Old hats, new lease of life?

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Angelicious, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. Angelicious

    Angelicious One of the Regulars

    Rainy ol' New Zealand
    I apologise if I'm repeating a topic, but couldn't find it anywhere else...

    I have a hat decorating workshop in two (TWO!!! :eek: ) days, and the only hat I could find that was even vaguely suitable had two problems:

    1) It's white (I need it black or wine, or at least a very dark green or even purple).

    2) It has glue marks where someone had a ribbon attached.

    Is it possible to dye a felt hat without having to re-form it? It feels like reasonable percentage wool felt, but there is probably some rayon in it. I guess the glue marks can be covered if they won't come off...

    Also, with the class in two days, I bet I wouldn't have time to dye it tomorrow and have it dry in 24 hours... At least, not with a decent depth of colour?

    Can anyone give me any pointers? The hat's not vintage, I'd say about 20 years old, give or take.

    Thanks! :)
  2. ITG

    ITG Call Me a Cab

    Dallas/Fort Worth (TEXAS)
    I'm moving this over to the hat room where there may be more people who have knowledge in this area who will see this and can give you more comprehensive feedback.
  3. Angelicious

    Angelicious One of the Regulars

    Rainy ol' New Zealand
    Thanks ITG. :)

    I just decided to shelve all the dark-coloured accessories and buy a couple of new ones that will go with the ivory white. Hopefully I can clean off some of the smudges. I'll see if i can get a photo to post... Most of the ladies are making late Victorian stuff, but a few of us are going for a vaguely 20s-40s theme.

    But it would be great if we could keep this thread open as a how-to for refurbinshing old hats. We have some great stuff on making new hats, but I haven't seen much on stripping down and re-making old ones.
  4. feltfan

    feltfan My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Oakland, CA, USA
    I'm not a hat maker or terribly experienced at this, but since
    no one else is responding...

    Real felt hats are dyed, as I understand it, as part of the
    felting process, and it takes a while. Not to say you couldn't
    re-dye it, but it may not soak all the way in. If you dip your
    hat in a vat of hot dye, you will probably lose all shape, so
    be prepared to reblock your hat.

    There are many threads here on cleaning hats and even on
    removing glue stains. Search around.

    As for how long the dye would take to dry, you know your
    area and its conditions best.

    BTW, there is at least one thread here on a total renovation
    of a hat by Art Fawcett. Just have a look around.

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