Cap maintenance

Wash, brush and clean your cap

This guide will help you maintain the caps quality and look. A handcrafted cap can with the right care taking be worn for a decade or more.
You can use these simple tricks to clean flatcaps, baseball caps, hats & 8-piece caps.

Wilgart caps are made from fibres like wool, cotton, linen & silk. These must be treated different, and has different properties. Read more below the videos.

Brushing Guide

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General tips for cleaning your headwear

Wool & Harris Tweed

Harris Tweed Wool is a tweed cloth, handwoven by islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Made from pure virgin wool dyed and spun locally.

Cleaning woolen caps

Handwoven sheep wool from the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.

A new stain needs immediate attention to keep it from penetrating the woolen fibers. Use a cloth cleaning rag to soak up as much of a liquid stain as possible, dabbing rather than rubbing the tweed.

For heavier spots such as caked mud, wait to dry and then vacuum gently your tweed routinely to lift away dirt and dust.

To clean the garment thoroughly with a light scrubbing motion, mix a solution of gentle wool soap and water, dampen a sponge, and then go over the entire surface of the fabric. Make sure your solution is not too strong or you could discolor the fabric.

You do not want the cloth soaked in water; only slightly damp. Make sure to use woolen soap, and do not rub the wool. Rubbing a wet wool against itself will cause pilling, which is wools natural function to felt.

Wool cap cleaning methods

  1. Take a cleaning cloth
  2. Soak up as much of the stain as possible
  3. Dabbing rather than rubbing the tweed
  4. Use a soft bristle brush for removing dry mud or dust

After cleaning, fill the inner space of the cap with towels or newspaper, and let it air-dry completely before returning it to your wardrobe.

Do not place the cap near to a heating device.

You may want to remove your wool cap from its daily storage from time to time, and hang it outside so the wind removes any lingering odors.

About Wool and Tweed

Harris Tweed is a handwoven sheep wool from the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.

Advantages

  • Unique
  • Strength
  • Water repellency

Disadvantages

  • Long drying time
  • Can not be brushed (only very gently)
  • Creates pilling when washed or rubbed
fabric sample of HarrisTweed

Linen

Linen is widely used for summer clothing.
It regulates body temperature well, and  has a casual look and feel.

Cleaning linen caps

If you are washing linen headwear, always use hand wash method. After each wash the linen becomes softer and more absorbent, but do not overdo it. You must wash linen in lukewarm or cold preferably soft water. Do not use machine washing, it can potentially disturb the caps visor or bill.

Still, if you prefer ironing, do it while the cap is still damp. Otherwise, iron with steam at medium-to-hot temperature. Always use a thin cloth between the iron and your cap while ironing, or there will be visible glances on the fabric that will not disappear.

If you accidentally overheat, crowd or overdry your linen and it becomes wrinkled, just dampen it and the wrinkles will relax after a period of use. For a small wrinkle dampen with a spray bottle of water, or just let it relax by itself over a day or two.

Linen cap cleaning method

Massage the cap carefully in lukewarm or cold water

Hand wash only and do not dry near a heating device.

Stuff the cap with something when it dries. This will help the fibers regain the caps original shape.

Be careful not to leave it in the sun while wet. Wet linen will bleach, lose its color, 6 times faster than dry linen.

You can air-dry it or iron the fabric while it is still damp, not wet.

Always have a thin cloth between the iron and the cap.
Ironing after wash will reduce the natural occurring wrinkles of linen cloth.

For linen it is better to go along with the lively expression and relaxed vibe of the fabric, than trying to shape it with steam ironing.

About Linen

An old natural textile made from the fibers of the flax plant.

Advantages

  • Comfort
  • Shiny
  • Heat conductive
  • Absorbency

Disadvantages

  • Wrinkles
  • Sensitive to stains
  • Attracting grime when wet

Cotton

Cotton is widely used because it is durable, accessible and comfortable to the skin. For caps we often use cotton as lining, but also outer fabric.

Cleaning cotton caps

When a cap is made from cotton it needs to be hand washed only. Use a mild detergent, and wash in lukewarm water.

If you worry about your cotton might shrink, know that virgin cotton naturally shrinks slightly. Additional shrinking occurs when it is washed in hot water or left drying close to a heat device.

The rapid drying causes the natural fibers to become scrunched together.

To prevent shrinking in the drying process hang the clothes on a clothesline outside to naturally dry. In the winter let the cap dry laying on a towel somewhere not too close to a heat source.

Cotton cap cleaning method

  1. Take a cleaning cloth
  2. Handwash with soap
  3. Stuff cap with towel
  4. Let the cap dry laying on a towel

Do not dry near a heating device.

About Cotton

The cotton plant grows a fluffy natural fiber, used for 60% of the world clothing.

Advantages

  • Durability
  • Comfort
  • High absorbency
  • Wet strength

Disadvantages

  • Wrinkles
  • Attracting grime
  • Long drying time
  • Low insulation ability
  • Dark colors will bleach in the sun

Silk

Silk is one of the top fibres used for clothing. It has outstanding features and exclusive look, however more difficult to maintain.

Cleaning silk caps

When a cap is made from silk, there is always the option to hand it over to professional cleaning ex. Dry Clean. If you want to do it yourself, then use a special silk or wool soap, a mild detergent, and wash in lukewarm water.

However be careful and do not rub the material to hard.

A gentle way to succeed in the drying process lay the cap outside to naturally dry. In the winter let the cap dry laying on a towel somewhere not too close to a heat source.

Silk cap cleaning method

  1. Take a cleaning cloth
  2. Handwash with genlte soap
  3. Stuff cap with towel
  4. Let the cap dry laying on a towel

Do not dry near a heating device.

About Silk

Historically, silk was used primarily by the upper classes, and was considered to be a symbol of royalty.

Advantages

  • Shiny & smooth
  • Dries fast
  • Lightweight
  • Regulates heat
  • Long fibers

Disadvantages

  • Reacts strong to sunlight
  • Stain sensitive
  • Low durability
  • Sweat will change its color

Wax Cotton / Oilskin

Wax cotton / Oilskin is a cotton cloth dipped in melted oil, wax or beeswax, to produce a waterproof, yet still breathable garment. We use it for outdoor caps, and love its progressive patina.

Cleaning wax cotton caps

A cotton fabric made waterproof to keep the wearer dry.
The waxed cotton faltcap is either indulged with the original beeswax or a blend of natural oils and linoleum. Wax cotton is also known as oilskin cotton.
Only clean the oilskin cap if necessary and use a cold damp cloth to sponge wipe persistent areas of dirt. Never user detergents or hot water, since it will melt the wax out of the fabric.

To refresh the wax layer, look into an outdoor equipment store and ask for a wax treatment product. When the qualities of the wax seems to be worn out, you should treat the fabric with a high quality re-wax product. The need for for re-waxing depends on the use of the cap, but in general once or twice a year is the average.

Waxed cotton is in general a durable fabric, which means it is suitable for brushing in case of removing dust or cake mud. However brushing will also remove some of the wax from the surface on the cotton, transfering wax from cap to the bristles of the brush.

 

Wax cotton cleaning method

Clean only if necessary.

Always use cold warm water with no soap. Hot water and soap will extract the wax.

Do not rub clean.

Avoid keeping in direct sunlight / any direct heat source for too long. This will melt the wax.

Re-wax the cap once or twice a year.

Please note: Cleaning oilskin caps may affect/remove the qualities of the wax.

About waxed cotton

Waxed cotton was developed from the sailing industry in England and Scotland, and became widely used for waterproofing caps and outerwear.

Advantages

  • Fast patina
  • Strong fabric
  • Water resistant
  • Breathable
  • Rejecting grime

Disadvantages

  • Needs regular caretaking
  • Bleaches in sunlight
  • Heavy
  • Low absorbency

Grain Leather

Grain Leather has great patina properties, and a distinct look. We often use it for the brim or other details of the cap.

Cleaning grain leather caps

If you want your leather to remain soft and have a longer life and fewer blemishes, we recommend ongoing caretaking with leather grease. Leather grease is a combination of beeswax and impregnating plant juices, which makes the leather naturally water and stain repellent.

Bright untreated leather that do not get any treatment with fat is particularly susceptible to sweat stains, spills and dirt. It is either very difficult or impossible to remove those stains.

Like wood, leather tends to fade, crack and stiffen by time. Some prefer the leather to appear untreated and with stains and dried out, as it is considered as more genuine. If you sympathize with this, follow general advice on minimal care and only use a damp cloth or sponge for cleaning purposes.

 

Grain Goat or Sheep leather cleaning tips

Clean with a brush, damp cloth or sponge

Never use soap.

If color fades, consider to redye or use leather grease.

Do not dry near a heating device.

Leather grease will give it a darker tone.

About grain leather

A durable material from tanned animal skin or hide. In Wilgart headwear there is mostly used goat, sheep or cow leather

Advantages

  • Flexible
  • Strength
  • Easy to clean
  • Water repellent
  • Durable

Disadvantages

  • Easy exposed to sunlight
  • Stain sensitive
  • Needs regular caretaking

Suede Leather

Suede leather has great patina properties, and a distinct look. We often use it for the brim or other details of the cap.

Cleaning suede leather caps

A great way to maintain a leather cap is by brushing the suede. This will remove dust and grime from the surface. If you do not maintain by brushing the cap, the dust and grime will stick to the leather, and collect other dirt which makes the surface more greasy.

Washing a cap that has a fabric pull, but a suede brim, is difficult. Because the dye from suede usually infect on the fabric close to it, when getting wet. Be extra cautious and try not to get the suede brim wet at all.

If a stain is impossible to remove, using leather grease on a suede cap is the best method. The much darker tone of the entire leather surface, will camouflage many deep marks and stains on the cap.

Leather grease will transform the surface to a more oily look, than suede’s prior natural dusty and dry look.

 

 

Suede leather cleaning method

  1. Clean with a brush to remove dried grime
  2. Rub with a damp cloth to remove other stains
  3. Let it dry completely.
  4. When it is dry use a stiff brush to recover the texture.

Never use soap.

Do not dry near a heating device.

About suede leather

Made from the underside of the animal skin, characterized by a rough, scratched surface.

Advantages

  • Flexible
  • Strength
  • Easy to clean
  • Water repellent
  • Durable

Disadvantages

  • Easy exposed to sunlight
  • Stain sensitive
  • Needs regular caretaking

Fish Skin

Fishskin is a residual material from the food industry. Wilgart use fish skin for small details in our cap design.

Cleaning fish skin caps

Salmon Skins and wolffish skins are an exclusive but also durable kind of leather. Each skin is unique which makes your cap truly individual. These details are quite resistant to wear and tear and can be cleaned with a damp cloth if needed.

Never use any detergents, also if you are cleaning the whole cap. Any soap can damage the colors of the fishskin. You can treat the fishskin cap detail like any other type of leather.

 

Fish leather cleaning method

  1. Be sure the details do not get in touch with soap.
  2. Cleaned with a damp cloth
  3. Treat the fishskin like any other type of leather (link til leather)

Never dry near a heating device.

Never use any detergents.

About Fish leather

Fishskin is made from salmon and wolffish caught and tanned on Iceland. Offers a sustainable alternative to exotic leathers. Fishskin is an excess material from food production.

Advantages

  • Exclusive and unique
  • Refined look
  • Very durable
  • Flexible and soft

Disadvantages

  • Reacts strongly to sunlight – bleaching and softening
  • Needs regular caretaking
Refferences
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