How to Fix a Bent Hat Brim

How to Fix a Bent Hat Brim

Whether it's your favorite straw hat that got squished in a suitcase or a beloved fedora that suffered a misstep, a bent brim can feel like a tragedy. But don't despair! There are several ways to restore your hat's shape and get it back in the style game. Here's your guide to tackling bent brims with confidence:

Understanding Brim Types

Before you begin, it's crucial to know what type of brim you're dealing with. Different materials require different approaches:

  • Straw: Straw brims are often more flexible but can become brittle over time. Gentleness is key!
  • Felt: Felt brims offer more structure and hold their shape well. Steam can be your best friend here.
  • Leather/Synthetic: These brims can be the trickiest to reshape due to their stiffness.

Method 1: The Steam Treatment

Steam is often the simplest and safest method for reshaping a bent brim, especially for felt hats.

  • Gather Supplies: You'll need a kettle, a garment steamer, or even a pot of boiling water to create steam. Optionally, have a clean cloth ready for protection.
  • Hold Your Hat: Hold the bent area of the brim over the steam source for several seconds until the material becomes slightly damp and pliable.
  • Gently Reshape: While the brim is still warm and damp, gently bend it back into the desired shape.
  • Hold in Place: If needed, use clips or weights to hold the brim in place while it dries.
  • Repeat if Necessary: Depending on the severity of the bend, you might need to repeat the process a few times.

Method 2: Ironing (Felt Only)

For felt brims with stubborn creases, a gentle ironing can help. However, this method requires caution to avoid scorching or damaging the material.

  • Prep Your Hat: Place a clean, damp cloth over the bent area of the brim.
  • Low Heat: Set your iron to the lowest heat setting (typically "wool" or "silk").
  • Short Bursts: Gently press the iron onto the cloth in short bursts, checking frequently to ensure the material isn't getting too hot.
  • Reshape and Hold: While the felt is still warm, reshape the brim and hold in place until it cools.

Method 3: The Soak and Shape (Straw Hats)

This method is specifically for straw hats with malleable brims:

  • Soak Briefly: Dip the bent area of the brim in lukewarm water for a few seconds until slightly softened.
  • Reshape: Gently manipulate the brim back to its original shape.
  • Dry and Set: Place the hat on a flat surface to dry, using weights or clips to hold the reshaped brim in place.

Additional Tips

  • Patience is Key: Don't try to force the brim back into shape; be patient and work with the material gradually.
  • Preventative Measures: Store your hats properly on a hat stand or in a hat box to prevent future damage.
  • Professional Help: If your hat has significant damage or is made of delicate materials, consider seeking help from a professional milliner.


A bent hat brim doesn't have to be a permanent problem. With these simple DIY methods, you can often restore your hat's shape and extend its lifespan. And if you're in need of a new hat, remember to check out The Beanie and Hat Company's wide selection of stylish hats for all occasions!


  • Can I use hot water to steam my hat? It's best to use warm to lukewarm water, as hot water can damage certain hat materials, especially straw.
  • My hat brim won't stay in the reshaped position, what can I do? Use clips or weights to hold the brim in place while it dries. You can also try using a bit of spray starch to help the brim maintain its shape.
  • Is it safe to iron my straw hat? Never iron a straw hat, as the heat can scorch or burn the delicate fibers. Stick to the steam and soak method for straw hats.
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