Dent Removal – Repair a Hat – Felt Bowler – 12 Step Process
Before you start the dent removal 12 Step Tutorial, make sure that you have removed any excess dust from your hats’ surface. To learn how to remove the dust from your hat, please visit…..How to Clean and Buff A Fur Felt Hat.
There are a few important factors that should be followed with caution when learning how to remove the dents from a fur felt hat. Below I have given you a photographic step-by-step process. You may need to follow these steps a few times, steaming both the inner and outer sections of your hat.
Many people feel that a hat has been ‘broken’ when dents appear and often the hat is thrown away. I hope that you will find the following instructions helpful. A little know-how will go a long way to resurrect your favorite hat!
This process can be used to remove the dents in a woolen felt hat as well as a fur felt hat.
STEP 1 – Dent Removal
Before you begin steaming your hat, identify all the areas that are in need of some dent removal TLC. If your crown and your brim need some work, first focus on the crown. Let the crown dry and then begin the work on your brim.
STEP 2 – Dent Removal
A steamer or kitchen kettle will work perfectly for softening the felt. Only fill your kettle 1/3 full, to stop it from overflowing at boiling point.
STEP 3 – Dent Removal
Safety should come first when steaming a fur felt! I would advise that you steam in a well-ventilated area and wear a mask for extra protection against vapor fumes and chemicals. Use a folded kitchen cloth to support the inside of the hat, as you manipulate and smooth the outer with your other hand.
STEP 4 – Dent Removal
Open the lid of your kettle to stop it from switching off at the boiling point. Bring the kettle to boiling point with maximum steam outflow. Test your felts pliability by doing a slight steam, section by section. More steam may be needed according to the levels of stiffener within you felt. Less stiffener, less steaming needed.
STEP 5 – Dent Removal
Hold the brim of the hat and place the under crown over the kettle to steam. Hold the hat at an angle, tipping it upwards away from you. By tipping the hat the steam will escape from the inner crown without burning your hand.
STEP 6 – Dent Removal
Once the inner crown has been softened, place your towel inside the crown for support. Gently massage the outer crown with the palm of your hand.
STEP 7 – Dent Removal
Turn your hat over to steam the outside of the crown. Remember to angle your hat so the steam flows away from your hand. Remove the hat from the steam.
STEP 8 – Dent Removal
The inner cloth will act as a heat conductor against the felt. Use the palm of your hand to press flat as you use the inner cloth to press against.
STEP 9 – Dent Removal
After steaming the felt dries very quickly. If you make any mistakes, simply restream and buff, until the surface is perfectly contoured to its original shape.
STEP 10 – Dent Removal
After all the dents have been removed, leave your hat to dry. If the crown was steamed then leave the hat resting on the brim. If the brim was steamed then leave the hat resting on its crown, upside down.
STEP 11 – Dent Removal
Once your fur felt hat is dry give it a final clean, removing any dust or fluff that may have attached to the surface. Use the same cleaning technique as shown in ‘How To Clean and Buff a Fur Felt Hat.’
STEP 12 – Dent Removal
Swirling the crown is the final stage in re-steaming your hat. Gently re-steam the outer crown. Hold your cloth inside the hat and place your other hand on the apex of the outer crown. Open your hand, gently press down, and circle the apex of the crown. This will create a swirl effect, which is the final finish of the steaming process.
NB: The swirling effect can only be achieved with a fur felt hat. A woolen felt hat will not create the same effect. It works best on the domed bowler and the flat top hat crown.
Once your hat has been cleaned and all the dents have been removed, you may wish to safely store your hat for its next outing. To learn more about the best practices for hat storage, please visit ‘How To Safely Pack and Store Your Felt Hats.’