Everyone has experienced that sinking feeling when your favorite hat just doesn’t fit quite right anymore. But don’t fret – you can learn how to shrink a fitted hat to get that perfect fit once again! In this guide, we’ll walk you through the reasons for shrinking a hat, the different materials hats are made from, and step-by-step instructions on how to shrink your fitted hat. So let’s dive in!

A fitted hat may need shrinking for various reasons, including natural stretching over time, incorrect sizing, or a change in the wearer’s head size. Whatever the cause, you can easily make adjustments to your hat to ensure it fits comfortably and securely.

The headscarf wrapped, with modesty,
In cultures old, it’s worn with glee.
A classic style, for women’s wear,
Its purpose serves, with humble care.

Step-by-Step Guide to Shrinking a Hat

Now that you know the different materials, let’s discuss the various methods you can use to shrink your fitted hat.

Hot Water Technique

Fill a large pot with water and heat it to a near-boiling temperature (around 180°F or 82°C).

Submerge your hat in the hot water for 20-30 seconds, being cautious not to overexpose it to the heat.

Carefully remove the hat from the water and gently wring out the excess moisture.

Place the hat on your head or a hat form while still damp and let it air dry to achieve the desired size.

Steam Technique

Boil water in a kettle or pot, then carefully pour the steamy water into a large bowl.

Hold your hat above the bowl, exposing it to the steam for 30 seconds to a minute, or until the material becomes slightly damp.

Put the hat on your head or a hat form and let it air dry.

Sewing Technique

Turn your hat inside out and locate the sizing band.

Carefully remove a portion of the sizing band’s stitching.

Adjust the band to the desired size and sew it back together using a needle and thread.

Turn the hat right-side out and try it on to ensure the proper fit.

Different Hat Materials

Understanding Different Hat Materials

Before attempting to shrink your fitted hat, it’s crucial to understand the material it’s made from. The type of fabric will determine the best method for shrinking as well as cleaning your hat and how much shrinkage you can expect.

Cotton Hats

Cotton hats are breathable and soft, but they are also prone to shrinkage. Exposing them to heat and moisture can cause the fibers to contract, making it relatively easy to shrink a cotton hat.

Wool Hats

Wool hats are known for their warmth and durability, and they naturally shrink when exposed to heat and moisture. However, you should be cautious not to over-shrink a wool hat, as it can become too tight and uncomfortable.

Synthetic Hats

Hats made from synthetic materials like polyester are less likely to shrink than natural fibers. However, with the right techniques, you can still achieve some shrinkage if needed.

How to shrink a fitted hat

Hat Adjustments and Hacks

If you’re unable to shrink your hat using the methods above, there are other ways to adjust the fit:

  1. Insert foam strips or hat sizers under the sweatband to create a tighter fit.
  2. Try the “tape hack” by applying double-sided tape to the inside of the hat’s sweatband.
  3. Sew small darts into the hat’s interior lining to reduce the circumference.

Caring for Your Hat After Shrinking

Once you’ve successfully shrunk your hat, it’s essential to care for it properly to maintain its shape and size.

Avoid exposing your hat to excessive heat or moisture.

Always air dry your hat after any shrinking method.

Store your hat on a hat rack or in a cool, dry place to maintain its shape.

Clean your hat regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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Common Mistakes to Avoid

When shrinking a fitted hat, it’s essential to avoid certain pitfalls to ensure the best results.

  1. Over-shrinking: Be cautious not to over-shrink your hat, as it can become too tight and uncomfortable to wear.
  2. Using the wrong method: Always consider the material of your hat before choosing a shrinking method.
  3. Skipping the air-drying step: Air drying is crucial for maintaining the hat’s shape and size after shrinking.
how to shrink a flexfit hat

Your Questions Our Answers

How to Shrink a Fitted Hat in the Dryer

To shrink a fitted hat in the dryer, follow these steps:

  1. Wet the hat with warm water, ensuring it’s damp but not soaking wet.
  2. Place the hat in a pillowcase or laundry bag to protect it from damage.
  3. Set the dryer to a low heat setting and check on the hat every 5-10 minutes to avoid over-shrinking.
  4. Once the hat has reached the desired size, remove it from the dryer and let it air dry on your head or a hat form.

How to Shrink a Fitted Hat in the Oven

Shrinking a fitted hat in the oven is not recommended, as high temperatures can damage the hat’s fabric and compromise its shape. Instead, use one of the methods mentioned above, like the hot water or steam technique.

Fitted Hat Too Big Hack

If your fitted hat is too big and you’re unable to shrink it, try these hacks:

  1. Insert foam strips or hat sizers under the sweatband to create a tighter fit.
  2. Try the “tape hack” by applying double-sided tape to the inside of the hat’s sweatband.
  3. Sew small darts into the hat’s interior lining to reduce the circumference.
Fitted Hat Too Big Hack

How Much Can You Shrink a Fitted Hat?

The amount of shrinkage you can achieve for a fitted hat depends on the material it’s made from and the method used. Cotton and wool hats can shrink significantly, while synthetic materials like polyester may only shrink slightly. It’s important to monitor the shrinking process closely to avoid over-shrinking your hat.

Additional Tips for a Perfect Fit

To ensure your fitted hat maintains its shape and size, consider the following tips:

  1. Rotate your hats: Avoid wearing the same hat every day to give the fabric time to recover from the natural stretching that occurs during wear.
  2. Handwash your hats: Whenever possible, handwash your hats using gentle detergent and cold water to minimize the risk of shrinkage.
  3. Use a hat stretcher: If your hat becomes too tight after shrinking, you can use a hat stretcher to gently expand it back to a more comfortable size.

Maintaining Your Hat’s Shape

Proper storage and care are essential for keeping your hat looking its best. Here are some tips for maintaining your hat’s shape:

  1. Store your hat on a hat rack or in a hat box to prevent it from becoming misshapen or crushed.
  2. Keep your hat away from direct sunlight, which can cause fading and damage to the fabric.
  3. Avoid exposing your hat to high temperatures or moisture, which can cause shrinkage or stretching.


Shrinking a fitted hat can seem daunting, but with the right techniques and a little patience, you can achieve the perfect fit for your favorite headwear. Remember to consider the material of your hat, choose the appropriate shrinking method, and care for your hat properly after shrinking to ensure long-lasting comfort and style.

By following the steps and tips outlined in this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to shrink and adjust your fitted hat for a comfortable, secure fit. So go ahead and rock your favorite hat with confidence, knowing that it’s tailored to your unique size and style preferences.