How to Fold a Crushable Hat: 5 Easy Methods

Judy Schumer
by Judy Schumer
1 Material
5 Minutes

Hats have come a long way and are now made to pack or temporarily tuck away without damaging them.

Back when most men wore hats and ladies considered hats a must-have accessory, they were made of stiff, unyielding materials that required visiting a hat check when the wearers wore them to a restaurant or social function.

Now folding your hat when you enter a building no longer means carrying it to your seat or table and then fumbling to find a place for your hat where it won’t get dirty. Folding a crushable hat correctly also means you won’t need professional hat repair afterward.

Depending on the material and treatment your hat consists of, you have a few ways you can fold a crushable hat.

Crushable bucket hat

Photo from Lena Davydova. Check out her tutorial on How to Style a Bucket Hat: 6 Different Bucket Hat Outfit Ideas. Follow her on YouTube: Lena Davydova.

What types of hats can be folded?

There are quite a few hat materials that can be folded.

A general rule is that the softer the material your hat is made from, the easier it is to fold without causing damage to the hat. Super soft hats made of cotton fold the easiest:

  • Bucket hats, often called fishing hats or sun hats, fold very well and pop right back into shape with little or no wrinkles once unfolded.

  • Another very foldable hat material is raffia. Raffia palm fibers retain their shape once made into a hat, so they’re an excellent hat for traveling with and packing into a suitcase.

  • Synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon fold well because the material is wrinkle-resistant. Even if synthetic fibers do get a few wrinkles, a quick application of steam will have your hat looking new in no time. 

  • Soft fabrics like felt or wool hold their shape even after folding, as long as they haven’t been treated with a stiffening product and do not have a rigid brim. Like synthetics and cotton, a little steam will bring them back to their desired shape after being packed.
Crushable bucket hat

Photo from Lena Davydova. Check out her tutorial on How to Style a Bucket Hat: 6 Different Bucket Hat Outfit Ideas. Follow her on YouTube: Lena Davydova.

How to fold a crushable hat

There are a few ways to fold a crushable hat, depending on your hat type. Read on to find the best method for your favorite hat. 

A word of caution: Canvas and cotton are the only types of hats that should be stored in a plastic bag. Plastic bags can damage other materials, especially if stored in a humid climate. 

First method

This first method works best for very soft cotton or wool hats.

1. Place your hand inside the hat if it has a crown

Push upwards to smooth out the top, making it round. 

2. Fold the top of the hat horizontally in half

Fold it towards your body. Lay the hat on a clean, flat surface.

3. Roll

With the crown folded down onto the brim, begin rolling your hat from right to left. Place it into your bag, suitcase, or briefcase for easy storage.

Second method

This method is excellent for hats made from raffia or similar soft fibers.

1. Fold the brim of your hat upwards

2. Place the hat on a flat surface like a table

With one side of the hat on the surface. Push the other side of the hat towards the table until both sides meet.

Your hat will be folded in half lengthwise, making it easy to reshape after unpacking. 

Third method

If you’re packing a baseball hat, this method works well to avoid damaging the brim.

1. Unhook the adjustable piece on the back of your hat (if it has one)

Place the hat upside down.

2. Push the rounded top flat into the center of the hat

Fold the back section towards the middle of the hat. Lay on top of your clothing in the suitcase to avoid creasing the brim.

Fourth method

This method is perfect for crushable hats that tend to wrinkle and stiffer hats that cannot be crushed. This method retains the shape of the hat at all times.

1. Place socks, underwear, or rolled-up shirts into your hat

This will keep the sides from caving in. Place the hat flat into your suitcase, with the crown facing upwards.

2. Carefully place other clothing around and on top of your hat

This will protect its shape. Take care not to place any heavy items on or around it. 

Fifth method

This method is best for canvas hats like bucket hats or sun hats. 

1. Lay your hat on a table, flattening it as you lay it down

Your sun hat will now be folded in half. Smooth any creases.

2. Jelly roll

Beginning from right to left, roll your hat tightly in a jelly roll fashion from one side to the next. Place it into a plastic bag for easy storage and to keep it from unraveling. 

How to restore a crushable hat 

Even though your hat is crushable, it may end up with a few wrinkles or creases that detract from the crisp, refined style hats are known for.

Because crushable hats are made from soft materials, reshaping them is similar to getting wrinkles out of clothing.

If you have a garment steamer handy, use that to steam away creases. If using a steam iron, hold it far enough away from the hat so that only the steam touches the material.

When steaming your hat, use just enough steam so that your hat feels warm but not wet. Work in sections and reshape your hat while it’s still warm. 

Let your hat dry for a couple of hours before wearing it.

How to fold a crushable hat

I hope you found this guide on how to fold a crushable hat helpful!

Let me know which method works best for you in the comments down below.

For more storage hacks, check out my post on How to Fold Socks: 4 Easy Ideas + Storage Tips.

Suggested materials:
  • Socks, underwear, or rolled-up shirts

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