Tips for caring for your hat/Fascinator
Over time feathers can get squashed or even bent out of shape or broken. Here are some handy tips to brighten your hat back up.
Place your hat in a steamy bathroom. Do not allow water droplets to reach your satin or feathers though! The steam will perk up feathers.
However if you need to do the job quickly and perk your hat back up fast….carefully hold the hat over a boiling kettle, DO NOT allow the steam to touch your fingers etc as you will scold yourself….. i use tongs to hold the hat. Do not do it for too long as the feathers will actually lose their shape and droop… just a few seconds is all that is needed.
Broken feathers can be easily mended by simply placing a dab of PVA or hot/cold glue along the stem and around the snapped area, then allow to partially dry. When tacky but partially dry simply roll the stem of the feather where the break was, between finger and thumb. This is a handy tip if you need to leave the feather where it is and cant remove it/replace it.
Bent feathers can be brought back into shape by using ceramic hair straigteners or curling tongs along the stem only. You need to do this quickly and don’t hold the stem under the plates or tongs for more than a few seconds as they will mark your straigteners or tongs and curl the feather stem or even burn it. You can also iron or again use a set of hair straigteners on the flat feather section but again be very careful as it is very easy to kink the feather and make it look even worse.
To customise and reuse a hat simply pinch out feathers at the base of the stem as they are normally only held in by pva glue or hot glue … if this doesn’t loosen the feather then snip at the feather base. Buy some pretty feathers and after deciding how long they need to be, cut to size and dab the end of the stem into the lid of pva glue. The glue will set overnight. Feathers are now very expensive and the cost has tripled in just one year.. the cheapest feather to brighten a hat up would be a fluffy hackle feather.
Again these products can be perked back to life simply by using the steaming methods. If you have a hat crown out of shape, hold in the steam and place screwed up acid free tissue paper inside to allow the shape to settle.
If net veiling is the rough nylon kind then you can also steam and pull back into shape. If it is silk then be VERY careful as the silk will lose its shape and droop. Mind you another great millinery tip passed down my family, is to spray the net outside with hairspray! and shape the net where you want it. or make a solution of pva glue .. a tiny amount with water and spray the net.. again this stiffens it.