How to Distress a Baseball Cap? [Quick & Easy Way]

There are only two ways to achieve a vintage look on your baseball cap. You can either buy a true vintage baseball cap or distress your new shiny cap. Unfortunately, it can be pretty expensive to buy true retrospective outfits. Hence, fraying typical baseball caps remain the best option. This article will guide you on how to distress a baseball cap. So read on for insights.

How to Distressed a Baseball Cap

Typically, there are multiple ways you can use to break in a baseball cap. Your ideal method depends on how much you want to distress your cap. Ideally, you can fade, reshape, rough up the cap, or combine multiple ways to attain your desired vintage look. Before getting to methods of distressing a baseball cap, here are tips crucial for wearing out a baseball cap.

Check What Materials the Cap is made from

Knowing the materials that make your cap is paramount when looking to distress a baseball cap. Noting the fabric a baseball cap is made of will help you decide the ideal method to distress the cap. Notably, fabrics react differently in various environments and elements.

Look for a Basic, Versatile, and Adaptable Baseball Cap

If you have not already bought a baseball cap, you might want to look for a basic cap. Ideally, you will want to buy a cap with minimum accessories and tags. Also, you will want to buy a cap made of cotton blends or polyester. These caps are easy to distress and personalize.

Be Cautious – Be Safe

Remember that the goal is to give the typical baseball cap a vintage look, not wear it down completely. Thus, be keen not to overdo it. Also, note that you might have to use breaches that can easily destroy your cap if used inattentively.

Let’s now dive into various ways to distress a baseball cap

How to Make a Baseball Cap Look Distressed

Here, we will look at how to fade, stain, reshape, and rough up a baseball cap. Let’s get started.

How to fade a baseball hat

To fade your baseball cap, you can frequently wear it, especially in the sun. Essentially, sun and sweat are the best ingredients that can naturally fade and wear out a baseball cap fast. Also, frequent washes can rapidly fade the cap.

To fade the cap, simply pop it in the washing machine and clean wash it with regular washing machine detergents. You can use cold or hot water, depending on your hat’s material. Note that hot water can damage some materials. Thus, ensure to confirm if your cap’s fabric is washable in hot water. If you are unsure about the material, use cold water.

Besides machine washing, you can use bleaching agents to fade your baseball cap quickly. Basically, soak the cap or the part you want to bleach in a mixture of water and mild breaching agents. After a few minutes, take the hat out and rinse it thoroughly. At this point, you will have faded the cap to the desired faded color.

Alternatively, you can use a paintbrush to bleach specific parts of the hat. Here, you will need to apply the breach directly to the parts you want to bleach. Afterward, clean and rinse the cap thoroughly.

How to Stain a Baseball Cap

Staining works best on baseball caps with light colors. Here, you will be giving the cap age spots and a chippy and rustic vintage look. To stain a baseball hat, use one of the following methods.

  • Use dark tea bags or coffee

To stain the baseball cap, pour hot water into a bowl and submerge tea bags or add coffee. Next, soak the cap in the mixture and let it sit overnight. Take the cap out and wash it lightly – to remove excess tea or coffee particles – then dry it.

  • Use a solution of saltwater and oil

First, mix saltwater and oil, preferably olive oil, in a spray bottle. Next, shake the solution thoroughly to ensure the oil mixes well with the water. Afterward, spray the mixture evenly on the surface of the cap’s bill. Lastly, wipe off the excess solution and let it dry.

Read Also: Why Do Baseball Players Wear a Hat?

How do reshape a baseball cap

Reshaping your cap, particularly its bill, is the other best way to give your cap a vintage look. Here, the goal is to curve the bill and give it a permanent arch. To achieve this, you use either of the following methods.

  • Stick the baseball cap bill in a coffee mug

To reshape, bend the cap’s bill inwards and stick it in a coffee mug. Let it sit for some hours, then take it out afterward. Also, you can use cold and hot water to speed up the process. Simply fill the mug with hot water, deep the bill in, and let it settle for a few minutes. Next, pour the hot water, refill the cup with cold water, and let it sit for a while. After a few minutes, take it out and let it dry.

  • Twist the Fedora and Use Rubber Bands

Alternatively, twist and wrap the bill around a can and secure it in place with rubber bands. Let it sit for 8 – 10 hours.

How to rough up a baseball cap

Fraying a baseball cap is another viable method to make it look distressed. The goal here is to mimic natural wear and tear. Essentially, you need to beat it up with rough material like sandpaper. 

To rough up your baseball cap, follow the following steps.

  1. Poke small holes on the edge of the caps bill – using a razor or scissors, snip and poke small holes on the brim’s fabric. Three to four holes of unequal sizes are enough.
  2. Rip off some seams on various parts of the cap.
  3. Rub sandpaper or a foot scrubber against the cap’s brim and other parts you want to distress. You can sand some areas more than others to create uneven textures.
  4. Brush off the scruples using a toothbrush.

That’s it. You have achieved a worn-out look on your baseball cap.

Final words

Throwback fashion is becoming a top trend, especially in sports. The trend is primarily inspired by the good old sports days’ nostalgia. Notably, almost everybody seems wrapped around nostalgic experiences in sports. And almost everyone seems to have the urge to dress and look like their favorite sports star. As such, people are more often opting for vintage wearables.

Interestingly, you do not have to invest much time and money buying vintage sportswear. You can effortlessly distress your contemporary sportswear and give them that vintage appeal you desire. For baseball caps, use the discussed methods to distress them.


How do you stiffen a baseball hat brim?

Spray or soak the cap in starch or typical fabric stiffener to strengthen the baseball cap’s brim

How do you flatten a baseball cap brim?

To flatten a baseball cap bill, damp it with water, place it on a flat surface, and iron it.

How do you wash a baseball cap?

Make a solution of warm water and typical laundry detergent – a few drops are enough. Soak the cap in the solution for 15 -20 minutes, then rinse it thoroughly and let it dry.

Can you dry clean a baseball cap?

Some caps can be dry-cleaned while others can not, depending on the materials used to construct the cap.

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