wetting felt cowboy hat

Can Felt Cowboy Hats Get Wet? Quick Answers

I have received numerous questions regarding the durability of felt cowboy hats in wet conditions. Can these iconic hats withstand the rain, or will they be ruined at the first sign of moisture?

In this article, we will explore the characteristics of felt cowboy hats and provide insights on how to handle wet conditions with confidence. We will discuss the materials used to make these hats, their natural water resistance, and offer tips on caring for wet hats to maintain their durability.

Key Takeaways:

  • Felt cowboy hats can withstand some wetness, but their durability depends on the quality of the hat and how it is cared for.
  • Caring for wet cowboy hats involves proper drying and maintenance techniques.
  • Waterproofing products can enhance the water resistance of felt cowboy hats.

Understanding Felt Cowboy Hats and Water

Before we delve into the topic of wetting felt cowboy hats, it’s important to understand the materials used to make these iconic hats and their natural water resistance.

Felt cowboy hats are typically made from soft, strong, and durable wool fibers that are tightly compressed into a dense fabric. It is the density of the felt that provides some inherent water resistance. Wool naturally repels water to some extent, making it a good material for hats that may be exposed to wet conditions.

However, felt cowboy hats are not entirely waterproof. When exposed to a significant amount of water, the felt can become saturated, and the hat may lose its shape and structure. It is important to take proper care of your felt cowboy hat to prevent excessive wetting, and to take steps to protect it in rainy or wet weather.

“Felt cowboy hats are typically made from soft, strong, and durable wool fibers that are tightly compressed into a dense fabric.”

It’s also worth noting that not all felt cowboy hats are created equal when it comes to water resistance. Some manufacturers may treat the felt with additional materials to enhance their water-repelling properties. It’s always a good idea to check the label or product description to see if any additional treatments have been added to the hat.

Overall, felt cowboy hats are fairly resistant to water, but they are not completely impervious to it. It’s important to understand the limitations of the material and to take proper care to maintain the hat’s shape and structure when exposed to wet conditions.

Caring for Wet Cowboy Hats

So, your felt cowboy hat got wet. Don’t panic! With proper care, you can restore it to its former glory. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Remove excess water: Shake the hat gently to remove any excess water. Avoid wringing or twisting it, as this can damage the felt fibers.
  2. Reshape the hat: While the hat is still damp, reshape it to its original form. Use your hands to gently mold the hat, taking care to maintain its shape. If the hat has a brim, shape it downward to prevent it from curling up.
  3. Dry the hat: Air-dry the hat by placing it on a flat surface. Keep it away from direct sunlight or any heat sources, as this can cause the fibers to shrink or deform. If you’re in a hurry, you can use a hairdryer on a low setting, holding it at least six inches away from the hat.

It’s important to note that you should never use a washing machine or dryer to clean your felt cowboy hat, as this can cause irreparable damage. Always stick to the above steps for best results.

If your hat has stains or stubborn dirt, you can use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the affected areas. Avoid using water or any cleaning products, as this can damage the felt fibers.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure! To avoid getting your felt cowboy hat wet, try to wear it on dry days or carry an umbrella with you. If you know you will be in wet conditions, consider wearing a hat made from a more waterproof material, such as vinyl or oilcloth.

caring for wet cowboy hats

Rain and Felt Cowboy Hats

While felt cowboy hats can withstand some moisture, they are not impervious to heavy rain. If your felt cowboy hat gets soaked through, it can lose its shape and even develop mold.

It’s important to take precautions and protect your hat from rain as much as possible. One option is to wear a rain cover like this one from Amazon over your hat, these can also be purchased at most Western wear stores.

rain cover for felt cowboy hats

If you’re caught in the rain without a rain cover, try your best to shake off any excess water and then leave your hat to dry. Avoid using a hairdryer or any direct heat source, as this can cause the hat to shrink or lose its shape.

If your felt cowboy hat is consistently exposed to rainy weather, it may be worth considering alternative materials such as oilskin or waxed cotton that are more water-resistant.

Waterproofing Felt Cowboy Hats

If you’re looking for ways to enhance the water resistance of your felt cowboy hat, you’re in luck! There are several products and techniques available to protect your hat from getting wet. Here are a few options to consider:

Waterproof spraysThese types of sprays can be found on Amazon – they create a protective layer on the felt, preventing water from seeping in. Be sure to read the label and follow the instructions carefully.
Wax-based productsSimilar to waterproof sprays, wax-based products like this Made in the USA option on Amazon provide a layer of protection from water. These products can be applied with a sponge and should be buffed with a soft cloth after drying.
Professional waterproofingIf you want to ensure maximum protection for your felt cowboy hat, consider taking it to a professional hat maker for waterproofing. This option can be a bit pricey, but it guarantees quality results.

Whichever method you choose, be sure to test it on a small, inconspicuous area of your hat first before applying it all over. And remember that even with waterproofing, it’s always a good idea to avoid prolonged exposure to moisture.

waterproofing felt cowboy hats

Protecting your felt cowboy hat from water can extend its lifespan and keep it looking great for years to come. With the right products and techniques, you can enjoy wearing your favorite hat even on rainy days.

The Water Resistance of Felt Cowboy Hats

One of the key factors that make felt cowboy hats a popular choice is their inherent water resistance. Felt is made from animal fibers, which naturally repel water to a certain extent. Moreover, the process of felting involves interlocking and pressing fibers together, creating a dense material that is less likely to absorb moisture.

This water resistance makes felt cowboy hats a practical choice for outdoor activities, as they can withstand light rain and snow without becoming damaged. However, it is important to note that felt cowboy hats are not completely waterproof and should not be submerged in water. Excessive exposure to water can cause the felt to lose its shape and compromise the structure of the hat.

To maintain the water resistance of your felt cowboy hat, it is important to handle it with care when in wet conditions. Avoid squeezing or wringing the hat, and allow it to air dry naturally. If necessary, use a soft cloth to gently dab away excess moisture. With proper care, your felt cowboy hat can continue to provide reliable protection from the elements for years to come.

water-resistant felt cowboy hat

Maintaining Durability in Wet Conditions

As we have discussed, wet conditions can pose a threat to the durability of felt cowboy hats. However, with proper care, you can ensure your hat remains in good condition. Here are some tips on maintaining the durability of your felt cowboy hat in wet conditions:

  • Avoid prolonged exposure to water: While felt cowboy hats are naturally water-resistant, prolonged exposure to water can lead to damage. Try to avoid wearing your hat in heavy rain or submerging it in water.
  • Dry your hat properly: If your felt cowboy hat does get wet, it’s important to dry it properly to prevent damage. Gently blot the hat with a towel to remove excess water, then reshape the hat and leave it to air dry in a cool, dry place. Avoid using heat to dry your hat, as this can cause it to shrink or lose its shape.
  • Store your hat correctly: When not in use, store your felt cowboy hat in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. Use a hat stand or box to help maintain its shape and prevent damage.

By following these tips, you can help ensure your felt cowboy hat remains durable and in good condition, even in wet conditions.

maintaining durability in wet conditions

Styling Felt Cowboy Hats in Wet Weather

When it comes to styling your felt cowboy hat in wet weather, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, you want to avoid reshaping your hat while it’s damp, as this can lead to misshapen and unflattering results. Instead, opt for a slightly looser fit to account for any potential shrinkage that may occur.

Another key consideration is the brim of your hat. In rainy conditions, you may want to angle the brim slightly downward to prevent water from dripping onto your face. You can also tuck the brim slightly upward on one side for a trendy, asymmetrical look.

When it comes to accessories, a simple leather or fabric band can add style and functionality to your hat. Additionally, a stylish rain cover can protect your hat from the elements while adding a touch of personality to your look.

styling felt cowboy hats in wet weather

Overall, the key to styling a felt cowboy hat in wet weather is to strike a balance between function and fashion. With these tips in mind, you can rock a stylish and practical look, rain or shine.

The Impact of Long-term Wetting on Felt Cowboy Hats

If you frequently wear your felt cowboy hat in wet conditions, it’s important to consider the potential impact on its lifespan. While these hats are inherently water-resistant, long-term exposure to moisture can lead to damage and decay.

One common issue with wet cowboy hats is the loss of shape and structure. As felt absorbs water, it can become misshapen and distorted. This can be especially problematic if the hat is not dried and reshaped properly, as it can result in a permanently deformed appearance.

Additionally, wetness can contribute to the breakdown of the materials that make up the hat, leading to a shorter lifespan. The combination of moisture, heat, and pressure can cause the felt fibers to break down over time, resulting in a weaker and less durable hat.

It’s important to take steps to protect your felt cowboy hat from long-term wetting, such as avoiding prolonged exposure to rain or wet conditions. If your hat does get wet, be sure to dry it thoroughly and reshape it as needed. Regular maintenance, such as brushing and conditioning, can also help to extend the lifespan of your hat.

Remember, a felt cowboy hat is an investment piece that should last for years if cared for properly. By taking measures to prevent long-term wetting and maintain durability, you can ensure that your hat remains a stylish and functional accessory for years to come.

long-term wetting on felt cowboy hats

Extending the Lifespan of Your Felt Cowboy Hat

Keeping your felt cowboy hat in good condition is crucial for ensuring its longevity. Here are some tips to help extend the lifespan of your hat, regardless of wetness:

  • Regular Cleaning: Dust and sweat can accumulate on your hat over time, which can lead to discoloration and deterioration. Use a soft brush or cloth to remove any debris and keep your hat looking its best.
  • Proper Storage: When you’re not wearing your hat, be sure to store it in a cool, dry place. Avoid leaving it in direct sunlight or damp areas, as this can weaken the felt and affect the shape of your hat.
  • Careful Handling: It’s important to handle your hat with care, especially when it’s wet. Avoid crushing or folding the brim, as this can lead to permanent damage. Instead, gently reshape the brim and let it dry naturally.
  • Regular Maintenance: Inspect your hat periodically for any signs of damage or wear. If you notice any issues, address them promptly to prevent further damage.
  • Invest in a Hat Stand: A hat stand can help your hat retain its shape and prevent it from getting crushed or deformed. Consider investing in a quality hat stand to keep your felt cowboy hat looking its best.

By following these tips, you can help extend the lifespan of your felt cowboy hat and enjoy its timeless style for years to come.

extending the lifespan of felt cowboy hats

Exploring Alternative Materials for Wet Conditions

While felt cowboy hats are a classic choice for western style and fashion, they may not always be the most practical option for wet weather conditions. Fortunately, there are alternative materials available that offer enhanced water resistance and durability.

One option is rain hats made from waterproof materials such as rubber or PVC. These hats are designed to withstand heavy rain and keep the wearer’s head dry. However, they may not provide the same level of style or comfort as felt cowboy hats.

Another option is hats made from synthetic materials such as nylon or polyester. These materials are lightweight and breathable while also being water-resistant. Hats made from these materials are often designed specifically for outdoor activities such as hiking or fishing.

For those who prefer the look and feel of traditional cowboy hats, there are also options for water-repellent treatments to be applied to felt hats. These treatments can help enhance the water-resistance of felt hats, although they may not provide complete protection in heavy rain or prolonged exposure to water.

alternative materials for wet conditions

Ultimately, the choice of material for a hat in wet weather conditions will depend on personal preference and intended use. While felt cowboy hats can withstand some degree of wetting with proper care, it may be worth considering alternative materials for prolonged exposure to water.


  1. Q: What happens if my felt cowboy hat gets wet?
    A: If a felt cowboy hat gets wet, the fibers may swell and the hat can lose its shape. Over time, repeated wetting can degrade the quality of the felt.
  2. Q: Is there a way to waterproof a felt cowboy hat?
    A: Yes, there are sprays and treatments available that can make felt cowboy hats more water-resistant. However, no treatment will make them completely waterproof.
  3. Q: I got caught in the rain. How should I dry my wet felt cowboy hat?
    A: Let the hat dry naturally, away from direct heat sources. Shape the hat to its original form while it’s still damp to prevent misshaping.
  4. Q: Can I wear my felt cowboy hat in light drizzle?
    A: While a light drizzle might not damage the hat immediately, frequent exposure to moisture is not recommended for felt cowboy hats.
  5. Q: Are there certain types of felt that handle water better?
    A: Higher-quality felts, like beaver or rabbit felt, tend to handle moisture better than cheaper blends or wool felts. However, it’s still best to avoid getting them wet.
  6. Q: How can I protect my felt cowboy hat from unexpected rain?
    A: Consider carrying a lightweight, foldable rain cover or plastic bag in case of unexpected rain. Placing this over your hat can offer some protection.
  7. Q: Can steam be used to reshape a felt cowboy hat if it gets misshapen when wet?
    A: Yes, steam can help reshape a felt cowboy hat. Holding the hat over steam and gently molding it back to its original shape can be effective, but it’s best done with caution or by professionals.
  8. Q: Are there cowboy hats made from materials that handle wet conditions better?
    A: Yes, straw cowboy hats or those made from certain synthetic materials tend to handle wet conditions better than traditional felt hats.
  9. Can felt cowboy hats get wet? A: Yes, felt cowboy hats can get wet, but it’s not recommended. Prolonged exposure to water can alter the hat’s shape and quality. If it does get wet, it’s best to let it dry naturally, away from direct heat.


After exploring the durability and care of felt cowboy hats in wet conditions, I can confidently say that these hats can indeed get wet. However, it is important to take proper precautions and care to ensure the hat remains in good shape and lasts a long time.

Remember, felt cowboy hats are naturally water-resistant due to the materials used to make them. However, prolonged exposure to water can have negative consequences on the hat’s structure and lifespan. If your hat does get wet, be sure to dry it properly and avoid storing it in damp or humid areas.

To extend the lifespan of your felt cowboy hat, it is essential to perform regular maintenance, store it properly, and avoid exposing it to extreme weather conditions if possible. If you’re looking for a hat that is better suited for wet conditions, there are alternative materials available that offer enhanced water resistance and durability.

Overall, felt cowboy hats are a classic and iconic part of Western fashion. With proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy your hat for many years to come, even in wet conditions. So go ahead, embrace the rain, and rock your felt cowboy hat with confidence!