How to Flatten a Hat Brim

Hats are a timeless fashion accessory that can add style and sophistication to any outfit. However, over time, the brim of a hat can become curved or misshapen, affecting its overall appearance. If you find yourself with a hat brim that doesn’t sit as flat as you’d like, fear not! There are several effective methods to flatten a hat brim and restore it to its former glory.

How to Flatten a Hat Brim

What is a hat brim?

The brim of a hat refers to the horizontal, projecting edge that encircles the crown. It serves both functional and aesthetic purposes. Functionally, the brim provides shade from the sun and protects the wearer from rain. Aesthetically, it defines the style of the hat and enhances the wearer’s overall look.

Why do hat brims become curved?

Hat brims can become curved due to various factors. The most common reasons include improper storage, exposure to moisture, or being accidentally sat on or squished. The material of the hat also plays a role, as some materials are more prone to losing shape than others.

Using a Steamer

One of the easiest ways to flatten a hat brim is to use a steamer. A steamer can help relax the fabric and the stiff material underneath the brim, making it easier to reshape it. Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Prepare Your Hat

Rest your hat flat on an ironing board with the top part of your brim face-up.

Step 2: Dampen the Brim

Fill a spray bottle with cold water and spray the brim of your hat vigorously to dampen it. The moisture will help the fibers to become more pliable.

Step 3: Use the Steamer

Set your steamer to high heat and run it across the brim, moving it back and forth slowly. The steam will further soften the brim, making it easier to flatten.

Step 4: Apply Pressure

Press down on the steamer, exerting moderate pressure to help flatten the brim. Be careful not to press too hard, as you don’t want to damage the hat.

Step 5: Repeat if Necessary

Continue steaming and pressing until the brim is completely flat. Depending on the hat’s material and stiffness, you may need to repeat the process several times.

Step 6: Stiffen the Brim

Mist the brim of the hat lightly with spray starch and iron it again, running the iron evenly across the surface area of the hat’s brim. This will help to stiffen the brim, keeping it in the desired shape.

Step 7: Let It Dry

Place the hat in the refrigerator or freezer overnight to allow it to fully dry and stiffen. Once dry, your hat brim should hold its shape better.

Using Heavy Objects

Another way to flatten a hat brim is to use heavy objects. This method can be effective for less delicate materials. Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Position Your Hat

Place your hat on a clean, flat surface with the top part of your brim face-down.

Step 2: Apply Weight

Place heavy objects, such as books, weights, or even stones, on the creases of your brim and lay them flat. The weight will help to flatten the brim over time.

Step 3: Be Patient

Leave the hat and the objects for 24 hours or longer, depending on how severe the creases are. Be patient, as this method may take some time to achieve the desired results.

Step 4: Reshape Gently

After removing the objects, gently reshape the hat with your hands. Be careful not to apply too much force, especially if the material is delicate.


Flattening a hat brim can be a simple yet effective way to change the look of your favorite hat. Whether you choose to use a steamer or heavy objects, remember to take your time and be gentle with the process. Each hat is unique, and the time it takes to flatten the brim may vary. So, experiment and find the method that works best for your hat type and material.


Can I use a hairdryer instead of a steamer?

While a hairdryer can provide some moisture, it may not be as effective as a steamer. Steamers are designed to release a constant flow of hot steam, which helps to relax the fibers and reshape the brim more effectively.

Can I use this method for all types of hats?

The methods mentioned can work for many types of hats, but be cautious with delicate materials like straw. For such hats, it’s best to use the heavy objects method and avoid excess moisture.

How long will the flattened brim hold its shape?

The duration the brim holds its shape depends on the hat’s material and how well you maintain it. Storing the hat properly and avoiding exposure to extreme conditions can help preserve the shape.

Can I flatten a hat with a design or embellishments on the brim?

Yes, you can flatten such hats, but take extra care when using a steamer. Avoid direct contact with embellishments, as excessive heat or moisture may damage them.

Should I use starch on all hats after steaming?

No, it’s not necessary for all hats. Use starch only for hats that need extra stiffness, like some wide-brimmed hats. For casual hats, the steaming alone may be sufficient.

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