Fitted hats are a popular style of headwear meant to conform snugly to the shape of the wearer’s head. While the close fit can look great, it also means fitted hats are not adjustable like hats with adjustable straps or back closures. If your new fitted hat feels too tight, don’t worry – you can stretch a fitted hat to customize the fit. With some simple techniques and a little patience, you can easily stretch your fitted hats for a perfect fit every time.
Using Steam or Heat
One of the easiest and most effective ways to stretch a fitted hat is by using steam or heat. The heat will soften the hat materials, allowing them to stretch and conform to the shape of your head.
Start by filling a pot or kettle with water and bringing it to a boil on the stove. Once the water is steaming, hold the fitted hat over the pot, being careful not to touch the water. The steam will penetrate the hat fabric. Slowly rotate the hat so steam reaches all areas. Check the fit periodically by trying on the hat. Repeat the steaming process until the hat stretches to your desired fit.
You can also use a hair dryer to apply concentrated heat to the problem areas of a fitted hat. Turn the hat inside out and focus the hot air from the dryer on the spots that feel too tight. The materials will relax from the heat, stretching the hat. Just be sure not to hold the dryer in one spot too long to avoid damaging the hat.
Using a Hat Stretcher
Hat stretchers provide an easy, mess-free way to widen and stretch fitted hats. Stretchers are plastic or metal forms that fit inside the hat and slowly expand to stretch it from the inside out.
Look for a stretcher that matches the style and material of your hat. Insert the stretcher and turn the adjustment dial or knob to start extending the size. Leave the stretcher in the hat overnight or longer to allow the hat time to gently stretch. Check periodically and continue expanding the stretcher if needed to reach your ideal fit.
Wearing the Hat
Simply wearing a fitted hat is also an effective stretching technique. The warmth and moisture from your head will naturally soften and expand the hat materials.
Wear the fitted hat for extended periods, even if it feels slightly snug at first. The hat will gradually mold to the shape of your head. You can also try dampening the hat lightly with water or wearing it during exercise when your head is warm and damp with sweat. This will speed up the stretching process. Just don’t wear the hat during activities where it could get damaged.
Look for hat stretching sprays and creams formulated to relax hat fibers for easy stretching. Follow the product directions to lightly apply the solution inside the fitted hat, focusing on tight areas. As the solution penetrates the hat fibers, it allows the hat to expand and conform to your head for a customized fit.
With some simple tricks and patience, you can easily stretch and customize tight-fitted hats. Steaming, heat, stretchers, wear, and products will help you adjust your favorite fitted hats for the perfect size and shape.