Materials Needed to Attach a Hatband and Bow to a Hat
Ruler / Tape Measure
NB: Do not replace the clear cold glue with a glue gun option. A hot glue gun should never be used to attach any trim to a hat. If you need to clean any glued area, industrial Acetone can be used. Hot Glue can not be removed and it will destroy any opportunity for you to retrim in the future!
*** Cold Glue is alcohol based and it dries clear. Uhu Glue or a clear glue option should be used. Do NOT use wood cold glue for these procedures.
How To Attach A Hat Band and Bow To A Hat
– 23 Step Hat Making Tutorial
For these projects, I use Stapol Adhesive Glue from South Africa. This glue is used in the manufacturing of leather handbags and shoes. If you live overseas or in North America, you can contact your local Millinery supplier, or leather goods manufacturer and find the correct glue in your area.
I decant the glue into a glue bottle. Stapol glue is the most expensive material I use in hat making but it is worth every penny. Industrial acetone can be used to clean up any drips that may occur.
Step 1. Identify The Sloping Gradient Of The Crown
Replacing a hatband can be a frustrating experience. Most people do not know that a hatband must be ‘Turned,’ in order for it to sit flat against a hat.In this post, we will be focusing on how to attach a hatband and bow, so that it sits flat against the hat. People seem to have no problem replacing the ribbon on a traditional stovepipe top hat, but the fedora and often the bowler styles can leave people frustrated.
Step 2 – Choose a Hatband
The problem arises through the angel slant of the crown, as opposed to the straight line of the ribbon. The traditional top hat has a straight-up design whereas the fedora is angled at a lessening slant upwards the tip. This slanting of the fedora hat leaves a gap between the top of the petersham band and the hat body. It does not matter how hard you pull or how tightly you try to fasten the ribbon flat against the hat, you will not achieve a successful result unless you TURN the Hatband first!
Step 3 – Mark The Band Placement Point
A man’s hat is traditionally trimmed on its left side and a woman’s hat is trimmed on its right side. Use a piece of chalk and mark the center-left side of the hat.
Step 4 – Measure The Headband Size
To get the correct band length, take your ribbon and wrap it around the hat. Give yourself a 3cm overlap at the join.
Step 5 – Identify The Depth of The Hat Gap
After you have wrapped the band around the hat you will see whether there is a gap between the band and the hat. These gaps will occur at the front and back of the hat. In this example, the pen illustrates the gap at the front and back of the hat.
Step 6 – Mark The Front and Back Band Points
Using your chalk, mark the front and back positions on the band. Concentrate on these areas when turning your band.
How To Attach a Leather Hatband to a Cowboy Hat
Whether you are replacing a Petersham hatband or a leather hatband, on a cowboy hat, you will need to turn the band first. The following instructions can be used for a leather headband too. When working with a leather hatband make sure to cover it with a cotton cloth before you begin to iron. Do not overlap the endpoints as that will become too bulky. Place the endpoints of the leather band to sit flush against each other.
Step 7a – How To Turn A Hatband
In order to turn your hatband, you will need an iron and ironing board. Many hatbands can have a large amount of plastic synthetics. The more synthetic the ribbon the quicker it will burn. Test a portion of your ribbon to set the proper temperature. Higher silk content ribbon will be able to take a higher heat and ultimately turn easily. If you are working with a white ribbon or a leather band you may want to use a piece of silk fabric between the band and the iron to save from scorching or to keep clean.
Step 7b – How To Turn A Hatband cont.
Place your ribbon flat and straight on the ironing board. Warm up the ribbon by giving it a few straight-through presses. Identify where you want the ribbon to start curving in the front. Just before the intended curve hold the ribbon with your left hand, while the iron is flat on the board and ribbon. Pull down gently with your left hand and pull backward with the iron, while steaming.
Step 8 – Difference Between a Turned and Straight Hatband
In the photo above you can see the difference between the original straight band and the turned headband. The greater the crown narrows, towards the tip, the greater your headband curve will need to be.
Step 9 – Test The Headband Turn On The Hat
Place the band around the hat to test whether it is sitting flat against your hat. If you still see a gap, repeat the process above.
Step 10 – Apply Cold Glue To The Hat Base
Remove the band. Dab the clear cold glue at intervals around your hat. Start gluing 5 cm away from where your headband will overlap. There is no need to do a continuous line of glue. DO NOT USE A GLUE GUN TO ATTACH YOUR HEADBAND! Hot glue dries too quickly and you will not be able to clean any mess you may make. Cold glue is alcohol-based and can be easily removed using industrial acetone.
Step 11 – Attach The Hat Band
Attach the band by holding the left side, starting point, down with your finger. Gently wrap the band around the hat. Since the band has been turned you will not need to pull it, for it to sit flush against the hat.
Step 12 – Check The Even Placement Of The Hat Band
Keep wrapping the band around the hat until you reach the end. Gently maneuver the hatband to make sure that it is sitting evenly around the circumference of the hat. Give yourself a 1 cm overlap and cut off the excess of your band.
Step 13 – Stitch The Band Join
Use cotton that is the same color as your band. For a better visual I have used black cotton but if I were doing this for a client, I would use the color cotton in the top photo. Do an in-out stitch and then create a center cross stitch through the band.
Step 14 – Measure The Bow Band Length
Your bow size will be dependent on the width of your headband. Each side of your bow should be twice the width of the headband. For a narrower band, I would do a straight bow but if you are using a wider band you may wish to make a down pleat in the band and bow.
Step 16 – Fold The Bow Band In Half
Once you have your correct sized bow band. Fold the band in half and find your center point. Give yourself a .5cm overlap on the bow join. Pin the band together to secure it.
Step 17 – Stitch The Center Of The Bow
Do an in-out stitch to secure both sides of the join. Finish with a cross-over stitch through the center.
Step 18 – Iron The Bow Flat
Place the bow under a cotton cloth and steam the bow flat.
Step 19 – Glue The Center Of The Bow
Turn your bow so that the raw join is at the back. Use a dab of cold glue on the right side of the bow.
Step 20 – Attach The Bow Overflap
Place your fold-over band on the center of the bow. Hold down with your finger to secure.
Step 21 – Fold Over The Flap Edges
Fold both sides of the center band over the bow. Make sure that the fold-over is cradling the bow on both sides. Place the bow under the cotton cloth and steam the fold-over edges flat.
Step 22 – Glue The Center Point Of The Hat Band
Place a dab of glue on the center point of your band.
Step 23 – Attach The Head Band To The Bow
Attach the center point of the band to the center point of the bow. Hold down with your finger.
Step 24 – Stitch The Edge Of The Bow Points Down
Stitch the corner points of your bow flat. Hide the stitching by sewing through the bottom section of the bow.
Step 25 – Stitch The Center Point Of The Bow
Sew down all four corners of the bow centerfold. Hide your stitching under the fold-over flap. No stitching should be visible.