How To Shrink a Polyester Hat?

You may have seen fitted hats becoming the fashion trend nowadays. But do you know that they come without any size adjuster? They are designed to fit your head’s size, and most such hats are produced using polyester.

These polyester hats are excellent fashion choices as they fit even better than the hat coming with adjustable sizing. The extra comfort is a bonus. But chances are that you buy a fitted hat or someone gives it as a gift, but it doesn’t fit your head.

What to do, then? The best solution is to shrink the polyester hat. This article shares valuable insight on the ways to shrink a polyester hat. There are plenty of methods ideal for shrinking any polyester-made cap. These methods require you to use the following:

  • A washing machine
  • Steam
  • Boiling water
  • A dryer, and
  • A hairdryer

One can effectively shrink a polyester fitted hat, provided they pay extra attention to prevent it from shrinking excessively. If you want your hat to shrink precisely and correctly, you must follow the abovementioned steps. Continue reading to explore all the methods in detail.

How To Shrink A Polyester Hat?

Shrink A Polyester Hat


No matter if the hat loosened over time or if it was always this big, there are ways to shrink it. With some knowledge and expertise, there’s no doubt that you can bring the hat into a perfect fit state.

To begin with, you must decide on the hat’s fabric material. As your hat is polyester-made, putting it inside the clothes washer and dryer machine will make it contract. Unlike cotton and other fabric materials, polyester is an artificial material that may gradually be impermeable to shrinkage.

Consequently, the solution for shrinking a polyester hat is heating, which means applying boiling water and close watching. Explore the methods to shrink a polyester hat one by one and then determine the ideal way to go.

Different Methods To Shrink a Polyester Hat

Method 1: Shrinking Polyester Hat Via a Washing Machine

Polyester is quite resilient to contracting under typical situations. Washing it using warm water on a washing machine is a highly effective way to shrink it.

Shrink A Polyester Hat


But the fact that polyester is a type of plastic means you must be careful with the temperature of the hot water. Water hotter than 230 degrees Fahrenheit can result in melting your polyester hat. Thus, the hot water must be safe and below this temp range.

To shrink a polyester hat using a washing machine, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Put the hat inside your washing machine.
  • Step 2: As your goal is to shrink only a single polyester hat, keep the load size ‘small.’ It will prevent any water wastage.
  • Step 3: Now, place the temperature of the water on the ‘hot’ setting (below 270° F) so that the polyester can deal with it.
  • Step 4: Go for the gentle cycle to wash the hat. It is most important when your hat has a brim, and however, excessive distress can make the cap distort.
  • Step 5: Make sure your washing machine operates throughout the cycle. Subsequently, please take out your hat and place it inside the dryer.

Method 2: Shrinking Polyester Hat In The Clothes Dryer

You can apply this method with our without any use of a washing apparatus. But if you want the polyester hat to shrink only a bit, it’s best to put it solely in the dryer—the lower the temperature, the lesser the shrinkage. However, hats made of polyester shrink the best when exposed to higher temperatures.

Here are the steps to shrink your polyester hat using only a dryer:

  • Step 1: Put the temperature settings to the ‘hottest.’
  • Step 2: Bring the cap from the dryer every two minutes and wear it to see fit.
  • Step 3: Stop using the dryer machine when you get the perfect fit. Now, let the hat air dry.

Method 3: Shrinking Polyester Hat Using Steam

To ensure the hat fits better, you can go for use of a clothes steamer. If you don’t have a clothes steamer, take no worries as there are other available methods too. Let’s check each technique in detail:

Shrink A Polyester Hat

A) Clothes Steamer

This is the most convenient, seamless, and feasible way to shrink a hat with steam. Here are the steps on how to use it:

  • Step 1: Take distilled water and pour it on the steamer until filled.
  • Step 2: Plug the steamer into a charging unit and set it on the hottest setting.
  • Step 3: Begin with the brim and subsequently steam the complete hat. Could you do it for two minutes?
  • Step 4: Then switch off the steamer. Reconstruct the hat using both hands and make sure it fits your head. If not done, repeat the step for another minute.

B) Shower

No, you won’t have to take a shower to use this method. Just follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Keep the hat dry in the bathroom (make sure it doesn’t come in contact with water).
  • Step 2: Set the shower to the hottest setting and close your bathroom door.
  • Step 3: Keep the shower on for like ten to fifteen minutes. You’ll find steam everywhere in the bathroom.
  • Step 4: Turn off the shower and reshape to shrink the hat to the best-fitted size.

C) Tea Kettle

Shrink A Polyester Hat

This is a highly effective method due to the good amount of steam a tea kettle produce. Here are the steps for using the tea kettle steam:

  • Step 1: Pour water into the tea kettle, keep it on the gas stove, and turn it on.
  • Step 2: Let the kettle heat to the point when it begins producing steam.
  • Step 3: Once the steam starts coming out, keep the hat in front.
  • Step 4: Once you feel a softness in the hat, start using your hands to reshape and contract it.

D) Sink

Here are the steps to shrink the elastic band present in your polyester hat:

  • Step 1: Go to a sink and pour sufficient hot water into it. Make sure it is hot enough to soak the hat’s elastic band.
  • Step 2: Keep the elastic band of the hat dipped in hot water in the sink for the next ten minutes.
  • Step 3: Take out the hat from the sink and wear it. If still not fitted, repeat the steps.

E) Hair Dryer

Shrink A Polyester Hat

Here you’re required to use a spray bottle with cold water. Here are the steps to proceed:  

  • Step 1: Use the hat’s sprayer and ensure it gets damp. However, do not oversoak it.
  • Step 2: Take your hair dryer and place it on the high setting,
  • Step 3: Take the hair dryer towards your hat, rotate it, and make sure the heated air touches each side of the hat.
  • Step 4: Ensure the fabric isn’t too hot, and try not to heat the brim. In doing so, you’ll lose shape.
  • Step 4: Once the hat gets dry, turn off the dryer machine and put on the hat on your head. If not fitted, repeat the step.

F) Hat Size Reducer

If you don’t want to use heat or water, go for this method.

  • Step 1: Determine the gap between your head and the hat using a measuring tape.
  • Step 2: Measure and find out the hat’s circumference.
  • Step 3: Cut down and trim the hat size reducer to the length equivalent to the hat’s circumference.
  • Step 4: Stick or attach the hat size reducer’s adhesive side under your hat’s lining.

Hopefully, you will now face no difficulty shrinking your polyester hat to get the best fit. No matter which method you pick, adhere to the steps carefully and precisely to skip excessive shrinkage or any damage to the hat.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *