Wombat Hat Care – Quality leather bush hats are a great all-weather hat. They will keep you comfortable come rain or shine and will stand up to any amount of abuse. However, here are a few tips to keep your Australian leather bush hat looking as new as the day you bought it.
Take care how you put it on
Make sure you don’t squeeze the front of your hat when putting it on. This will push your hat out of shape, causing a sharp point in the leather and exposing it to damage. Tugging the brim to make sure your hat is secure will also change the distinct Aussie shaped style of the brim.
Take care how you store it
We recommend storing your hat on a peg or resting upside down on the crown to avoid it being pushed out of shape. Also, make sure that it is kept out of any direct sunlight. Just as overexposure to ultraviolet rays can be harmful to our skin, leather is also susceptible to damage. Extreme sunlight can cause the surface to become fragile and crack or the colour to fade. By all means, wear your hat in hot and sunny weather. That is after all what it was made for but do not leave it out on a sun lounger or on the dashboard of your car for example.
Keep your hat clean
Although your hat will have been treated, it may still stain if you are not careful and these stains can be quite difficult to remove. Try to keep your hat away from makeup food or any oil-based products. If you do accidentally spill something on your hat wipe it with a soft damp cloth. If a stain is particularly persistent you could try a leather cleanser. This is readily available from your local shoe shop or department store. After using a leather cleanser, we recommend replenishing your hat’s protective layer with an additional leather protector spray. This is also readily available from shoe shops and department stores. If your hat does become soaked through, leave it to dry naturally. If you use heat to dry it, the leather may shrink and the hat might not fit you anymore!
Repair any tears
Scratches are the most frequent kind of damage found on Australian leather bush hats. You can cover them up with a leather dye if they are light. However, you might see these as a feature of the hat, adding a certain rustic worn-in edge. To repair any tears you will need a leather repair kit. These typically contain a liquid adhesive in several colours. Give your hat a through clean with a leather cleanser and allow it to dry. This is necessary because any dirt or oil on the surface may prevent the glue from sticking properly. Choose a glue in an appropriate colour and apply it to the area where the leather is torn. You may need someone to hold the leather taught while you apply the glue. When the glue has dried, take a piece of fine sandpaper and remove any excess glue. You will need to be very careful when doing this; otherwise you may scratch the leather. Clean the area again with a leather cleanser to ensure all excess glue has been removed then allow to dry.
You probably think you know how to put on a hat but it’s not so simple. If you want to keep your hat in good nick, you need to learn the knack. Australian cattle drovers have been wearing leather bush hats for years and have developed a particular technique for putting on a hat that ensures it stays firmly in place and experiences minimal wear and tear. So don’t go pinching the crown or tugging the brim, unless you want to pull it out of shape, that is.
First you need to ensure you have the right size. Wearing a hat that is too large or too small can also damage the bush hat’s iconic Australian silhouette. Typically, too tight is better than too loose as leather is a natural material that will breathe and stretch over time. You can give it a little helping hand if needs be by pulling it over your knee. Eventually your Australian bush hat will adapt and mould itself to the shape of your head. Offer an Aussie a new bush hat and he’ll much prefer his old faithful for comfort!
When putting on your hat, brush your hair away from your forehead and place the front of the bush hat on your head. Remember, the ribbon always goes at the back – you’d be surpised how many people I’ve seen wearing them the wrong way round! Using the palm of your hand, push the hat down from the back of the crown. You can wear your hat with the brim level with your eyes or you can wear it pushed back in the typical laid-back Aussie style.
When you’re not wearing your hat, rest it upside down on the crown or hang it from a coat peg. Folable hats styles, we don’t recommend you keep them folded up. Of course, our Ridge Hill hats easily spring back into place, making them great for travelling or shoving in your bag, but if you permanently store it folded, it might stay that way!