Stretching a Forage Cap
What's the best way to stretch a cap if it's just a tad too tight?
I have been told to wet it, and the place it over a lid for a pot/pan, bowl, etc. or to just use a hat stretcher. But does any one have any other ideas?
**Also - how wet should it be? Soaked?
Any help will be greatly appreciated!
I think that all depends on the size of the hat in question and the size of the head that's supposed to fit on. I generally wouldn't want to stretch a cap more than about 1/8th of an inch before I would worry about compromising the internal construction. I just bought a new Mike Stiles cap in 7 3/8, which almost fit on my 7 1/2 noggin, but was a little snug. I lightly wet my hand and dabbed the cap until I knew it was all just wet enough, then stuck a hat stretcher inside and started turning. I stopped when a heard a little 'groan' sound out of the wool (which, coincidentally was the "7 1/2" size mark indicated on a brass measure in the stretcher) and let it sit until dry. Now it fits like it was made for me.
Hope my .02 cents was worth something to you.
Procure a proper hat-stretcher, available in the $10-$20 range, from a variety of vendors to include Dirty Billy or modern hat companies. They are often called "hat jacks". Wet down your cap, tighten the screws on the adjustor and you'll be in good shape
Many thanks, Gentlemen! I too am trying to make a 7 3/8 cap fit a 7 1/2 noggin!
I wore it for most of the day yesterday and it's already fitting better. I will try your suggestions next.
I've found that to a certain degree caps are like brogans.......neither fits right until you spend a day in the rain. What is unknown is which part conforms most, the shoe or the foot/the head or the hat! HaHa!
A "hat stretcher" will work for between 1/8 to 1/4 inch difference.
Pretty much any thing over than, runs the risk of popping the rear seam.
Being woolen fabric with the leather sweatband, forage caps can have a tendency to shrink due to sun and rain exposure. Any round shaped object of similar cap size can be used to stretch, but as shared a "hat stretcher" with its controlled expanding scr*w system gives one greater "control."