Women's fashion hats make a statement about the wearer and mark some very special occasions. What began as a mandatory accessory to protect a woman's hat and skin from the elements or to protect her modesty in church or from men, has evolved into an accessory to express a woman's personality.
Women's hats can be made from natural or synthetic straw or fabrics like wool felt, brocade or velvet. The addition of a veil or feathers continues the artistic expression of the hat maker often creating a work of art.
To keep the body of a fabric fashion hat looking its best, use a soft bristle brush or lint roller to remove dust and lint. Work around the hat slowly, brushing with the nap of the fabric and taking care not to crush any decorative accessories. If possible, remove trim like ribbons or flowers to make brushing the hat easier.
If the trim is not removable, use a hair dryer on cool/low to blow away dust from flowers and intricate areas.
To remove oily stains from hair products, lotion or body oils, sprinkle the stained area with cornstarch or talcum powder. Allow the powder to sit for several hours and then brush away with a soft brush. Do not use liquid cleaners on felted hats. For heavy fabric hats like brocade, use a mild detergent mixed with cool water and spot treat stains with a white cloth.
To restore hat veils to their original best, use steam from an iron, clothes steamer or hold over a pot of boiling water to carefully reshape a crushed veil. Do not over-steam or the entire hat can loose its shape.
If you want the veil to be stiff and stand away from your face, iron the veil between two layers of waxed paper. Use a medium setting on your iron with no steam. A trace amount of wax will transfer to the veil and make it look crisp.
If you get caught in the rain when wearing your fashion hat, shake off excess water. Use acid free tissue paper or clean white cotton cloths to "stuff" the hat to help it hold its shape. Change the stuffing every couple of hours to speed the drying process. Allow to air dry away from direct heat or sunlight.
Be sure that the hat is completely dry before storing. Always store fashion hats in a correctly sized hat box to prevent crushing and dust accumulation.