Hats 101: the Basics of Creating Your Own Cap August 9, 2018
We’re continuing our “Creation 101” series and taking some time off from patches to discuss a product with endless potential — custom cut-and-sew caps. If you’re interested in creating a custom cap with a patch emblem or logo, though, check out Patches 101 for a quick education.
Lesson 1: What you need to know before creating a custom-made hat.
Creating a hat is an investment — it’s not just about creating a custom design or logo but thinking about a complex series of panels, fabric styles, logo and label placement as well as small details like closure method that can make or break a hat. Ever worn a hat that looked good but wasn’t comfortable — or worse, was comfortable but didn’t look good? The creator didn’t invest enough time in the design steps.
No worries, though — we make the process simple by breaking it into easy-to-answer questions without getting bogged down in the details. We get it, you’ve got ideas but probably not the experience of having manufactured several thousand hats before. Luckily, we do.
Let’s talk about your hat’s essential ingredients.
Baseball caps aren’t perfect circles. Instead, they’re made up of triangular pieces of fabric called panels — the more panels you have, the less “boxy” your hat. We offer 4, 5 and 6 panels to suit your tastes. Less panels means more of a fashion statement/streetwear vibe that fits loosely on the head, more panels means a classic baseball cap that fits snugly against the hair.
Your material choice is determined by your envisioned use and desired style. A cotton/poly twill is the most versatile for an all-season cap, keeping you warm on chilly fall mornings but wicking sweat away on August afternoons. 100% cotton keeps things toasty but can get hot in summer; poly-mesh will let the breeze right in on those hots summer days but won’t be useful in rain or cold.
But your options at The/Studio for cap material don’t end there. From faux leather and suede (easier to clean and more water resistant) to stylish 100% wool, retro corduroy to fully-custom printed panels, we’ve got all the styles covered.
Yes, custom printed panels mean you can finally have a hat with a pattern of emojis. Or cats.
Believe it or not, bill shapes get determined in the factory, not the field. Sure, you can bend it how you want, but a custom formed and steamed bill is going to look much more the part. Flat or curved are the basic options — and if you want to get specific, we can talk degrees of curvature for larger orders (it’s a thing).
Often an afterthought for most designers, your cap’s closure method determines not only how your cap fits the head but also its style. We do offer fitted or closure-free hats if you have a particular hat size already in mind and want to go for a minimalistic look — stylish but a little hot in high temperatures.
Beyond that, you’ll often choose from the big three: classic plastic snapback, buckle or “glide” closure. On buckles, you can choose your metal color and finish and even etch a custom design on for real class. Classic snapbacks can have a custom logo on the band, too.
For a soft, metal or plastic-free route, go with velcro.
If you want to go pro with your custom caps, custom labeling that identifies your brand is a must. A liner tag on the inside is a minimum essential, but hangtags are good too: both build individual unit value. Making a $1.00 investment per hat for labeling and netting $5.00 in additional profit is easy. Finding a firm that can create those labels and attach them professionally for you is hard — well, outside The/Studio.
Caps are big designer business. If you’re creating caps for a brand, consider investing in custom packaging — your profit margin will thank you. Packaging enhances salability and “resalability,” helping your caps become collectior’s icons and building your brand power. We offer individual hat boxes in any sleek color you want — and you guessed it, they’re customizable from corner to corner.
Caps are complex, but creating them doesn’t have to be. If you can imagine the answer to the above design details of a cap, you can start a cap order today. When you order with The/Studio, your creative designer or the automated Create Your Product tool walks you through these highlights, plus just a few others. Letting you create a cap unlike any other, without bogging you down in the details. That’s our job.