Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Customer Question: Hats in the Rain?

Thanks to Gail for sending in the following question.

"Are your hats ok to wear on a heavy foggy day or in drizzle?"

 I recommend that House of Nines Design hats are not worn unprotected in rainy weather, although fog should be ok as long as it's not depositing a lot of moisture. I often wear a hat out in the rain, but always under an umbrella. A soft ladies' felt hat may not be harmed too much by a short time in light rain, but they're not really designed for it, and the stiffened hats (top hats, etc.) especially may lose their shape if they get really wet.

If you do accidentally get caught in the rain in one of your House of Nines Design hats and it needs a touch-up afterward, I offer a cleaning / refreshing service (prices vary depending on how much work the hat needs), feel free to contact me to discuss. Please note that I do not offer this service for hats made by other milliners, only ones that I made originally.

For a hat made from long-nap 'beaver' felt, if the surface of the hat gets a bit damp but the shape is not damaged, you may want to brush it very gently with a soft hat brush while the fur is still damp, so that it dries in a nice, smooth position. With the hat upright, brush the vertical sides of the crown of the hat from left to right, and the tip (top) of the hat in a counter-clockwise circle. The top of the brim may be brushed in the same direction. Then, flip the hat upside down and brush the underside of the crown in a clockwise circle. Even without getting caught in the rain, if the fur nap of your 'beaver' hat gets mussed and you want to smooth it back down, you can brush it as described above.

On the other hand, hats made of men's felt (which is thicker and sturdier) may fare better in rain than the thinner ladies' felt. If you are looking for a stylish hat to wear in inclement weather, I could make a more weather-protective hat from this type of felt upon request.

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