Stretching a hat - advice please....

Discussion in 'Hats' started by jdbenson, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. dawgvet

    dawgvet Familiar Face

    Messages:
    95
    Location:
    Waleska, Ga
    I meant hat shrinkage. LOL!
     
  2. seed

    seed Familiar Face

    Messages:
    79
    Location:
    California
    If you have access to one of those professional heated stretchers found in some hat stores, I would highly recommend going that route, if needed...just be careful to not over-stretch it. The hat may shrink again over time, but in my experience (limited compared to the vast majority here), hats stretched by this method have required no follow-ups. On the other hand, using one of those wooden stretchers you can buy for home does seem to require repeat usage.
     
  3. The way I sweat even in cold weather, the sweatbands seem to shrink when they dry off my head. I don't always have time for them to dry on my head. A Hat Jack is a necessity for me & is almost always in use in 1 hat or another. They are a good $15 to $20 investment to me...
     
  4. avedwards

    avedwards Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,425
    Location:
    London and Midlands, UK
    I have heard that you need to be careful not to overstretch because the crown will taper. If the hat needs some stretching, use a stretcher. If major stretching then go to a hatter who will use a block which stretches the whole crown.
     
  5. Carlisle Blues

    Carlisle Blues My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,155
    Location:
    Beautiful Horse Country

    Thank you for the dispositive dissertation on the on Manhattan Wardrobe.

    After being seeing the prices of used (vintage) on ebay I am considering a new one from Manhattan.

    Anybody have any experience with Manhattan Wardrobe Supply hat stretchers? [huh]
     
  6. Lefty

    Lefty I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,640
    Location:
    O-HI-O
    The regular (2 way) from MWS looks like a quality vintage stretcher, which can be had for $35 or less on ebay. The 4 way is another story. Keep in mind that the size stamped on the stretcher is the smallest size hat it can fit. A 6 3/4 stretcher usually opens to a 7 1/2 or 7 5/8.
    This one went for $30, this one went for $32, and this 10 way (something I've never before seen), went for $53.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Carlisle Blues

    Carlisle Blues My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,155
    Location:
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    Thank very much Lefty.

    I saw that Ten way stretcher. :eek: Too much stretch for me. The bidding has been going for 40-50+ on eBay from I have been seeing. If I am going to spend that I might just buy a new one. If it is a similar quality to the vintage ones. [huh]
     
  8. Ordinary Guy

    Ordinary Guy One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,292
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    It seems that most of you do agree on using something on the sweatband and that is usually Lexol....

    A quick google of lexol show a ton of products,,, I am assuming that when you say Lexol, you mean the " Lexol original formula leather conditioner" .

    Am I correct????
     
  9. Carlisle Blues

    Carlisle Blues My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,155
    Location:
    Beautiful Horse Country
    I read a thread somewhere here regarding the negative aspects of using Lexol. I use lexol on my boots and another product on my exotics. Lexol's properties may be too harsh for sweat bands. [huh] [huh] [huh]
     
  10. Lefty

    Lefty I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,640
    Location:
    O-HI-O
    Yep. It's quite a cautionary tale, as it's title, Fried Pork, suggests.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Ordinary Guy

    Ordinary Guy One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,292
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    :eek: How did that happen??? Did you just spray it on and it dried like that?:(

    Okay, I read the whole post;........ Guess it is a check it out and move forward carefully as what to use and how to do it...........

    Mama didn't tell me wearing hats was going to get so complicated......[​IMG]
     
  12. The Elizans

    The Elizans Familiar Face

    Messages:
    85
    Location:
    Southcoast, UK
    Hat Jack- be warned!

    I bought a Hat Jack recently- a false economy I recon. Because the contact between the outer face of the wooden blocks and the inside of the hat is so narrow, I found it had a distorting effect on the shape of the profile of the hat. It stretched the sweatband alright, but not the crown! I would recommend a proper mechanical hat stretcher that applies even pressure across the whole body of the hat for a perfect, uniform resize. Here is the UK, I go to an army surplus/militaria store where they have on old milliners’ stretcher and they let me use it for free; a little steam and a turn of the handle and I can go up three sizes with ease. I have one in the workshop at the moment, I will take a photo when I go to collect it tomorrow!
     
  13. Hat Jacks are more about retaining size than attaining size. Hat stretcher are much broader that just the sweatband portion of the hat & don't distort as noticeable.
     
  14. tm3

    tm3 Familiar Face

    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    NC

    i shopped vintage stretchers on ebay for several weeks before buying the one from manhattan wardrobe. although i heard that stretchers on ebay were available "cheap," my experience was that the ones in the size i needed were ending up selling for very close to the price of the new one from MWS.

    the MWS stretcher worked well for me on the hat that needed stretching. i did get some distortion above the hat band but i'd rather have a hat that fits and looks a bit off than one that looks good but does not fit.
     
  15. Carlisle Blues

    Carlisle Blues My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
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    Beautiful Horse Country

    Thanks TM3 I am leaning towards MWS. :)
     
  16. Ordinary Guy

    Ordinary Guy One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,292
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I just clicked and ordered from Manhattan also....
     
  17. GWD

    GWD One Too Many

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    1,642
    Location:
    Evergreen, Co
    That wasn't sprayed on it was wiped on and it didn't dry like that, it happened in about 30 seconds! Oh the humanity!
     
  18. Carlisle Blues

    Carlisle Blues My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,155
    Location:
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    This vintage went for $70.36 . Bidding is over. I think I will order from MWS.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Lefty

    Lefty I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
    O-HI-O
    these three combined barely went for more - and they all sold within the past few days
    $25.37
    [​IMG]
    $26
    [​IMG]
    $30.87
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Carlisle Blues

    Carlisle Blues My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,155
    Location:
    Beautiful Horse Country
    Thanks Lefty I will keep on looking. ;) ;) :)
     

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