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A beaver hat requires regular care and upkeep. Careful handling during wear, brush cleaning, and storing in a cool, dry place can make them last. They are produced from the underfur of the beaver, which is pressed and steamed, producing a dense, lightweight felt. Often used in cowboy hats, beaver fur is quite durable and water resistant, making it ideal for outdoor use.
Wearers should put on and take off a beaver hat by handling the front and back of the brim, close to the crown-brim bend. Handling the hat by the crown can result in a loss of shape. When the hat is removed, it should be placed upside down on the top of the crown as setting it down on the brim can cause the brim to flatten and require the hat to be reshaped. At night, owners should place the hat on a purpose-built rack or in a hat box, both to help maintain its shape and to allow it to air out.
A beaver hat should only be cleaned when it is dry. A soft-bristled brush or a damp terry cloth can be used to dust the hat. This is best done by rubbing the material gently in a circular, counterclockwise direction. Remove any lint or hairs on the hat with the sticky side of tape or a lint brush.
If the hat is stained, rinse it with cold water and then gently blot it with a damp sponge. Tougher stains can be removed with a gum eraser. If neither of these methods work, use sandpaper with a 600 or finer grip. The sandpaper must be very gently applied, rubbing counterclockwise on the topside of the hat, including the crown and brim, and clockwise on the underside of the brim. If any material adheres to the hat, allow it to dry completely before gently scraping it off.
When a beaver hat becomes wet, allow to dry naturally and thoroughly. If the sweatband in particular becomes wet, the hat should be dried with the inside of the hat facing upward to allow the dampness to evaporate rather than soak into the material. Do not place the hat next to a heat source to dry as this can cause the leather sweatband to shrink.
When storing a beaver hat, keep it somewhere cool and dry to prevent it from losing shape. This type of hat should also always be stored out of direct sunlight to avoid fading. It is best to store a beaver hat in a slightly open bag or customized box in order to keep out dust and mildew while allowing air to circulate.