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Thread: First refurbish/restore. Starting pics and in process shots, need advise!

  1. #1
    One of the Regulars
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    Hat reforming and cleaning

    Hi,

    Is it a hard thing to reform a hat? Like a hat which has lost a bit of it's shape?

    Howabout hat cleaning?
    Any tips or links teaching how to reform and how to clean a hat from stains, smells etc.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    The reason I'm asking is that I bought a Borsalino and it is in pretty bad shape.
    Also have a stetson coming and am about to order a federation soon, not the the federation will need any reforming

  3. #3
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    Getting someone to refurbish hats is, apparantly, getting more difficult to find. I have not had a hat refurbished but all the folks here seem to recommend Optimo of Chicago for hat work. Art Fawcett stopped doing that last year. Some of our other vendors may be able to help, some may even do refurbishing. Hope you are able to save the Borsalino, they are special.

  4. #4
    Call Me a Cab Tango Yankee's Avatar
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    Lots of info on cleaning and reforming hats here on the lounge. First start with the "sticky" topics at the top of the Hats forum, then do a search in the hats forum on "naptha" and one on "Scouts" (for Scouts dark hat cleaner). That should get you started!

    Cheers,
    Tom
    "One canít stop progress, of course, but Iíd really like to stick out my foot and trip it."

    "A man either lives life as it happens-meets it head on and licks it. Or turns his back on it and begins to wither away."

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys.
    Duggap, is sending it out the only way? I was hoping to be able to do it myself. What is involved?

    Tango Yankee, I did look at the sticks but it only talks about brushing and superficial cleaning, but nothing really on stains and refurbishing. I did a search under some terms that came to mind but didn't find much. I always search before asking because it's faster than waiting for somebody to reply to a new thread. But I haven't tried the terms you suggested, as I didn't know them. Will give them a try. Thanks.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by retrofashion
    Hi,

    Is it a hard thing to reform a hat? Like a hat which has lost a bit of it's shape?

    Howabout hat cleaning?
    Any tips or links teaching how to reform and how to clean a hat from stains, smells etc.

    Thanks.
    In terms of the shape, what you can do is this:

    Get a pot (small one) and fill it with a reasonable amount of water. Put it on the stove and get a moderate boil going. Put your hat over the steam and just use your hand to shape it as it gets warm and moist. If the ribbon is creased up as well, stick a knife into the pot and then press the blade onto the ribbon at the trouble spots and use the dull edge as a scrape.

    This at least worked for one of my hats which, when I bought it, looked like a sumo wrestler had sat on it. Good luck with yours!

  7. #7

  8. #8
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    I second Optimo Hat Co. for renovation, especially for a Borsalino. It's worth the price.
    Lidprop

  9. #9
    Bartender Andykev's Avatar
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    You need to show what needs to be done....

    You should first either describe the extent of the condition of the hat, or post some pictures.

    In MOST cases, a good brush and steam will work well for a vintage hat that was properly stored.

    If the hat has nasty sweat stains and other discolorations, you have to assess what is really going on. If the hat has been stored properly in a box/ring supporter...it may have picked up some discoloration by the felt being in contact with the cardboard.

    If the hat is sweat stained...it needs proper cleaning. Remember, most fading will not come out.

    I suggest the Naptha solution. That is where the hat is soaked in Naptha (well ventilated, out doors, protective gear/gloves/glasses) and scrubbed in the direction of the the nap of the felt.

    This requires disassembly, ie. removal of the sweat/liner/ribbon.

    Then you need the proper BLOCK to re "Block" the hat.

    With all of that, consider this: IF THE HAT IS A GEM, BUT NEEDS A SIMPLE CLEANING, I STRONGLY URGE YOU TO SEND IT TO A PROFESSIONAL. THAT IS OPTIMO IN CHICAGO. You will get delightful service, and a hat that comes back looking new. If you need ribbon or liner exchange/replacement, again, this is the ticket.

    If this hat is a moth holed wreck..then just grab a bottle of Woolite and soak/scrub/block it back to shape.
    "Thanks for the memories...."
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  10. #10
    Call Me a Cab Bruce Wayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damon Falzone
    I second Optimo Hat Co. for renovation, especially for a Borsalino. It's worth the price.
    i, too recomend Optimo. as for reshaping. on two of my felt hats i just put the part i wanted reshaped under the hottest tap water in my house (120*) and did the reshaping with my fingers. they both came out so well that i am considering purchaseing an unbashed Stetson Open Road the try my luck on...

    Real men don't wear shoes with tassels

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