This is a pictorial on how to pack a basic hat in a hat box . This is appropriate for basic men and women’s hats. Unless you have a mother/aunt/grandmother who wore hats and used hat boxes or you worked in the industry, how are you suppose to know?
Check the Size
Choose the right size box is the first step. Keep in mind that the hat is always the right size. 🙂 I am using the medium size, Hattin’ Around Hat Case, which is perfect for my grey fedora. The grey straw would better fit in the large Hat Case. If it is too snug of a fit, there isn’t enough space to create a protective impact zone with tissue paper. The gold trilby would be better in the small sized Hat Case. If there is too much space you will need loads of extra tissue to keep it from moving around. The hat box dimensions are in the Hattin’ Around Hat Case link above.
It is all about the tissue
The tissue paper protects the crown while it supports the brim. You need to crumple & rumple the tissue to give it more body and structure. Don’t wad it into a hard ball or leave it too loose and floaty. I good medium amount of rumple is perfect.
Always use acid free tissue but what about buffered, acid free tissue? There is a really good blog post about buffered vs. unbuffered storage materials, which discourages using buffered storage materials with protein based textiles such as wool, silk, and feathers, which are common in high quality hats.
Make a layer of rumpled tissue across the bottom of the hat box and around the sides, creating a nest for the hat. Pack the crown with tissue to help it keep its shape. Settle the hat upside down into the nest. Add more tissue around the sides or if there are gaps. Finally, add another layer of tissue across the top to protect the hat from impact against the lid. Packing a hat when there are large trimming elements to consider will have to wait for another blog post.
The use of a compliments slip was something I started doing since moving to the UK, but I like that it walks a line between formal letter head and a casual note. The compliements slip includes the important business contact details with space for a short personal note. I also like using a beautiful A5 (±1/2 Letter) photo marketing card.
The Hattin’ Around Hat Cases have durable, easy to use buckles to secure the lid. See my post on How to Assemble a Hat Box if you are using a flat pack cardboard hat box, as they frequently do not come with assembly instructions.
Connect the additional strap
Hattin’ Around Hat Cases (small, medium & large) come with an additional strap that can be used to carry your hat case on your shoulder or on your back, which keeps your hands free and makes for easier travel.
I will work on a follow up post that offers some tips on how to pack a hat with special trimming such as long feathers or large bows.