How to Care for Natural Fur and Faux Fur Hats

hood with natural fur trim

The Spruce / Olivia Inman

Fur hats are some of the warmest winter hats available, whether a hat is lined with or made completely out of natural fur or faux fur. And even if there's just a bit of fur trim, both types of fur need some special care to keep them looking silky and to provide long-lasting wear.

Here are some tips to take care of natural fur hats and faux fur hats.

How to Care for Natural Fur Hats and Trim

Whether you have a mink, fox, or rabbit fur hat, proper care will make it last for many years. Natural fur hats should be protected from chemicals, including makeup, perfume, and hair products. So never apply these products while wearing the hat. After every wear, allow the hat to "rest" on a hat form to dry completely from body moisture and outside elements. This will help the hat to retain its shape.

If your natural fur hat gets wet, shake off the excess water. Then, allow the fur to air dry away from direct heat sources and direct sunlight, as they can scorch and discolor the fur. Likewise, never use a hot blow dryer to attempt to dry the fur. Instead, place the hat on a wig or hat form or over a rounded vase or jar, so air can circulate freely. This will also prevent the fur from becoming crushed or flattened due to being placed directly on a hard surface. When the fur is completely dry, shake the hat to fluff it. If necessary, you may brush the hat lightly in the natural direction of the fur with a good quality pet brush to restore the smoothness.

A natural fur hat should be cleaned at least annually by a professional fur cleaner, not a regular dry cleaner. A qualified furrier has the knowledge and equipment to correctly clean furs. Immersion in standard dry cleaning chemicals will rob the fur hide of its natural oils, drying it out and causing it to shed.

Many furriers will be able to store your hat for you in climate-controlled cool storage. To store it at home, place the hat on a hat form and cover it with a hat box or cotton storage bag to protect it from being crushed and from dust settling in the fur. Keep it in a cool, dry location that does not have huge swings in temperature. Do not use plastic storage bags or boxes that can trap moisture inside and cause mildew problems. Also, avoid chemicals like mothballs and other insecticides, as these can create a smell and are hazardous to anyone in your household.

storing a fur hat in a cotton storage bag

The Spruce / Olivia Inman

How to Care for Faux Fur Hats and Trim

When cleaning faux fur, pay close attention to the care label. Many items will recommend dry cleaning, but some faux furs can be hand washed or machine washed. The decision depends on the fiber content of the faux fur and how the hat is structured.

Faux fur can become distorted from too much wear, improper cleaning, or excessive heat. So to maintain the hat's longevity, spot cleaning and preventative care will work the best. If the fur gets wet, allow it to air dry by placing the hat on a hat form or jar to allow good air circulation. Keep it away from direct heat and sunlight. And never toss faux fur in a dryer on a hot setting, which can melt the fur. If possible, allow a day between wearings to give the hat a chance to dry from body moisture and so the fibers will relax. This will help the hat maintain the correct shape.

If the faux fur on your hat becomes matted, you might be able to detangle the fibers by mixing 1 teaspoon of hair conditioner with 2 cups of warm water. Place the mixture in a spray bottle, and spritz the fur. Then, use a soft-bristled brush to gently brush the fur. Work slowly in a small area. If any fibers come out, then you are brushing too hard. When you are finished, wipe down the faux fur with a clean, white cloth that's dampened with plain water, and allow the hat to air dry.

If the faux fur completely loses its luster, the ends can be trimmed to bring back the sheen. A professional milliner can help with this. Spot treat stains as soon as possible with a damp cloth and mild detergent, and allow the hat to air dry. To fluff faux fur, give the hat a good shake or use a blow dryer on the coolest air setting. Never store faux fur in a plastic bag. Make sure the hat is completely dry before placing it in a hatbox or cotton bag to protect it from dust and dirt while in storage.

caring for faux fur trim

The Spruce / Michelle Becker