Freezing a Hat


I can’t put it more bluntly than that!

I mentioned in a previous post that I had a velour hat from the 1970s that had become a snack for bugs. I’d heard that freezing garments will kill bugs in them, so I figured that this hat was a good candidate – better to practice on less expensive items before I try it on more collectible or older things.

And better to practice in any case, because freezing things just sounds weird.

Step One: Put the garment in two VERY tightly closed bags – they should be airtight. Squeeze out all the air you can before sealing. Label so family members know they can’t eat it for dinner.

Bagged and ready to go

Bagged and ready to go

Step Two: Wait two weeks. (cue Jeopardy music)

Step Three: Take the thing out of the freezer. Allow to return to ambient temperatures by letting it sit a day before opening.

Step Four: Panic because you see water droplets inside the bag, and get worried that it will become moldy in a 24 hour period. Open before it’s warmed up.

Ermigersh wherder ...

So the bags weren’t as airtight as I thought … or, more likely, the air was humid when I bagged the hat.

Step Five: Realize it got crushed and attempt to get the thing back into it’s original shape.

The white specks are dust and dead bugs.

The white specks are dust and dead bugs. Huzzah, it worked.

Step Six: Enjoy the freshly bug-free thing!


Yay! Also note the beautiful and professional hat stand … LOL.

Freezing this hat worked perfectly: I found dead bugs on it after I took it out of the bags. Now that I know this method works, I have more things to freeze, starting with some wool sweaters.

About Amanda Goebel

I'm an Anthropology / Fashion History and Material Culture graduate from The University of Delaware, currently working on a Master's in Museum Studies. I'm a living historian interested in costume and culture from years before. I love researching the mundane and the everyday that has changed or disappeared since. I re-enact the 18th century, and I recreate clothing from that time. This blog is where I'll write about my research and projects. View all posts by Amanda Goebel

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