Shaping and Re-Shaping Your Stetson Open Crown Hat

New from Stetson this year are “open-crown” versions of your favorite Stetson models. Open-crown hats differ from other hats in that the crown portion of the hat comes completely round and is left up to the owner how he or she would like to shape it. Open crown hats can be shapen in a few different ways.

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Stetson Stetsonian Fur Felt Fedora

New from Stetson this year are “open-crown” versions of your favorite Stetson models. Open-crown hats differ from other hats in that the crown portion of the hat comes completely round and is left up to the owner how he or she would like to shape it. Open crown hats can be shapen in a few different ways.

1) Professionally Steamed and Blocked If you have the option of taking your hat to a professional hatter, they will use a steamer tool like this one:

1013-DEFAULT-lWater is loaded in the hopper and heated to create steam that is pushed through the brass valve. Tools like this one give hatters a predictable, large amount of steam to work with in shaping the hat’s crown. Wool-felt and fur-felt materials are often treated with a stiffening agent that allows the hat to hold its shape while dry. As such, hats respond much easier to shaping when treated with steam as the stiffening agent is loosened. To provide a signature and predictable crease pattern to a hat, hatters will often use these steamers in conjunction with a hat block, such as this one: Block_pageHat blocks are essentially wooden molds that are carved to specific hat model patterns, which is why a Stetson Stratoliner always looks like a Stetson Stratoliner. Once the hat is steamed, the round crown is placed on the block on the material is pressed and creased against the block to provide the hats shape. This allows professional hats to get quick, consistent results time and time again.

2) Steaming and Re-Shaping at Home While you may not have access to a professional steamer, you can get similar, more customizable results at home with a few simple tools: a tea kettle, your hands, and a bit of time. To provide the steam necessary for a good hat shaping, a standard water boiling kettle, either stove-top or electric can be used:

81UualwmjJL._SL1500_ electric-kettle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The steam from both of these can be used in the same way that the steam from a professional steamer can be used. Simply let the water heat up and hold the hat over the steam produced from the spout. To shape the hat without a block, a little artistry is needed along with a good eye. Begin by first shaping and pinching the top portion of the crown before putting in the center dents or pinches (if you wish). The beauty of a hat shaped at home is that you can customize it to your liking to whatever shape you wish. Also, if you accidentally overshape or misshape the crown, you can ALWAYS apply a little bit more steam and start over. There’s no wrong way to shape a hat.

Here’s a few videos to give you a visual aid:

 

 

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Resistol Open 10X Western Hat

 

 

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Bailey 20X Fur Felt Stellar Open Crown
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