FEEDING OF YOUR HAT”
Either someone loves you very much and bought you a Baron California Hat, or you know how wonderful you are, and just wanted to reward and spoil yourself with a Baron California Hat! Either way, now that you have this treasure… the instructions for use are pretty
easy: "Put on head, and enjoy!" Or, "Put on display and enjoy!" But there are some DO’S and DON’TS for the “Care and Feeding” of our special creations. We spend an enormous amount of time on each hat, so it’s very bittersweet when our “children” go off into the real
world after spending so much time to raise them right! Therefore, we
respectively ask that you heed our simplest steps to make sure your hats are as well cared for by you at home, as we cared for them here at our Studio!
Many of our specialty hats (like the hand-brushed-leather, or ones with rare fabrics or
hand-weaves), will arrive with even more specific detailed “care and feeding” instructions, but these general rules are good to keep in mine no matter what kind of hat you have!
Of course all our hats are “Peterbuilt” (or should we say “Baronbuilt”)
to last for generations (you can imagine the kind of wear-tear-and-abuse
a hat takes on a Motion Picture set… especially an “Action-Adventure"
Movie, which we seem to specialize in... so we must make them extra
strong to last through almost anything!). Therefore all our hats are
made of the highest caliber materials available. And we have a special
Quality Control Department right here in our Studio in insure that all
our of our hats are all hand-selected, inspected, respected… and if
they don’t step up to our almost impossible requirements… rejected!
So, like all great things… just as your hat will give you years of enjoyment…
you must show it some “respect” back! By following these simple rules,
your hat will be around for your grandchildren and their grandchildren
to enjoy! Now, onward to some simple rules:
Do not pick up your hat by "pinching" the crown, either at the top or front. Pinching will flex the felt, and eventually cause a hole or crack to develop in the
material. It is best to pick up the hat either by the front and back of the brim, or by placing
your thumbs inside the leather sweatband at the sides with your fingers just touching the outside of the brim, as shown below.
If you’re not going to be wearing your hat everyday, it’s very important that you keep it from dirt and dust. That means to keep it covered in a LOOSELY WRAPPED plastic bag… (“Hefty Bags” are great, but don’t buy the ones that come with a “fresh scent” insert)… and sealed with a “tie”. Better are those zipper “sweater” bags you can buy virtually anywhere.
The best storage of all is to store them in a professional hat box. NEVER put your stored hat under anything in the closet. Even with a
sturdy hatbox, it’s a good practice to put the hats on TOP of the “pile”, or on the floor, with nothing on top of it.
Whatever you store your hat in... remember MOTHS LOVE HATS. I
promise you... if you don't put in some kind of moth protection, you
WILL discover when you take it out, that it resembles more like
something SpongeBob SquarePants would wear! Or, it will make a great
spaghetti strainer! So "moth balls" are imperative to hat
care and long life.
are two different types of moth balls used to combat moths. In one type,
the main ingredient is naphthalene, and in the other it is paradichlorobenzene.
Both chemicals kill moths and moth larvae with the fumes.
either of these chemicals to be effective, they need to be placed with
the hat in a sealed container so the fumes can build up and kill the
moths. However, NEVER let the balls or the cake touch your hat. Wrap
the moth balls or cake in cheese cloth and keep them as far away
from the hat as well as possible. Some moth ball products come with
a plastic hanging container or "box". These are excellent
to use since they contain the moth balls in one place... however they
all have large openings to allow the "gases" to escape and
do their work... and therefore the containers can work themselves up
next to your hat. So wrap the containers in cheese cloth or any extremely
porous material as well. It is always a good idea to loosely wrap your
hat with tissue paper inside whatever storage container you are using.
A less toxic and smelly alternative is cedar blocks, shavings or oil.
The blocks are expensive, but as a little money-saving tip: try buying
the cedar shavings that are used for hamster bedding (which can be bought
at any pet store). They are very inexpensive and work just as well as
the expensive moth-killing cedar!. Again, the container needs to be
tightly closed in order for the cedar scent to have a real effect on
moths. If using oil, remember to follow the directions carefully, and
obviously keep the oil away from the hat, as you would the moth balls.
HAT? NO SWEAT(BAND)!
hats are "satisfaction guaranteed". We will re-work your hat
until you are completely satisfied with the fit. But sometimes, you
can help out your hat with a few simple "magic tricks" of
your own. One of the most common problems we hear about is what we call
the "hair-cut syndrome". Many of you size your hats with a
big mop of hair, and the hat fits just grand... but when your wife,
or mother, or boss tells you to get that hair cut... suddenly your hat
seems a bit "roomy". And for women, a simple change in conditioning
or shampoo, or a new "do" also gives you a hat that suddenly
seems to have a mind of its own. Obviously you don't want to come into
the shop or ship us your hat for readjustment, since in time, your hair
will grow back, or the weather will change, and "presto",
you have your old hat back as it was! So what can you do to keep that
hat snug on your head while your hair has a personality change? We have
at the shop some somewhat expensive "secrets" for that, in
treating the hatband, but frankly we'd rather see you spend that money
on another hat... or at least a better hair-cut! So here are a few economical
secrets just for our very special Baron Hat customers!:
of the best remedies for the "loose hat syndrome", is simply
to place a "line" of cotton underneath the sweatband, making
sure you place a consistent layer all around the hat. You can use any
number of cotton "strips" from your medicine cabinet,. but
if you really want to save a little money, you can do what we do, and
use that cotton that comes out of vitamin and medicine bottles. It's
a bit softer and more "pliable" than the professional medical
version. It's easy to remove and to adjust, and depending on how much
you may use it, can remain in the sweatband for years. However, it does
tend to come apart after a lot of wear, especially under "heated"
circumstances, and is best used as a temporary solution
that's right, the same material you use around your windows and doors!
The self-sticking foam variety is best. We use this for more permanent
applications. Once you've put this all around, underneath your sweatband,
it will last for years, yet can be easily removed if you find your head,
or hair swelling! And unlike the cotton, it won't come apart or flake
inside your hat. Actually many high-end haberdashers use this to re-size
hats, without actually re-blocking or re-shaping and then charge you
a fortune, when in fact they've spend about one minute putting two cents
of stripping under your sweatband.
GENERAL HAT CLEANING:
We understand. No matter how careful we are… we all do mess up our hats
now and then. You know what I mean. You put a hat up on your exercise
bike (that you haven’t actually exercised on in years, and now has become
your best clothes rack!), or on the head of that life-size teddy bear
you bought for your daughter (so long ago that even her children
are too old for it!)… and well, the hat sits there, and it gets dirty!
What to do?
NEVER use water on the hat. Water+Dirt=A total mess that’s very hard
to get out! A dry brushing then? Yes… but NOT like they show the butler
do in the movies. A “whisk” brush can only damage the fur surface… I
mean, try whisking your face and tell me how good you look! Use a soft
bristle brush, especially one that specifically is made for hats. Remember
that all fur has what we call a “nap”, which is very much like the grain
on wood. By blowing on the hat, and looking closely you can see which
way the “nap” goes. Though you may think brushing against the nap will
get the dirt out….DON’T DO IT! Always brush WITH the nap (in the direction
its going)! For straw hats, you CAN use an ordinary whisk broom. But
again, use common sense when brushing it, so as not to damage the weave.
If a straw hat gets wet, first wipe it immediately with a clean dry
cloth, and again, never set a straw hat near any heating element to
dry it. And do NOT set it (or any hat) in the sun to dry! It’s not a
swimsuit! DRY IT NATURALLY INDOORS AWAY FROM DIRECT SUNLIGHT!
FOR ALL HATS:
NEVER get your hat dry cleaned, or SHUDDER TO THINK… NEVER, EVER
put it in the washing machine!! (Don’t laugh… we’ve had “critically
ill” hats come to our "hat hospital" here at our Studio after
their owners ran it through not only the washing machine… but the dryer
If the hat really has been “through the wars”, for example, you suddenly
had this urge to jump into an amateur mud wrestling competition with
it on… take the hat to a professional “Hatter”, or better yet, send
it to us. For a nominal fee and shipping charges, we can clean and reblock
it, and make it look even BETTER than new! For more information about
sending your hat to our "hat hospital", e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
There are many fabric and stain removing solutions sold in stores. Let
me give you just one rule on that subject: "USE A STORE, INTERNET
OR INFOMERCIAL BOUGHT CLEANING SOLUTION ON YOUR HAT -- GO TO JAIL!"
Or at least that should be the law. Every hat is different, and their
fabrics very sensitive… these solutions are for ten year old rugs that
“Fluffy” decided to make into her own litter box, or table cloths with
mustard stains. They are NOT for top quality hat materials! I mean,
if you needed surgery, would you go buy a “cut-yourself-open-at-home”
kit??! Again, if you have a Baron California Hat… you have a living
breathing treasure… so treat it like you would your own flesh and blood!
HATS THAT GET CAUGHT IN THE RAIN:
If a hat gets rain-soaked, smooth out the “unnatural" creases
and dents that are caused by the water. Make it as even and round as
possible, and if the brim is turned down, turn it up again. Then, turn
out the sweatband (usually made of leather), so that it makes a round-edged
“foot” under the crown. This will act as a protective “stand” to set
your hat down as it dries. Leave it there until it dries out naturally.
Do NOT use artificial heat, like setting it on a radiator, or heater,
and NEVER use a hair dryer on it!
Remember what your mother told you about making a face, and it will
get stuck that way? Well, use the same principal for a wet hat. Put
it in an unnatural position, or up against something, and you will get
a very ugly “face”! Make sure there’s plenty of room around the hat.
Pressure of any sort on a wet hat will leave a mark when the hat dries.
Don't jam the brim up against something or it will buckle while drying
and will stay that way.
By the way, as a good rule of thumb, turning out the sweatband after
an especially hot day (read: you got a lot of sweat on your sweatband)
preserves the life of a hat. With the sweatband turned out, perspiration,
hair spray, and other chemical things we put on our head evaporate and
dry out, instead of being transferred to the hat. This also applies
to straw hats.
SPECIAL NOTE TO MINOXIDIL USERS.
To those men and women who are using hair regrowth chemicals, (Rogaine,
or any of the generics): please, DO NOT put on your hat while you have
the treatment on your scalp! Though the Minoxidil may work miracles
in bringing back some much needed hair… it’s a nightmare on hat fabrics!
Though dirt, sweat, and many other stain causing elements can be removed
from most hats… Minoxidil stains can not. So please make sure you thoroughly
wash your hair after your treatments before wearing your special Baron
Another good rule of thumb. Never rest a hat on its brim for any length
of time, particularly a light-weight fabric hat, and particularly if
the hat is wet. Weight on the hat will cause the brim to flatten out.
Make it a habit (especially with “cowboy hat” styles!), to place
your hat on a wall rack, or if on a table or smooth surface, place it
CROWN DOWN, with the brim sticking up. This is also very true of our
silk top hats!
Remember that dogs, cats, other assorted pets, and especially small
children see hats as food, toys or "the enemy". So, use common
sense and keep your treasured Baron Hats off the floor, and out of reach
of hungry animals and precocious children!
If you still have specific questions on the care and feeding of your
hat or for information about shipping your hat back to our Studio for
a good cleaning, maintenance, re-blocking, psychotherapy, or emergency
“surgery”, e-mail us at email@example.com.