If you're traveling, and want to protect your straw hat, there are several steps you should take. First, you should avoid packing your hat in a plastic bag. In addition, it's best to steam your hat before you pack it to keep its shape. Also, you should avoid storing your hat in a plastic bag. Finally, you should always use a box that is large enough to accommodate your hat without crushing it.
Care for your straw hat: Keep it dry and in a cool place to prevent it from becoming damp or brittle. Don't store it in plastic or a bag, as the latter will only cause it to discolor and even break. Also, avoid storing it in the car or in direct sunlight. You should clean it occasionally with a soft cloth dipped in water.
Keep it dry: While it may be tempting to use a hairdryer to wring the hat, this will only dry the outer part of the brim. Straw hats are not waterproof, so make sure to remove them when they get wet. You can also steam them in hot water, but be sure not to use it near direct heat. This will toast the straw and make it break easier. Instead, dry them naturally without hairdryers or heat.
Whether you're storing a packable straw hat or a handmade one, avoid putting it in a plastic bag. This practice can dry out the straw and lead to cracking or discoloration. In addition to causing a hat's fragile veil to crack, plastic can also cause mildew and rot. It's best to store your packable straw hat in a hat box, preferably one made of cardboard. Avoid leaving it in direct sunlight or in your car, either. Clean it regularly using a brush made for that type of hat.
Cleaning your straw hat is easy enough. Simply use a damp cloth and some mild dishwashing liquid. Make sure to test a small area first to see if you're destroying the fibers. Then, wipe it with a soft cloth in a circular motion. You can also use a soft paintbrush to wipe away any dust. Always handle the hat with clean hands, not to tear or crush the fibers. If you're wearing it, keep it off your head while washing it.
If you're traveling and want to make your straw hat look its best, steam it while you're on the road. You can use a steamer or simply heat up some water. Steam loosens the fibers in the straw and helps it return to its original shape. You should steam your hat only once, or twice if necessary. After steaming, you can remove it from the steamer and let it cool down on its own.
During the colder months, a straw hat can become stiff. This is especially true if you don't wear it all year long. If you don't wear it often, you might want to consider steaming it before storing it. Steam from hot water or a shower will bring moisture back to the hat. You can rest the hat on a counter while it works to restore its shape.