A Complete Guide to Custom Hats & Caps
Custom hats are the perfect addition to enhance your whole look and refresh your appearance. Better yet, they are the go-to choice for many businesses to advertise their brand logos. So, are you planning to go the extra mile to customize your headgear? Then, let’s dive into the world of custom hats and caps!
What is the history of Custom Hats?
Custom caps or hats haven’t always been about fashion and advertising. In fact, hats were originally worn to be protected from weather conditions, for ceremonial, or religious reasons. On one hand, a hat was an indicator of social status.
Caps on the other hand first came into the spotlight in 3,200BC. They usually include a visor or brim. The first custom logo hat appeared in 1901, when the Detroit Tigers put an image of a running orange tiger on the front of the cap.
In modern times, both hats and caps appear in fashion and sports. Besides their style mojo, they are practically worn under the scorching sun to protect your eyes and skin.
How can I customize my Logo Hat?
Embroidered hats are a huge trend today with celebrities and influencers regularly flaunting their latest fashion statement cap or hat. Available in various shapes, and sizes, embroidered hats can be made with either flat or 3D puff embroidery. Both methods are ideal to highlight logos and letters.
Regular or flat embroidery refers to decorating the fabric on custom caps using thread and yarn. The only difference between regular and 3D puff embroidery is, in the 3D puff method a rubber foam is placed under the embroidery to elevate the design even more. This gives a pronounced 3D look and feel to custom hats.
Digital printing is often used for both small or larger prints on garments which produces colorful end-results. Commonly called direct-to-garment printing, this digital printing is usually used for t-shirts, caps, sweatshirt, etc. where vibrant visual communication is a must. If you have more than a simple one-color imprint or your order quantity is very low, digital printing is often the best and most economical imprint choice.
While Direct-To-Garment (DTG) printing has taken the print world by storm, heat transfer is another common full color decoration method. With Heat Transfer, the design is digitally reverse printed on a release paper with a plastisol-based ink and then placed on your custom hat, and the design is “transferred” from the paper to the cap by introducing it to high heat from a specially designed high heat press.
Screen printing produces highly colorful prints. It is done using a mesh and transferring the ink into the fabric with the help of a squeegee. Moreover, a blocking stencil is used on the screen to allow ink to flow through and create the design only where the screen is open. Then, with a couple of strokes of the ink squeegee, the print is transferred onto the fabric.
Debossing is the opposite of raising a design like in 3D puff embroidered hats. The goal here is to create a depression usually on a patch which is then sewn or glued onto the custom hat. Leather patches, in particular, are a stylish and durable patch choice for logos.
What features are most typical in Logo Caps?
These are the sizing mechanism on hats.
Custom hats with a snap closure, usually made from plastic, located in the rear part of the hat are called a Snapback hat. The snaps provide and an easy, adjustable way of sizing the hat to fit the head circumference. These hats are often structured, high-profile and feature flat brims.
In the rear, adjustable fabric caps have either a hook and loop that is usually a Velcro®-type closure or a fabric buckle. Custom caps with this closure are commonly unstructured, low-profile and have curved brims.
As the name suggests these hats cannot be adjusted. They are sized to a specific circumference and to fit your head perfectly. They are usually high-profile, structured caps that have curved or flat brims.
“Stretch-fit” hats are like fitted custom hats in overall design. However, because they are made of Lycra or rubber, they can be easily stretched to fit any head size precisely. In fact, one popular custom cap brand, FLEXFIT, derives its name from its stretch nature.
Custom cap structure is defined by whether or not your hat has buckram in the front panels of the hat making it either stiff (with buckram) or floppy (without).
Unstructured or also called relaxed embroidered hats are floppy. You can easily scrunch these custom caps into your pocket due to their flexibility. Commonly called, "Dad caps", these caps are usually low profile with curved brims.
Structured custom hats feature a fused buckram (a stiff cotton) front making them stiff and upright. This stiff front provides a great canvas to display a logo or a design more clearly.
What materials are common for Logo Hats?
Cotton twill fabric comprises a textile weave that has a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs. As a result, the surface of the material is uneven and prevents staining and soiling, so it’s ideal for making custom hats.
Foam is a type of rubber that retains its popularity for its endurance. Usually, foam custom caps feature a foam front panel with mesh side and back panels.
Regularly a blend of 65% cotton and 35% polyester in custom caps, a poly-cotton blend fabric provides enhanced durability.
Polyester is a synthetic, low-cost, and quick-drying material that is the perfect fit for manufacturing custom caps for sports.
Custom caps featuring a plastic mesh are often called "Trucker Hats". On custom hats the mesh is usually on the 2 side panels and 2 back panels. Today, you can even choose different densities of mesh such as regular, soft, and extra soft. The mesh material in hats are also available in different prints like camouflage.
Knit embroidered hats are often made with Acrylic fibers that are created from a polymer (polyacrylonitrile) also used for knitting sweaters, socks, rugs, etc. The knit fabric may also be blended with wool as well to enhance warmth. Often knit custom hats include a pom-pom which is a decorative ball made from fibrous material on the top of the hat.
Cap brims or hat visors are made by incorporating stiff materials like cardboard or plastic to provide stability thereby increasing sun protection. Plastic is by far the superior material here and will hold up well under either machine washing or repeated hand washing.
What styles are popular for Logo Hats?
6 panel –Caps with 6 sides attached.
5 panel - Hats with 5 sides attached.
Flat - Hats with a flat visor.
Pre-Curved - Caps with a pre-curved visor.
Sandwich - Hats with an extra layer of fabric “sandwiched” between the top and bottom of the visor.
These custom hats have a wide downward-sloping brim that wraps the entire hat and are often made from denim, canvas, or Tweed fabric.
Beanie (no cuff) - Softly knitted head warmer with no cuff.
Cuffed - Softly knitted head warmer with a cuff.
Pom Pom - Softly knitted head warmer with a top decorative ball made with fibrous material.
Stripe - Softly knitted head warmer with knit in stripes.
What are the most common shapes or profiles in Logo Caps?
Low Profile - Custom hats with a low, snuggly crown.
Mid Profile - Custom caps with a more spacious mid-crown.
High Profile - Custom or embroidered hats with a roomy, high crown.
Sun Visor - Crownless custom hats with a visor to protect the face.
What are the parts of the Logo Cap?
Custom caps offer exceptional options for customization.
Sweatband - A band of absorbent material used for lining the inside bottom
Inner Seam Taping - Taping that covers the sewn seams inside
Eyelets - Small holes located around the crown to provide ventilation.
Button - The top button that helps hold the panels together.
Panels - 5 or 6 triangular material pieces that are sewn together to form the hat.
Visor - The stiff front extension that protects the face from the sun.
Crown Stitches - Stitches of the top or crown that wraps the head.
Visor Stitches - Stitches on the visor.
What are the most popular Logo Hat Brands?
What is the best way to clean a Custom Hat?
- Fill a bucket or sink with either cool or warm water and dilute some detergent in it.
- Then soak your custom cap in it for 15 minutes more or less.
- Rinse. (Be gentle with wool embroidered hats)
- Reshape and drip-dry your custom hat.
The Bottom Line
What makes a Logo Hat a great team or staff gift?
Comfortable: Custom caps are the handiest headgear to protect your head and face from harsh weather – cold or warm. What’s more, they can be super lightweight and foldable, making them easy to grab and go.
Visible: As mentioned above, embroidered hats are the first choice for many businesses to display their logos, because it’s hard to miss your brand design when it’s literally on one’s head.
Versatile: Needless to say, there are near endless varieties of custom caps. From visors and bucket hats to soft knit hats, you are sure find the perfect hat for every season, occasion, or activity.
Fashionable: Custom hats have become a crucial accessory to display team pride, showcase personality, or even support a cause. Hats can make a big statement!
Options: Not only are can they fashion forward, custom hats are available in a broad range of prices. Whether you’re craving a branded custom hat from New Era, Richardson, Nike, maybe Adidas, or looking for something cheap, you’re sure to find one that meets all your needs and budget.
So, are you up for getting your own custom cap? Thought so!