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Thread: Aerosol free hat stiffener

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    Aerosol free hat stiffener

    Hi guys, I have two wool fedoras that have brims that are floppy. When I first got them they were stiff and the brims could snap own easily. Now, I tried to take them to a hat repair shop to get them stiffened, but the guy there told me that the stiffeners they use contain aerosol and that they would damage my fedora hats. He recommended that I could get some aerosol free hat stiffener, but I do not know what brand to use or what kind to look for. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

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    Varsity Member evanparker's Avatar
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    just stick your hat in the dishwasher with a half a pound of all purpose flour?

    take it out before the final rinse.

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    Varsity Member Nandyn's Avatar
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    Old school quicksilver, mercury.



    But interesting about the aerosol. Let us know what you do end up finding out/going with.
    Last edited by Nandyn; September 13th, 2019 at 06:34 PM.

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    I think there is a misunderstanding in there somewhere? Aerosol refers to the fine mist that comes out of a spray can; it is not any particular chemical, harmful or not, contained in a can. Now he might be referring to the propellant inside the can? How this works is, the stiffening agent (resin?) is mixed with the propellant and put inside the can. The propellant is a liquid with a boiling point lower than room temp, so that when you pull the trigger on the can, opening the valve on the spray can, it starts evaporating, carrying out the stiffening agent in the process, and depositing it all over your hat. The stiffener you want on your hat, and the propellant by definition evaporates away and leaves nothing of itself behind, so I don't see how it could hurt the material, unless there's something more subtle going on that I am not seeing.

    Now there is such a thing as aerosol free spray, but that just means the stiffener is inside a container like a Windex spritz bottle. I would think that the primary difference between this and an aerosol is the fineness of the droplets, not the actual end result of what goes onto you hat.

    *I am not an expert on this. For that you'd want a mechanical engineer, or, more practically, an HVAC guy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stuffedsuperdud View Post
    Now there is such a thing as aerosol free spray, but that just means the stiffener is inside a container like a Windex spritz bottle. I would think that the primary difference between this and an aerosol is the fineness of the droplets, not the actual end result of what goes onto you hat.
    Aerosolized or spray protects need to be thin, which usually means a stronger solvent. The solvent could well be what the milliner warned about, especially if it's a petroleum distillate.

    Polling around a little, I noticed the liquid forms tend to include alcohol and ethyl acetate as solvents, and always suggest testing for colour fastness.

    An alternative would be brushing on a starch solution, which can be purchased or made at home. Unlike the commercial stiffeners, which also come in powdered gelatin and poly-vinyl-acetate versions, starch is a temporary measure.

    You might consider simply steaming the hats and reshaping them. It's not uncommon for the chemical bonds of the stiffener originally applied to break down over time. Steam can reliquify the stiffener, reforming the bonds which gave it structure, just like melting and refreezing broken ice.

    That said, wool felt is the standard material for hats, so why the milliner would only carry products which harm wool felt hats escapes me.

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    Super Moderator DocDave's Avatar
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    No experience with this product and it's sold out. But maybe drop them a line and see what they can tell you? I've bought all of my hats from Goorin and find their quality and service to be excellent.

    https://www.goorin.com/products/kahl...13920791593012

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