How to Care for Your Leather Hat

It’s important to keep your leather hats looking beautiful. This is especially necessary if it is a custom fashion piece made just for you. If you need custom sizing, like oversized hats for big heads, or appreciate handmade touches like custom dye, keep reading to find out how to keep your leather hats like new.

Storing Your Hat

Your leather hat is an investment, and you should protect it when you’re not wearing it. The safest way to store a hat is in a properly sized hard-sided hatbox. There are also options to display your hat while safely storing it, like a hook or hat stand. If stored flat, your hat can lose its shape. It can also become discolored if left in sunlight.

Unique Sizes, Like Oversized Hats for Big Heads or Children’s Hats

If your hat is a unique size or shape, it is even more important to store it properly to preserve its shape. A custom hatbox can be the solution for safely storing your hat. These can be pricey but is worth the insurance to keep your hat in great condition.

Material Type

There are different kinds of leather. You can damage your hat if you clean the leather with an inappropriate method or conditioner. An expert craftsman can explain the different kinds of leather and recommend an appropriate cleaning method and conditioner.

Finished Leather

Many fine leather hats are made from finished leather. This is leather that has been treated with dyes, pigments, or coatings. These can change the color, shine, finish, and texture of leather. This results in leather that is very sturdy and weather-resistant.


Suede is made from a specific kind of leather called split leather. Split leather is made from a different part of the cowhide than other kinds of leather. A craftsman uses split leather and works one side with sandpaper to give it a smooth and soft texture, called a nap. Suede is softer and more pliable than other kinds of leather, but also weaker.

Exotic Leather

Your exotic leather hat will require additional knowledge and care to keep it looking good as new. Work with your craftsman or salesperson to make sure you understand the care instructions for your unique hat. It may also require unique cleaning products or tools.

Vegan Leather

Vegan leather goes by many names, like faux leather, PU leather, or imitation leather. This is a material that has the look of leather but is usually made of PVC material. The good news is that vegan leather does not require the same kinds of conditioners as real leather. The bad news is that vegan leather is composed of plastic material and will degrade much more quickly than real leather.

Leather Cleaners & Conditioners

Normal wear of your hat will lead to some stains and dirt buildup. You need to use a leather cleaner to remove grime and treat stains. Leather cleaners will freshen and clean your leather hat without stripping it of any pigments or dye. You will want to follow up cleaning of your leather with an application of a leather conditioner.

Leather conditioner promotes softness and extends the life of your leather hat. Some conditioners have water repellant properties. Others can leave a nice polish on your hat. Conditioners have different consistencies, some are soft like lotion, and others are hard like wax. You should always use a soft microfiber cloth or other approved tools for applying cleaner or conditioner.

Caring for Your Leather Hat

The right hat says a lot about you and your personality. A clean and cared-for hat looks sharp and adds to your style. To find a custom hat that’s right for you, work with a craftsman or company that makes a style you love.