How to Shape and Stretch an Outback Leather Hat

How to Shape and Stretch an Outback Leather Hat

In this video, we’re going to show you how to bring your hat back to its original, new condition. The next material we’re going to talk about revamping is the leather hat. Potentially quite a few things can happen to your leather hat, and I’m going to attempt to fix or show you how to fix those problems. Number one, you possibly don’t like the shape of the hat. Maybe this particular hat is too flat. This actual hat has a wire in the brim.


This is a BC hat and it’s a Stockman hat ,so that’s one of my Dad’s famous leather hats that he made way back in the day. The best way to shape a BC Stockman hat, since it has a high tension fencing wire in the brim, is to turn it over and put your palms here and give it a slight bend like that. Don’t do it too hard, just a little bit and you’ll say “ok well is that Aussie enough for me?” And you’ll go “Nah, I need it more.”


So you’ll go back down, bend it even more like this and that’s getting more like it.
This way, the rain runs off the back and the front, and that’s got more of an Aussie shape that you might like. Now, if you don’t like that and you’ve done it too far, it’s kind of tough so you might want to put the hat back down and stick some books all around the hat. hopefully, after a couple of days, that will work its way back to a more flat brim. Another part of the leather hat that can get a bit messed up is the crown.


Maybe it gets a bit soft or a bit wrinkled. One way to fix that is to take a plastic bag and fill it full of newspapers and stuff it in the brim. That will basically fill the brim and if you need more, just put more in there. So this will stuff itself super tight and leave it there for a few days and hopefully this will smooth out that leather so there’s no more wrinkles. Sometimes people don’t really care because it’s on your head and your head fills that anyway, but other people at least want to look at a nice hat when it’s not on their head.


One other thing that can happen with a leather hat, perhaps you’re like many
people and you put your leather hat in the back of your car and you forget it there. It’s a hot summer’s day and it will shrink. No matter what, it’s going to shrink at least a size sometimes. And the same thing will happen if you put it in the cold. Leave it overnight and it’s snowing outside, all the moisture from the hat will be sucked away from it. It’s dry, so it will shrink as well. Here’s how you fix that. Yes, you can get a fancy stretcher, but this is the way we do it in Australia.


We take our palms, put it inside the crown of the hat, put your knee up, and you
stretch. Pull it as hard as you want, you won’t break the hat. I always say if you break the hat, we’ll give you a new one. Stretch it as hard as you want, back and forth like this a few times and that, try it on sometimes, almost always the first try it works and you’ve got your hat back in the correct size again.


Another thing that can possibly happen with your leather hat is you’ll sweat the
leather hat out. That means there’s a sweatband on the inside, and a lot of times there’s a nice suede in here. If you sweat so much that it goes through that material and also through the barrier of the hat, you’ll have a nice dark sweat stain all around here. Now in Australia, that’s the sign of a good hat and people just keep on working in them but, sometimes people don’t like that.


So one way you can fix that, especially on an oily hat, is to take some saddle soap. That will darken your whole hat. It will give it a nice waterproof barrier and it will darken the hat, but it will darken it as much as the sweat stain and the sweat stain will magically disappear. So get the saddle soap and you can get it at your hardware store and that will do the trick.

Back to blog


Bought a beautiful Jacura swagman hat and I personally love it. Quality from Australia is not matched anywhere. Is there a way to fold the sides jn if there is no medal line in the brim? Live my hat but need help.

Jason Cormack

The side edges of my hat have curled up too much. How can I flatten them out?


Wow, you did a really good job on that hat. It looks great. Well done.
“<a href=> Australian leather hat


Stanley Thomas

Leave a comment