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Question ID# - 105


 I have an old fedora-type hat that I bought from a op-shop, it needs a bit of a clean and I want to dye it black to match my suit (its currently dark olive green). Could you please give me some advice on how to do this and continue to look after it? It has lost a bit of shape. The local dry cleaner told me of old block sets they used to use for them, but no-one has them anymore. I'm in Newcastle, Australia by the way. Thanks in advance, Will


  Black is the most difficult color to achieve for dyeing. If the felt is NOT wool, but a high grade fur felt such as beaver, try dyeing it in an enamel basin with LOTS of black dye and HOT water. Don't agitate the fabric...continuously use gentle movements until the color is achieved. Remember that the color will look darker when wet, so leave the hat in the dye longer than you think necessary. The blocking is the hardest part, because you need to find someone with a block that resembles the current shape of the hat. Do so before you dip it into the dye bath. Try your local directory for someone who makes hats, and ask them if they can re-block the hat.Yes, it's an involved process, and there's no guarantee that the color will keep, but, it's worth a shot. Good Luck!

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Answered On:
1/3/2003 11:26:07 PM


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 About Janet

Janet Pytowski Janet Pytowski is a freelance fashion and beauty writer. She is the President of VIDCAT Productions, a company specializing in runway and archival fashion footage. Her company produced the documentary "Fashion Flashbacks!" that highlights fashion newsreels from the 1950s-1960s. Janet is a Press member of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and a Co-Founder of FASHIONDIG.

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