Tips for keeping your cowboy hat looking good
Don't set it down wrong and let the luck run out
With the Stampede coming to a close, it's almost time to put away the cowboy hats for another year, but how do you make sure it will still be looking crisp the next time you want to wear it?
Known as the Hat Doctors, the husband and wife team of Greg Alexander and Carol Leroux spoke with the Calgary Eyeopener, offering tips on keeping your 10-gallon in tip-top condition.
"A lot of it is just common sense," said Alexander, noting one of the biggest mistakes people make is how they set it down.
"[Don't] set the hat down right side up on the counter, because that takes some of the shape out of the brim. It should be set upside down."
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Leroux even has an easy way to remember.
"If you set it down on the brim, the luck will run out of your hat," she said.
You should also never hold a hat by its brim or crown, nor should you leave it inside a hot vehicle, or let someone else wear it.
A cowboy hat should hang on a large hook when it's not on your head, one long enough so the brim doesn't touch the wall. It should also be high enough so kids and pets can't reach it.
'Meant to be'
Cleaning a hat takes a bit of a deft touch.
It should be brushed lightly — only ever while it's dry — using a brim brush or a hat sponge, with strokes always going in the same direction. A light-coloured brush should be used for light coloured hats and a dark brush for dark hats.
The couple said their entry into the cowboy hat business around two years ago was "meant to be."
While getting ready for their wedding, Leroux planned on wearing the hat of a friend who'd died years earlier.
"It was a very old, wool, cheap hat and needed a little bit of care for me to wear at the wedding," she said.
They took it to a shop near their home in Priddis, and after chatting with the owner, learned the business was for sale. Two hours later, they made an offer.