Washing a wool hat?

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I need to wash my wool hat. I washed it once before, ignoring the instructions on doing such, and it shrunk, so I'm not doing it that way again. It also made the instructions that I ignored illegible. But right now the hat is in a bit of a gross state and it's not going back on my head 'til it's been washed. This is a problem as its still rather cold in these parts and I hate wearing a hoodie because it makes me look antisocial. How should I go about the washing of the hat?

The Reverend, Sunday, 25 March 2007 07:40 (ten years ago) Permalink

Really you should dryclean it, if you want a clean hat with no shrinkage. Because hot water, the use of soap, and agitation/rubbing are exactly the forces that make wool shrink and contract into something smaller and warmer.

Laurel, Sunday, 25 March 2007 07:48 (ten years ago) Permalink

I guess "fuck washing a hat" needs to be added to the FAQ.

C0L1N B..., Sunday, 25 March 2007 07:49 (ten years ago) Permalink

Handwash. Lay flat on towel to dry.

nathalie, Sunday, 25 March 2007 07:50 (ten years ago) Permalink

bury it in the sand and come back 3 days later

gershy, Sunday, 25 March 2007 07:56 (ten years ago) Permalink

Fuck washing a hat?

I'm confused. I think I'll go for option #2 as it doesn't cost money and the hat gets washed.

The Reverend, Sunday, 25 March 2007 07:57 (ten years ago) Permalink

Gershy, go bury your head in the sand for 3 days. Bah! : D

The Reverend, Sunday, 25 March 2007 07:59 (ten years ago) Permalink

Handwash is the best way to go. But do not put it in the dryer unless you want an XS hat. ;-)

nathalie, Sunday, 25 March 2007 08:08 (ten years ago) Permalink

Yeah, that's what happened the first time I washed it. Luckily, I was able to get it back to something resembling its former size.

The Reverend, Sunday, 25 March 2007 08:16 (ten years ago) Permalink

i was so sure that this thread was a joke.

aaron d.g., Sunday, 25 March 2007 08:40 (ten years ago) Permalink

I lost my sense of humor in a childhood accident.

The Reverend, Sunday, 25 March 2007 08:43 (ten years ago) Permalink

If you wash it, you can always pin it to the size you want. Of course this doesn't mean you can double the size, but you can *stretch* it a little. (This works with most knitted garments, I think.)

nathalie, Sunday, 25 March 2007 08:47 (ten years ago) Permalink

No no no you're all wrong dammit~ It makes me crazy that we "so advanced" of the years beyond the 1800s can't wash wool or cotton without ruining it. Honestly - did our ancestors have the ability to run to the dry cleaners? Not so much. Did they wear stuff stinking? Only to a point...! They did this really easy thing called "Blocking". It's still used when washing/centering certain things that no one has a clue how to manage: All it is is washing the item in mild detergent (woolite if you've got it) otherwise regular laundry soap. The trick is to put the item on a cardboard cutout or pin it onto the sheet or whatever you plan to flat dry it upon... you don't allow the yarn to shrink by fixing it in position either by pinning it or putting it over a normal sized cardboard cutout to keep it in shape and the right size. Ask any of the ILX knitting persons, they are experts!!!!

Wiggy Woo, Sunday, 25 March 2007 09:08 (ten years ago) Permalink

That makes sense.

The Reverend, Sunday, 25 March 2007 09:11 (ten years ago) Permalink

I'd try and explain the "fck washing a hat" 'meme' here, but I think it's beyond explanation by now, except that it's VERY FUNNY. Fck washing a hat!!!

Yeah dude, you felted it. Buy 1x acrylic hat next time :)

Sarah, Sunday, 25 March 2007 09:48 (ten years ago) Permalink

My wooly hat is over 10 years old and has never been washed!

er, yeah!

jel --, Sunday, 25 March 2007 09:55 (ten years ago) Permalink

wiggy, did you not notice i mentioned the pinning (=blocking)?
so advanced and we still cant read. ;-)

nathalie, Sunday, 25 March 2007 11:16 (ten years ago) Permalink

I always lose my hats before I get a chance to wash them. It's probably for the best.

robster, Sunday, 25 March 2007 12:30 (ten years ago) Permalink

Just replace it with a non-wool hat.

Rockist Scientist, Sunday, 25 March 2007 12:33 (ten years ago) Permalink

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice... fuck washing a hat.

and what, Sunday, 25 March 2007 12:46 (ten years ago) Permalink

fuck washing ong's hat

get bent, Sunday, 25 March 2007 13:00 (ten years ago) Permalink

ah, wool...
i wonder if you can buy blocking blocks in the shapes of hats/heads and sweaters/bodies. i bet they exist.
but there is also the towel way too - here

rrrobyn, Sunday, 25 March 2007 13:20 (ten years ago) Permalink

more detailed instructions on blocking

rrrobyn, Sunday, 25 March 2007 13:22 (ten years ago) Permalink

I've never had a problem washing woolens, even cashmere, in the washing machine with warm water. Just dry it on a hanger, or lay it on a towel.

Beth Parker, Sunday, 25 March 2007 13:26 (ten years ago) Permalink

Blocking is how you shape a garment, so yeah, you could block your hat...but woolens don't continue to shrink after the elements of heat and agitation are removed, there's no FURTHER shrinkage during the air-drying process. IE when you're felting something, you rub and scrub it in hot water until it's the size you want, and then you lay it out to dry and it won't shrink any more until you felt it again. So drying is not the problem.

So okay, handwash with Woolite or another cleaner that's made for wool & delicates, use COOL water, and don't overscrub. When you think it's clean enough, squeeze it dry or roll it up in a clean towel and stand on it (this is what I do) to press the water out without wringing. Should be fine.

Laurel, Sunday, 25 March 2007 14:55 (ten years ago) Permalink

" Just dry it on a hanger"

If you make sure most of the water is out of it, otherwise it'll stretch!

stevienixed, Sunday, 25 March 2007 14:56 (ten years ago) Permalink

So is the original "fuck washing a hat" thread lost for all eternity? I would love to be able to see that again in it's original context.

Jena, Sunday, 25 March 2007 17:34 (ten years ago) Permalink

The beauty of the washer spin cycle is thast your sweater is so much lighter than it would be if you hand washed—I hung a cashmere sweater to dry after machine-washing and it was fine. But maybe that's because it's such a light thing anyway.
I can't believe I'm holding forth about laundry. For fuck's sake.

Beth Parker, Sunday, 25 March 2007 19:45 (ten years ago) Permalink

nathalie - no didn't see your pinning suggestion (dur, no I obviously cannot read.)

laurel, I still think that the blocking keeps it from further shrinkage - I swear that a sweater of mine that I didn't block shrank on a hanger post washing; maybe I am imagining it tho.

beth, you are the queen of all things household so of course you'd come to the rescue! :-)

Wiggy Woo, Monday, 26 March 2007 00:09 (ten years ago) Permalink

So is the original "fuck washing a hat" thread lost for all eternity? I would love to be able to see that again in it's original context.

Some initial searching didn't turn it up, alas.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 26 March 2007 00:12 (ten years ago) Permalink

Maybe the only Kangol reference on ILX R.I.P. :'(

Jena, Monday, 26 March 2007 02:19 (ten years ago) Permalink

No, there is another.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 26 March 2007 02:21 (ten years ago) Permalink

There was a cunt in a backwards kangol hat sitting down waggling his head like a fish to the groove. And a five-string bass. And two tossers playing horns ...


Jena, Monday, 26 March 2007 02:26 (ten years ago) Permalink

Ha - The hat in question is a Kangol. I do not wear it backwards though.

I should get around to actually doing this.

The Reverend, Monday, 26 March 2007 06:08 (ten years ago) Permalink

I don't think it was a thread, it was a sticker... well... a label?

Sarah, Monday, 26 March 2007 08:13 (ten years ago) Permalink

Ned: I know it's on an old excelsior thread, but I'm having trouble searching for it!

Mark G, Monday, 26 March 2007 08:57 (ten years ago) Permalink

The rolling it up in a towel thing needs reiterating, I think. It's a really handy trick.

Madchen, Monday, 26 March 2007 13:27 (ten years ago) Permalink

I was thinking about this thread while washing my face this morning, and it occured to me that if a garment was given its shape by blocking the first time (after it's original production) then it might lose that shape if not reblocked after each wash. But making something fit and hang correctly through blocking rather than tailoring is a dirty trick of the garment industry, called "shampooing", as I read somewhere, and means someone's been short-cutting along the way. I dunno about home-knitted things, you have to block everything, don't you?

So basically the hat is small and not heavy and probably won't stretch much from its own weight, but it might have been dried on a form after manufacture...if you think drying it flat might cause distortion, try this: do the rolling trick, get most of the water out by pressing, then unroll and stuff the hat with crumpled dry newspaper in approximately the shape it should take when dry. You could just leave it until dry, or maybe change the newspaper the next day or something -- see what you think.

Laurel, Monday, 26 March 2007 13:42 (ten years ago) Permalink

[i]I dunno about home-knitted things, you have to block everything, don't you?[i]

You're supposed too, but I'm lazy.

tokyo rosemary, Monday, 26 March 2007 15:44 (ten years ago) Permalink

There is a quote from Martin M, from 2004 on this here thread:


the thread we are looking for??

jel --, Monday, 26 March 2007 16:57 (ten years ago) Permalink

Oh, this might be the one:

Gothic Anus

jel --, Monday, 26 March 2007 17:01 (ten years ago) Permalink

Oh it is lost, this magical first thread, it seems.

jel --, Monday, 26 March 2007 17:02 (ten years ago) Permalink

From the April-May 2004 Excelsior thread

Author Topic: Cleaning hats?

posted April 25, 2004 03:06 PM
I need a way to clean a fitted without fucking it up.

posted April 25, 2004 03:11 PM
Wet rag & Oxy Clean shit's good as new. Cold water tho.

posted April 25, 2004 03:57 PM
yo i put a flexfit kangol through the dishwasher with one of those platic hat cages and the shit never was the same

dont be a cheap ass, just buy a new fucking hat and have more than one favorite hat, you got to switch your style up, that way you always looking fresh

fuck washing a hat

LC on Tuesday, 27 April 2004 10:02 (2 years ago)

jaymc, Monday, 26 March 2007 17:09 (ten years ago) Permalink

Just put it on at 30 degrees and keep your fingers crossed.

braveclub, Tuesday, 27 March 2007 12:34 (ten years ago) Permalink

ten months pass...

Ok, so I was kinda horrified earlier when I went to put on one of my favorite sweaters -- it's dark red with dark grey raglan sleeves, pretty casual, but so warm and really neato-looking, because you don't usually get a sweater with raglan sleeves in two different solid colors, you know? -- anyway, I didn't realize it until I went to put it on, but I shrank the doo-doo out of it. Oh noes, it went in with the rest of the laundry! How could this have happened! etc. 100% lambswool + washer + dryer = disaster.

Or so I thought! I'm giving this method a go, and so far it looks really promising. I soaked it for 10-20 minutes in warm water with some of the super-gentle liquid face soap from the shower rack (I read somewhere the hair conditioner is also gentle enough), laid out an extra fluffy towel and got to stretching it back to my liking. This is fun, since any place that it had been stretched out of shape by yanking it off by the neck or by just plain being fat is now taut, but still yielding to my whim. By stretching it longer than wide and giving the arms a little extra length that I often need out of a lot of sleeves, I can has CUSTOM SWEATER. And oh, it's so so soft now. Nearly felt.

I will report back and let you know if it works out like I hope, or if it dries into some kind of giant crispy mass, or something awful like that.

kenan, Saturday, 23 February 2008 11:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

Maybe I should give it a go as well. One sweater is so small, I could fit my baby daughter in it. :-( Suxors. Thought it was due to me being so fat, but now that I dropped eight kgs, it's still too small... albeit a little less. hah

stevienixed, Saturday, 23 February 2008 12:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

Motherhood is hell on sweaters.

kenan, Saturday, 23 February 2008 12:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

Actually I can't remember if I washed it. :-( It was either the cleaning lady, my husband or a zombie (read: me). :-)

stevienixed, Saturday, 23 February 2008 12:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

It's clearly the last explanation for me. The little man inside my head whose job it is to say "Dude, don't do that, that's wool!" has gotten complacent and lazy.

kenan, Saturday, 23 February 2008 12:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

Very big success with this, btw. Huge. I may have made the arms about an inch too long, but fuck it.

kenan, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 08:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

Also, crazy warm. This was always a warm sweater, but now that the wool is a bit matted, it's scary warm. Wearing this on a hot day would be the kind of cruel fraternity hazing ritual that ends in needless death.

kenan, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 08:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

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