The cowboy method:
Cowboys used to get their hats wet by wearing them in the rain or dunking them in a stream. Once wet, they could bash the hat into the desired shape. Then, like cowboy boots, they wore them until dry. Drying it on the head not only kept it from shrinking, but helped it conform to the individual’s own head shape.
The steam method:
While we use a steamer, a tea kettle works just as well. Run the part of the hat to be shaped over the steam for a few seconds. The steam penetrates the felt, which allows you to work the hat into the shape that you want. We give step by step instructions online for a number of bash styles at: Bashing Your Open Crown Akubra
Remember, an open crowned hat can always be reshaped. And don’t worry about making the perfect bash. Take a look at the hats worn by such icons as Howard Hughes and Al Capone You’ll see ripples and dents where the hat was creased. That isn’t a bash with flaws, but a hat with character.
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