? I've seen some hats want to shrink or go back a bit, but the leather inner won't let it in that area.

    Actually the ersatz leather sweat band is what I think is keeping me from really getting this thing pressed out. As I expand the hat stretcher the sweat band seems to develop rippled on its sides. I think I am going to take this hat to the yard and then shower this summer to see what comes of it. If it is ruined so be it.

  9. #9
    Call Me a Cab feltfan's Avatar
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    what stretcher are you using?

    Have you consulted other threads here on hat stretching?

    Did you treat your leather sweat with Lexol or some other
    conditioner before stretching it? Are you using a full crown
    hat stretcher or one of those cheapies that just stretch
    at the sweat band? Are you steaming the hat (don't know
    if that works for straw)?
    Personally, I would never want to be a member of any group where you either have to wear a hat or you canít wear a hat.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by feltfan
    Have you consulted other threads here on hat stretching?

    Did you treat your leather sweat with Lexol or some other
    conditioner before stretching it? Are you using a full crown
    hat stretcher or one of those cheapies that just stretch
    at the sweat band? Are you steaming the hat (don't know
    if that works for straw)?
    Yeah, a few weeks ago I started looking into past posts. Maybe I missed one but I did not see a post about stretching straw. As to the sweat band. No I did not treat it with any product as I do not think it will respond. It appears to be some sort fake leather. I did see a few posts that talked about steaming felt hats but I am not sure that will work for straw. Oh and I am using a stretcher that pushes on the band area.

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