A good quality felt cowboy hat is quite expensive. Apart from the money value there will also be a pride of ownership associated with the hat. Naturally, you won't want to see the hat become unwearable in a year or two. To prevent that from happening you must take good, proper care of the hat. Good and proper care will see the hat last for a good many seasons, its looks gaining character, so to speak.
Proper care begins with prevention. If the hat doesn't require cleaning or repair that much remedial care is also avoided. The cardinal rule is: Don't let the hat get dirty! One very simple way to keep the hat from getting dirty is: wash your hands before handling the hat. Cleaning a felt hat is very difficult, and leads to material damage.
Another simple way to prevent soilage is to handle the hat by the brim, never by the crown! Apart from preventing soilage this will help to keep the hat in good shape. The more you handle the crown, the more it will get out of shape. There's nothing worse than a bedraggled hat sitting on top of your head, I'll say!
When you're not wearing it, store the hat away in its original hat box. If you don't have the original hat box, then find another one of suitable size to accommodate your hat. Never leave the hat lying around on a table or other exposed place. Do you know the proper way to keep a hat in storage? The proper way to store a hat is upside down! Store it on its crown not on its brim. The brim will "wilt" with the weight of the hat if it is stored for any great length of time. If you choose to hang the hat on a hat stand, then of course, the hat goes right side up!
Protect the hat from strong heat sources. That means you don't leave the hat near the radiator or the furnace. Doing so will shrink the sweat band and that means you'll not be able to get the hat to fit you again!
Protect the hat from getting wet. Water is enemy number one for your felt cowboy hat. In case it does get wet let the hat dry out normally and naturally. Be careful not to try to hasten the process by using a blower or, worse, a hair drier! The brim has a tendency to lose shape when it gets wet. To get the weight of the hat off the brim when you let it stand to dry, turn the sweat band inside out, and rest the hat on the sweat band instead. When the hat dries out, do what you can to reshape the sweat band and the rest of the hat to its original appearance and shape.
If you get caught in a chance drizzle and the hat gets wet, it won't matter much, but don't let that happen too often. If you expect to be out in the rain often, then you'll be wise to buy a hat cover. Use the hat cover whenever you're going out and there is a sign of rain. It will add another year to your hat's life.
The tips given in this article will keep that hat on your head for many, many years! Your hat will be lookin' good, and you'll be lookin' good yourself! As we cowboys always say: A good head in a good hat! Adieu, pardner!