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Nos Jawborn
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Post Posted: 12/23/10 11:40 am    Post subject: How to shrink a New Era Cap Reply with quote
How to shrink a New Era Cap

The first thing you should consider when attempting to shrink a New Era cap is the material it’s made from. Cotton shrinks the most (30%), then wool to a lesser extent (20%), and polyester almost not at all (5%). Regardless of the caps over all material, as mentioned in my post, “The be all end all guide to cap care”, “Most, if not all caps produced by New Era contain what is called Buckram. It is the stiff cotton backing on the two front crown panels of your cap. Buckram is a stiff fabric used to give shape and stability to fabric. Especially for embroidery. Since Buckram is always made from cotton, no matter what the rest of your cap is made of, once you wet and dry the Buckram, it IS going to shrink when it dries. If your cap is made of polyester, which shrinks less then cotton, the Buckram on the two front crown panels will shrink twice as much as the rest of the cap and will severely ripple and warp the panels when they dry.”

Shrinking any fabric requires two things, water and heat, “fast heat”, and I’ll explain that later. However, too much of either will result in a less then perfect product. You should also keep in mind, that the size of a cap is located only in the headband. Crowns will almost always vary in size and depth depending on product design and general storage. If your goal is to shrink the headband as well as the crown, then apply the techniques I’m about to explain to both parts of the cap. To shrink just the headband, take extra care to apply the technique to the headband only.

Again, I can not stress enough the importance of NOT submerging your entire cap in water. And NEVER put it in a dryer.

1- Begin by placing a small pot of water on the stove top, and bring to a boil. A pot similar in size or smaller than your cap’s headband will work best. And even better if you have access to a garment steamer. At this point, you will also want to have a blow dryer handy for the second half of the process.

2- Open the cap up, and hold it by the brim no more than 6 inches away from the boiling pot of water. The idea is to steam the cap by trapping the steam inside the crown. AVOID STEAMING THE BRIM AT ALL COSTS!!! The tight fabric wrapped visor will only ripple if too much moisture is applied. If you are only steam shrinking the headband, fill the crown with a plastic bag only up to the bottom of the headband, leaving it exposed. You may also consider using some light adhesive tape to hold the bag in the crown while it’s upside down over the steam.

3- Hold the cap over the steam in periods no longer than 30 seconds at a time, waiting at least the same amount of time before the next steaming. Repeat four times. Over-steaming will cause water to condense, soak your cap, and make this whole process pointless. DO NOT STEAM THE OUTSIDE OF THE CAP!

4- Quickly have your blow dryer handy…this is your “fast heat”. Begin to blow dry the steamed parts of your cap on the hottest setting your blow dryer has. The key here is to dry it as fast as you can. Water quickly evaporating from fabric fibers causes them to contract past the point of their original state. A conventional laundry dryer heats up very slowly by comparison. Caps look extra worn because they get less heat and more tumble. It’s very important that you dry your cap completely. A poor job will leave moisture behind, and the cap will expand again.

5- When your cap is completely dry, give it a brushing, a fitting, and shaping if needed.

6- If you find that your still shy of your goal. Do it again, but don’t forget to dry your cap completely between each steaming.
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Calids
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Post Posted: 12/23/10 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
there's been so many questions about this on this forum, admin should sticky this. Great post!
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admin
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Post Posted: 12/23/10 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Is now a sticky.
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Nos Jawborn
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Post Posted: 12/23/10 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
nice!
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Calids
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Post Posted: 04/14/11 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
hey is there any way to speed this process up? I got a new hat in size 7 1/4, and it fit quite a bit loose, but I didn't want to return it because it was the last one they had. I've gotten down to a wearable fit, but it still is a too loose for my liking after at least 7 sessions of steam on the sweatband only(I only want the size, not the crown, to shrink). I've spent a lot of time on this, how can I speed it up?
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dbacks_Nation
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Post Posted: 04/14/11 7:18 pm    Post subject: Re: How to shrink a New Era Cap Reply with quote
Nos Jawborn wrote:

Again, I can not stress enough the importance of NOT submerging your entire cap in water. And NEVER put it in a dryer.


When it comes to On-Field Authentics, this is exactly what I do, but I try to keep the bill as dry as possible. My cap size is right between 7" and 7-1/8", and I've recently been purchasing the 7-1/8" caps or else they will just feel too tight after a while.

My method is to turn on the water as hot as you can and then get the hat soaked for several minutes, then I throw it into the dryer until it is completely dry. It takes about 7-8 times in the dryer, but it does manipulate the 100% polyester somehow.
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dbacks_Nation
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Post Posted: 04/14/11 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Calids wrote:
hey is there any way to speed this process up? I got a new hat in size 7 1/4, and it fit quite a bit loose, but I didn't want to return it because it was the last one they had. I've gotten down to a wearable fit, but it still is a too loose for my liking after at least 7 sessions of steam on the sweatband only(I only want the size, not the crown, to shrink). I've spent a lot of time on this, how can I speed it up?

Take some paper towel, cut it in half and fold each halfs in half, so you have two 12"x1" pieces. Take those folded pieces of paper towel and lay them in your cap under the sweat band. Problem solved.
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Calids
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Post Posted: 04/14/11 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
used the steam method on this, took me about 10 cycles of the steam and blowdryer before I could get it into a wearable condition. Man, QC kills me, first time I've gotten a 7 1/4 that fit like a 7 3/8 though, and Ecapcity is usually better than that.
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dbacks_Nation
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Post Posted: 04/15/11 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Calids wrote:
used the steam method on this, took me about 10 cycles of the steam and blowdryer before I could get it into a wearable condition. Man, QC kills me, first time I've gotten a 7 1/4 that fit like a 7 3/8 though, and Ecapcity is usually better than that.

I know what you mean. My caps from myfitteds.com feel at least 1 size too big.
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Calids
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Post Posted: 04/15/11 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
my myfitteds caps are always too small
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fashionbird
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Post Posted: 06/12/11 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
it is not a good idea
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dbacks_Nation
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Post Posted: 06/12/11 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
fashionbird wrote:
it is not a good idea

Shrinking them? Or what?
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New Era Cap
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Post Posted: 08/22/11 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for the info Cool
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akbigbadwolf
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Post Posted: 03/20/12 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I have a question about the oven method, does the actualy body and crown of the hat shrink down or does it just become more pliable so that you can push the crown down and mold it. I have noticed when I do the hot water method the two front portions of the crown will fall down a bit but the back panels tend to not shrink. I have only seen one person post pics of a hat after doing it in the oven but I noticed that he didn't have a top button on the hat.

With the wool fashion caps the shower or even the squirt bottle of water gives you some amazing control on the shaping and shrinking of the crown.
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dbacks_Nation
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Post Posted: 03/21/12 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
As long as it's hot water on wool, really shouldn't matter much at all.
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