Stretching a hat - advice please....

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

  1. Rogera

    Rogera My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,363
    Location:
    West Texas
    I successfully used one to resize an old Pilgrim I bought off of Ebay. I am more of a long oval and the hat was VERY round. I just put the stretcher in it, stretched it and steamed it and let it cool and now it fits nicely. Just be careful how much pressure you put on the sweat so you don't break any stitches. Be particularly careful with vintage hats. I don't see why there would be a problem using it with mild pressure to maintain the size of a hat either.
     
  2. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

    Messages:
    13,719
    Location:
    USA
    They come in handy, right up there with a hat brush.
     
  3. -30-

    -30- A-List Customer

    Messages:
    444
    Location:
    TORONTO, CANADA
    There at two types, one being a 2 way (front to back) and the other a 4 way. (front to back and/or side to side.)

    I would imagine that the 4 way, although being the more expensive of the two, would also be the better.


    Regards,
    J T
     
  4. splintercellsz

    splintercellsz I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,133
    Location:
    Somewhere in Time
    I too would think a 4 way would work better.

    But, if you have a hat that fits, why use a stretcher on it?
     
  5. John Galt

    John Galt Vendor

    Messages:
    2,080
    Location:
    Chico
    I buy a lot of vintage hats and find the stretcher an indispensable tool if used with caution. As I have said elsewhere, there is a reason every hatter has one. Note, though that it's usefulness is limited to about 1 size safely, and maybe 2 with a good sweatband and great caution.

    I have three, each with different tapers. The stretchers with sizing scales are safer and much more useful.

    I once used the stretcher with the scale under a small (6 /7/8) crown block to re-block a 7 3/8 that I rebuilt for a friend before I ultimately bought some crown blocks. It wasn't perfect, but with some steam & hand shaping, it came out very good, and he was quite happy.
     
  6. T Jones

    T Jones I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,699
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    I'm a 7 1/8 LO. I have a 7 1/8 Bradford that fits a little too tight. If I have it stretched to a LO will it stay that way or will I have to continue stretching it from time to time to maintain the long oval?
     
  7. The Wiser Hatter

    The Wiser Hatter I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,764
    Location:
    Louisville, Ky
    I would use a stretcher on a hat to keep it trained. If it would not stay an wanted to string back. Art sells a hat band block to his customers made to their head shape. To keep their hats fitting properly.
     
  8. T Jones

    T Jones I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,699
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    I have two nice that are a bit tight fitting for me. I have a Bradford Ltd 7 1/8 and a Stetson 3X OR size 7. I'm a 7 1/8 LO. I think for me I would probably rather have them both re-sized to fit my 7 1/8 LO and be done with it. On the otherhand, if stretching them just the one time would keep my hats at a LO I would go that route.
     
  9. ManofKent

    ManofKent My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,039
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    In my limited experience a stretched hat (I only stretch by less than a full size) will hold the new size on its own if you condition the sweat thoroughly. Obviously if you sweat a lot or get it wet then you might get shrinkage...
     
  10. Yay = if you are a long oval, hat stretchers get modern hats to the shape that used to come from the factory.
    If you are a hard to find size in the vintage market, they let you buy a size down & train to your size.
    I have quite a few & use them constantly.
     
  11. T Jones

    T Jones I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,699
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    You mean wearing a size smaller vintage hat more often will eventually conform to the larger size?
     
  12. alanfgag

    alanfgag

    Messages:
    14,389
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    That can create other headaches.
     
  13. T Jones

    T Jones I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,699
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    I noticed that when I squeeze my size 7 Open Road on to my 7 1/8 LO head the crown tends to taper a bit. So I'm guessing a hat stretcher would have the same effect....which is probably why I'll send it to a hatter and have it resized to my LO head and be done with it.
     
  14. No, I mean using hat stretchers to train a hat to a larger size to wear & conform to my larger size head. Don't think I used the word "wearing" at all in my reply.
     
  15. Blackthorn

    Blackthorn I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,297
    Location:
    Oroville
    That's what I use, Art's band block, fitted for me. It works great.
     
  16. Doc Glockster

    Doc Glockster One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    199
    Location:
    the ranch
    As someone who often gets a hat sweaty under various wearing conditions, I have had many a hat shrink when I put it away for a few weeks. If I'm not wearing a hat at least every few days, it gets a hat stretcher: no "If's", "and's" , or "but's".
     
  17. Redfan45x

    Redfan45x New in Town

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Spring Valley, Minnesota
    I might have to consider using it on one of my other hats then, I have one which comes close to fitting but is a tiny bit too small. It did fit better 2 years ago, so maybe the felt just tightening up on me
     
  18. More like the sweatband is drawing up on you. Leather will draw as sweat evaporates taking oils in the leather with it.
    The felt will follow the sweatband...
     
  19. fedoracentric

    fedoracentric Banned

    Messages:
    1,362
    Location:
    Streamwood, IL
    OK, so what I am seeing is this: a hat stretcher is best used to keep the size of a hat intact. If you have a size 7 hat, then keep the stretcher at size 7. But if you have a size 7 and think your stretcher will make it a 7-1/4, then that is a bad idea. Stretchers are not for upsizing unless you are only tugging it a small amount. It is a bad idea for trying to go up one or two full sizes.

    Is that correct as far as most here are concerned?
     
  20. Definitely a bad idea to use a stretcher to go up 2 full sizes. I have had good success going up one size = 7 1/2 to 7 5/8.
    Keeping those up-sizes well trained as well as maintaining existing sizes that fit are why my stretchers are well used...
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.