It's the time of year for straw hats - which need a special sort of care to live long and prosper. If they have become creased, you can restore them to their original shape (or tweak it a little) by spraying it with water and easing it back into shape with your hands and then letting it dry. It's also probably good to keep them from getting too dry - in which case they can split. If splits do occur - as they do especially in the finer Panama's - some of them CAN be mended with either clear surgical tape or white medical adhesive IF the split is inside the crown or in some other less conspicuous area. Put the tape inside and gently ease the split closed. That way your panama will last several more seasons as your less-then-Sunday-go-to-meeting straw - My hats tend to recycle downwards season to season until they become boat hats!
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Don't toss a good straw hat that has gotten out of shape over the winter! Almost all straw hats can be put back into shape by wetting them slightly, then gently pulling and pushing them into the proper shapes before letting dry. It also works for hats that say they are "paper and polyester"! Straw and panama straw actually LIKE getting some moisture, so they don't crack.
If a fine straw or panama DOES crack at the crown or at an inconspicuous place, you can mend it by using clear plastic adhesive tape on the inside of the crack. The mend will be invisible from the outside and you can get a bit more wear out of the hat(s)!
By pamphyila from Los Angeles, CA