Cleaning SD Peak Caps: safe technique?

On the basis that Offrs SD peak caps are not cheap items to replace, does anyone have a proven / tested approach for cleaning (in particular) the cloth flat-top of these hats?

Staining to the upper crown of such caps is not unusual, and over the years I’ve seen some fairly-rough examples.

I’m presuming that a professional dry cleaner wouldn’t take-on such a job? (perhaps they would- I’ve not asked yet).

Alternatively: can SD peaks be dip-washed, upside-down, and keeping the headband dry?

I would stress that I’m referring to Offrs’ SD No2 dress peaks, I >don’t< mean the cleaning of pristine No1s level of headgear with stiff brim and hoop shaper.

The type of SD peak cap that I’m talking about is more the knockabout ‘crusher’ style of headgear, with drooped sides and flimsy top.

For the purposes of your response, let’s presume that cleaning/resurrecting an SD peak cap is so much more desirable than buying a new one at perhaps £100 every few years.

I don’t see why one couldn’t give it a gentle wash with some soapy water… It’s only wool.

1 Like

I’m up for trying that, just keen to hear if anyone’s actually done it before me.

Yes done it with soapy water and it did alright. I once tried a bit of carpet cleaner (the foam stuff for car upholstery from halfords) it did a better job and smelled faintly of lemons for at least a few weeks. Next time im going for “new car smell”

1 Like

Is there such a thing as a No 2 dress peak?


Wear a forage cap and only wear your peak in No1’s that way it won’t get dirty :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

In a real sense, yes, in that it appears to be common practice for Offrs to possess two SD peaks.

One is in perfect condition, worn for best-dress No1s (ie parades/presentations/inspections, with medals, and gloves worn/carried). That cap has a stiffened top brim, and has round hoop-ring.

The other SD cap is in slightly-more careworn but serviceable condition, has no (or reshaped) stiffener ring / sloped sides, and is worn in No2 dress (or with No1 dress in “review order” ie name-badges, no medals/gloves, shoes DMS…what used to be called ‘No1s as No2 dress’, back when there was such a thing as proper No2 dress)

I was always told that the only Offrs allowed to wear SD peak caps minus stiffener hoops (or ‘de-shaped’) on formal parades were aircrew (but this unwritten rule seems to have become blurred over time).

Incidently- I need to remember where I saw this fact in writing, but I strongly believe that AP1358 is being amended to require personnel in No5s to always wear headgear outdoors. Unsure on timescales as to implementation. Or whether AP1358C will follow suite (but I would expect so).

Must’ve been a DPC minute, somewhere.

Fair enough, I just have one and wear my forage cap most of the time in No 2s.

1 Like

You good sir need burned at the stake. :wink:

1 Like

Were you wearing one when you got shouted at for walking along eating that cheeseburger?..:smiling_imp:

That business with No 5s and hats I assume is because most people going to a dinner just walk from their room in the mess and don’t need a hat. I’ve always assumed a hat is required outdoors but my Army colleagues definitely don’t.

Never worn a hat in 5s. Only know of one who did and it, er, disappeared.

His dad was not very happy.

This I’ve never quite understood- but I think it may arise from the widespread withdrawal of original multicoloured ‘regimental field service caps’ over the years across much of the Army. Mess dress has its military origins in so-called ‘walking-out dress’, and would’ve even had pillbox hats way back in the day for some dismounted regiments (so, we can think ourselves lucky, perhaps).

Certainly the Navy have tended to wear hats when in mess-dress, if not seated in the wardroom or above-decks.

Time will tell as to whether the RAFAC dress regulations are ever amended to follow what appears to be a firm strategic steer on this from the RAF Dress Policy Committee (albeit with the common-sense approach of ‘local commander discretion’ being maintained)

Side Caps have not been withdrawn from the Army. They are still worn by many Regiments and Corps. They are an optional item of dress and are a private purchase (not issued).

Hat’s with No 5 dress is nothing new.
The earliest version of AP 1358 I’ve got kicking around is AL 9. Since the following text is not in red it predates this, so is from 2007 or earlier.


…and from AP 1358C:

It’s been in there the whole time since 1358C was first introduced.