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Care and Feeding of Vintage Hats
By Sparky for The Cats Pajamas Vintage

Hats are one of the easiest vintage items to resurrect. All you need is a vacuum, brush, a bit of steam and a can of cheap hairspray!

Vintage Straw Hats

For straw hats, brush off any dust with a hat brush or any soft brush, even an old shaving brush would work.

For Straw hats, without brims, use a hat block to shape the crown, or stuff it with lots of tissue paper or even fabric will do. Use a hand held steamer to soften the straw, or hold it over a steaming teakettle. Let cool and it will be nicley shaped again.

[Picture: Wide-brimmed Hat With Horsehair Ruffles 1950s]

After Cleaning a bit and steaming, if necessary, you can mist the hat with hairspray. This will eat up any leftover dust and make the straw look like new! I know it sounds barbaric, but it works!

Care of Vintage Faux Fur Hats

The best way to clean and restore faux fur hats is to vacuum with a brush attachment, and stuff with paper or use a hat block and steam lightly, if needed.

[Picture: Vintage Cat Hat 1950s]

Restoring Vintage Silk & Organdy Flowers

Again, a steamer or a simple tea kettle will do. Using a kettle, get the steam going and just hold the hat upside down over it. The flowers will come to life like magic!

[Picture: Yellow Straw Cone Hat w/Silk Flowers Schiaparelli 1950s]

Vintage Felt & Feather Hats

Brush or vacuum, then stuff or put on a hat block to shape. Do not use steam, just let it set for a few days. Feathers can be lighlty vacuumed with the upholstery setting and brush.

[Picture: Vintage Hat Black Ostrich Feather Cocktail 1940s MIA]

Vintage Fur Hats

Vintage Fur hats should be cared for like fur coats. Keep them in a cool dark place when not in use. If you have a valuable one, take it to a furrier for proper dressing. It can make a hat look like new again.

[Picture: Natural Dark Brown Mink Brimmed Fedora Style Hat 1950'S]

A note about vintage hat sizing:
Most hats have a size tag in them, ranging from 21 1/2 to 23 1/2. This refers to the inches in circumference around the inside of the crown. Hats from the 1920s to the 1940s tended to be larger as the style was to fit down over the head. The later styles in the 1950s and 1960s were meant to be worn higher on the crown of the head, and are smaller in circumference, as a rule. You should measure your head and compare it to the sizing in the listing.

The Cats Pajamas always notes that size as marked as well as measured for great fit!

[Picture: Vintage Large Black Straw Wide Brim Hat W/Velvet Roses]

"If a woman rebels against high heeled shoes, she should take care to do it in a smart hat..." George Bernard Shaw


Part of an amazing collection of architectural hats, somehow deemed sexy in the late 1950's. Many of these sold to Vogue Italy. These retro hats are truly one of a kind! (click to enlarge)

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