Since its inception in the 1980s [ http://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/poplife/2012/05/16/how-the-5-panel-cap-took-over/ ], the popularity of the 5-panel cap (a.k.a. camp hat or camper) has grown tremendously over the past couple of years. Its unique fabric construction with rounded side sections is perfectly tailored to the eclectic tastes within communities of young spirited patrons. The camp cap has existed as a nod to young fashion, hipsterdom, skater culture, and the pursuit of forever being unique. With the most recognizable characteristic of vibrant patterned fabrics, it’s no wonder that a growing number of trend-setters are looking to take their own designs and piece them together into a completely unique camper. But the question: where to start?
If you’ve already begun searching for a way to start your project, you may have noticed that the world of 5-panel hats is really divided into opposites: the big dog brands and the do-it-yourself subculture. Well-known fashion brands like Supreme [ http://www.supremenewyork.com/shop/all/hats/ ] and Asos [http://www.asos.com/Men/Accessories/5-Panel-Caps/Cat/pgecategory.aspx?cid=15104&r=2 ] are ahead of the game when it comes to the traditional online shopping standard, and they do offer 5-panel hats in an extensive assortment of preset fabric patterns and colors. But there’s not much room to personalized design or manufacture, and the pinnacle of fashion — from $30 to $250 a pop — is not cheap.
The online DIY subculture, on the other hand, is a difficult space to navigate. Scattered information and print-out templates and instructions [ http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-5-panel-Camp-Hat-ProperFit-DIY/ ] are difficult to find, spread across only a handful of in-crowd forums and online communities. After a rather rigorous search for the information you need, you’re still left with the task of gathering yards of fabric materials and a shopping basket full of sewing supplies — and then actually doing-it-yourself by hand. After all this, you’ll still need to enlist the help of a professional apparel printer to achieve a custom fabric pattern. (The costs keep adding up.) To be an unbound independent in the DIY subculture requires super-high levels of personal involvement and handicraft skill, so it’s not a viable solution for people that are just looking for a simple way to make an awesome custom camper.
Most 5-panel fans would love to make their own cap just as hip as the big fashion brands, but without all the hassle, and at an reasonable price. Bringing the best of both worlds together, The/Studio provides a unique service to make customized camp hats [ http://www.thestudio.com/custom-hats/caps/ ] simply and affordably — delivered in a simple package that makes the creative process a breeze. Our cut and sew caps product line includes the camp hat, with the 5-panel unstructured look you crave, and the opportunity to individualize each meaningful detail.
Perhaps the most revolutionary aspect of our product offer is that we help you prepare fabrics with custom patterns based on your design. Your pattern is printed onto sheets of fabric, cut into shapes suitable for each panel and the visor, and finally sewn together. (Now I think it’s clearer why these are called “cut and sew” camp hats.) Just like the name brands, you can pick and choose your fabric type, as well as mix and match more than one fabric type into the same cap. Even choose to sew different fabrics and patterns together to make up the whole — a common treatment for great-looking custom 5-panel caps. We offer two distinct fabric printing methods, each with its own unique design advantages.
Most suitable for twill fabrics (100% cotton or poly/cotton blend), screen-printing methods work best for patterns with bold figures of one or few solid colors. Choose the color of your fabric, because it will essentially serve as the canvas for your printed pattern, and so the pattern and background colors should match well. Screen-printed colors have a distinct semi-shine that sets it apart with a smooth texture recognizably different from the rest of the fabric, whether you choose 100% cotton or a poly/cotton blend.
Digitally printed fabric patterns use a special direct-to-garment printing method that requires a 65/35 poly/cotton twill base fabric. As a truly a deluxe fabric option, digital printing results in limitless colors and gradients that appear to have dyed the fabric fibers themselves, while the fabric texture remains exactly as it was before printing. This is the best printing method for floral, paisley or other intricate patterns.
The appeal of a 5-panel is a little different than the mainstream snapback stylings, so The/Studio has introduced an alternative method to create out-of-the-ordinary custom camp hats [ http://www.thestudio.com/custom-hats/caps/ ]. We celebrate the bold individual that heads on a creative project. We support your cause, and provide the tools you need to develop fashion quality headwear. The/Studio empowers you to create.