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Thread: How to stiffen up the brim on a lite felt hat

  1. #1
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    How to stiffen up the brim on a lite felt hat

    I've got a casual Orvis dark green Fedora style *crushable* hat that is made of lite felt. I can't seem to keep the rear brim flipped up. As soon as I start to walk in it, it just flops down. Is there something I can spray on or apply that will give the brim a bit of stiffness so it will stay where I want it to?


  2. #2
    Bartender jamespowers's Avatar
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    Have you tried steaming the brim? Exposing it to steam from a kettle will usually revive the stiffner. shape the back of the brim as you want it to be and then let it cool from the steam. That should set the brim up in the back. Work slowly and there is no need to apply too much heat and burn your hands. Just get the area you want to shape warm with the steam and shape it.

    Regards,

    J
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  3. #3
    Bartender RBH's Avatar
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    Scout Felt Hat Stiffener

    Most of the hats that are that style are made to have the brim turned down all the way. But I have had some luck using Scout Felt Hat Stiffener to ''stiffen up'' a soft lite felt.
    RBH

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  4. #4
    Familiar Face
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    Thanks RBH. I just ordered some of the Scout stiffener. That should do the trick.

  5. #5
    One Too Many johnnycanuck's Avatar
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    The scout hat stiffener does work good. also you can try some scotch guard. Adds a little but of weather protection.

  6. #6
    Vendor/Sponsor besdor's Avatar
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    Your life felt hat is made of wool. Don't expect much from it . You can try to stiffen it up but you will make the hat feel very rough. It's meant to be soft .

  7. #7
    "A List" Customer thefedorastore's Avatar
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    Felt Stiffeners

    There are a few felt stiffeners on the market. I found that the Bickmore Kahl hat stiffener lasts longer than the other brands, like Scout. Bickmore is nothing more than denatured alcohol, and a natural resinous glaze. I don't know why, but it seems to last longest on my hats that are a bit 'tired'. I have found that the other brands work just as good as a clean hairspray. A good way to go to save a few bucks. Then you just need to freshen it up now and then, and hairspray is about $2.00 a can as opposed to $5 to $9 for a bottle of stiffener. As always, steam first to get your shape.
    Duane Dewsbury

  8. #8
    "A List" Customer adamgottschalk's Avatar
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    Question Details on returning a SNAP to a brim

    I have an old Cavanagh that tonyb gave (thanks, Tony!). The brim has gotten a bit soft, not much snap left to it (stingy 1 7/8" brim). I ordered some Bickmore Kahl hat stiffener. I'm still not quite clear on how to do this. Shaping a crown the way you want it, then steaming and letting dry I can visualize. With some of the snap gone, the brim doesn't turn down where I want it (it's too far forward now). How do I hold the brim down while steaming it? With laundry clips or something? I was thinking I should maybe turn it up all around, then steam it and apply the stiffener and let dry. Than when I go to snap the brim, won't it do it naturally? Any suggestions appreciated.
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  9. #9
    Bartender Brad Bowers's Avatar
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    adamgottschalk, what your brim really needs, more than anything, is to be re-flanged. This will put the proper snap back into it. Send it to Art, or perhaps there is a hat shop in town that can perform this service.

    Brad
    Keeping alive the Hatting History of Crofut & Knapp, Dobbs, and Cavanagh since 2004. Visit my blog, The Hatted Professor.
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  10. #10
    "A List" Customer adamgottschalk's Avatar
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    What _should_ it do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Bowers
    adamgottschalk, what your brim really needs, more than anything, is to be re-flanged. This will put the proper snap back into it. Send it to Art, or perhaps there is a hat shop in town that can perform this service.

    Brad
    Thanks, Brad, I may just do that. I went back to the hat just now and, as I'm a perfectionist, I realize it's not nearly as "bad" as I thought it was. But I also realize what my thinking is: it strikes me that when you snap a fedora brim down in front (up in back), the spot where it turns from up-facing to down-facing should be flat. That is, when you look at it dead on straight, it should appear level at that point where it turns. Is that probably right? I know it matters how wide the brim is and all that. But, for example, with the old Cavanagh I have, that spot of turning from UP to DOWN retains much of the UP, and the down-turned part is a smallish part of the front, as opposed to, say, snapped all the way across from right to left, like ear to ear. Is that how it's supposed to be?
    We're all lying in the gutter,
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