Want to buy or sell something? Check the classifieds

The Trials and Tribulations of Hat Stiffener

suitedcboy

One Too Many
Messages
1,333
Location
Fort Worth Texas or thereabouts
I have used the Bulls Eye Shellac from Home Depot and Denatured alcohol several times. Very pleased with the results. It can lighten dark hats if you use it heavy. I think if I did a dark hat again I'd go for a higher alcohol percentage. The gunmetal grey 100% beaver I stiffened got some lightening but I like what it did. I like the grey lighter on that hat.
 

Dm101

A-List Customer
Messages
498
Location
Maryland
I used the Bulls-Eye Shellac clear spray in the can on my Amish hat tonight, worked perfectly!! I sprayed about 3-4 layers on the inside of the crown with drying and steaming in between the layers. Put a heavy book on the hat with it upside down to compress the crown back to a proper flat top. Sprayed it down with some 91% alcohol on the inside as a final move. Then sprayed the outside top of the crown paying attention to the valley of the telescoping, ensuring I got the shellac in there to hold it in place. Another steaming on the inside and out and left to dry the rest of the evening.

The top of the crown is back to being flat-telescoped and stiff as cardboard while the rest of the hat is mildly stiff...just how I wanted it. Now the hat sits at the right height on my head instead of punching out and looking like a knobbend on my head while drooping over my ears.

Took the liberty of sewing a rolled up handkerchief onto the leather sweatband while I had it being worked on for a nice cloth sweatband that will actually catch sweat instead of rolling it down my face.

Tomorrows good warm weather won't be so bad after all. I can enjoy the range without sweat getting in my eyes.
Tomorrow night...we drill ventilation holes!
 

Dm101

A-List Customer
Messages
498
Location
Maryland
Whoowee.....Shellaced my Amish hat to get it back flat-topped. Shellac on the inside of the telescope crown...then steam..then shellac...then steam...then shellac the outside of the crown...then steam. made the telescoped part of the crown nice and stiff. Now it doesn't punch out and let the hat sag onto my ears anymore or squash when I pick it up by the top. Perfect!

Buuuuuut...I may have flattened it down a little too much...lost about half an inch of height on the hat.
Honestly, I can deal with that...it went from a traditional Amish hat to a "Charlie Prince" style high-riding hat.

But where I really messed up at was putting in the sweatband...
Decided to get rid of the leather sweatband and the weather stripping I had to use to make the large hat fit my little oval head.
Decided to stitch in a rolled up bandana...made it a little too tight...especially in the forehead area.
The hat is already a 7-3/8 when I wear a 7-1/4 so I'm not stretching it out any further than it comes stock. I'll just have to rip it all out tonight and cut the bandana in half then roll it and stitch it in....again.

Gat-dayum my forehead sure hurts...got red marks dented in it like someone rolled me down the assembly line...on my face.

But the shellac worked a treat!
 

Dm101

A-List Customer
Messages
498
Location
Maryland
Well...I may have flattened it down a little too much...lost about half an inch of height on the hat.
Honestly, I can deal with that...it went from a traditional Amish hat to a "Charlie Prince" style high-riding hat. BUT, with the right type straight-sided crown like I love...not that tapered crown.

But where I really messed up at was putting in the sweatband...
Decided to get rid of the leather sweatband and the weather stripping I had to use to make the large hat fit my little oval head.
Decided to stitch in a rolled up bandana...made it a little too tight...especially in the forehead area.
The hat is already a 7-3/8 when I wear a 7-1/4 so I'm not stretching it out any further than it comes stock. I'll just have to rip it all out tonight and cut the bandana in half then roll it and stitch it in....again.

Gat-dayum my forehead sure hurts...got red marks dented in it like someone rolled me down the assembly line...on my face.

But the shellac worked a treat!

(Still can't wait to get that stetson next week...Excited about seeing the quality differences between real fur and wool!)
 

Dm101

A-List Customer
Messages
498
Location
Maryland
Welp...since I've got a date at the range with the wife I can't wait till I get home to make this hat fit. I back pulled some of the thread and knotted it off...then cut about 1.5" of each side at the rear.
Now it's looser, but tight enough that it won't fly off. Won't be riding around with the car Windows open though...

Yeah...I totally understand why custom fit hats are a thing here. This ain't something you want to keep MacGyvering around...[emoji19]
a3d97e642217151f01f3a07d4c4cfb56.jpg


Sent from my LG-M210 using Tapatalk
 

Dm101

A-List Customer
Messages
498
Location
Maryland
Welp...since I've got a date at the range with the wife I can't wait till I get home to make this hat fit. I back pulled some of the thread and knotted it off...then cut about 1.5" of each side at the rear.
Now it's looser, but tight enough that it won't fly off. Won't be riding around with the car Windows open though...

Yeah...I totally understand why custom fit hats are a thing here. This ain't something you want to keep MacGyvering around...[emoji19]
a3d97e642217151f01f3a07d4c4cfb56.jpg


Sent from my LG-M210 using Tapatalk


Sent from my LG-M210 using Tapatalk
 

Dm101

A-List Customer
Messages
498
Location
Maryland
Not too bad...after shellacing it rides about an inch higher on my head. I'll definitely be re-setting it so it rides half an inch lower but is still flat later tonight.

Good thing all it takes is steam...
e49a5766831724c61d83ebc2299979dd.jpg


Sent from my LG-M210 using Tapatalk
 

Julie Bourdages

New in Town
Messages
24
alright, as stupid as it may sound id rather be safe then sorry,
I use lacquer thinner and laquer to stiffen my hats, is it safe to keep whats left of the mixed ratio in a mason jar once im done or no?
 

Mark70

New in Town
Messages
45
Location
Fayetteville, NC
...is it safe to keep whats left of the mixed ratio in a mason jar once im done or no?
Don't see why not, as long as air doesn't get to the mixture it should keep for a while. Are you stiffening a straw or felt hat?

Now if you're looking to clean a fur felt hat, a good soak in a naptha bath is the way to go. There's a thread with a similar title on the forum that has a great write-up.
 

JVaughn1613

New in Town
Messages
6
In the past
Working as a commercial floor sealing specialist this subject has tweaked my interest and thought on how I came about to using a product that I used on a daily basis at work.
Testing first on general felt fabric to get the mix and feel right then tried it on a hat - this is the recipe

For a hat stiffener
I use water based floor sealer ( used in commercial floors )
Strong mix 10 parts of water to 1 part sealer
Weak mix up to 20 parts of water to 1 part sealer
I personally use 4 to 6 very thin coats
It can be brushed on or sprayed on
The product dries in 20 min for re application but full dry is several hours to 24 hours depending on temperature

That’s my secret that I’m willing to share with the Fedora Lounge community
In the past
Working as a commercial floor sealing specialist this subject has tweaked my interest and thought on how I came about to using a product that I used on a daily basis at work.
Testing first on general felt fabric to get the mix and feel right then tried it on a hat - this is the recipe

For a hat stiffener
I use water based floor sealer ( used in commercial floors )
Strong mix 10 parts of water to 1 part sealer
Weak mix up to 20 parts of water to 1 part sealer
I personally use 4 to 6 very thin coats
It can be brushed on or sprayed on
The product dries in 20 min for re application but full dry is several hours to 24 hours depending on temperature

That’s my secret that I’m willing to share with the Fedora Lounge community
I'm curious what kind of floor sealer you used for this recipe. I looked a little online and found sealers for all different types of floors including wood, concrete and vinyl floors.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
102,332
Messages
2,903,387
Members
49,462
Latest member
Jupiter11111
Top