Cowboy hats have been considered as a sign of masculinity for decades. Moreover, the hats are also important parts of American tradition and heritage. The hats first gained popularity in the West and were used by the cowboys for work and social events. But recently, cowboys hats are not only considered functional or cultural. The hats have made the leap from function to fashion. No longer confined to outdoor work and shepherding sheep, the hats made their presence felt in today’s fashion scene.
Initially made to withstand extreme weather conditions like rain, snow, and Western heat, contemporary cowboy hats maintain their quality. But as a tribute to modern fashion, the hat styles and materials have varied over the years. Now, there is a number of different designs, styles, and colors. There are even designers whose sole purpose is to make fashionable hats. Despite the evolution of these hats, experts still hold to the popular opinion that custom hats are better. Of course, custom hats are more expensive. According to Joella Torres, making sure that custom hats are cared for properly should be a top priority for consumers. Torres comes from a family of hat makers and currently heads a cowboy hats company. She gives easy maintenance tips for every cowboy hat enthusiast.
First, cowboy hats can take on natural elements like snow or rain. However, before storage, the hats must be air-dried. A common mistake that is fatal to the hats is exposure to heat. A dry and clean corner where the hats can sit until dried is enough. Second, the hats are constructed using fabric and other natural materials like felt or fur. This means that the hats are prone to staining. Torres warns hat enthusiasts not to rub or wipe off thick substances like mud or drips from the hats. Wiping these substances while fresh may cause it to seep into the hats’ material, creating unsightly stains. The trick is to let these substances dry completely then scrape them off with rulers or credit cards. For hats made of different materials like shag, regular brushing should keep the sheen longer. Washing these hats are not recommended since washing makes the hair fall off.
Storage is also an important consideration in hat maintenance. Keeping hats in their original boxes consumes too much space. Not to mention that the boxes are prone to insect holes. Torres advises keeping cowboy hats in individual plastic bags with twist tie locks. Cowboy hats are interesting and expensive pieces, so letting insects get to them is tantamount to losing a good investment.
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