“Wide brimmed and narrow, some tall, some not, some fancy, some…
A baseball cap is typically made of soft cotton, cotton blend, or wool fabric and is shaped to fit your head perfectly. The iconic visor protrudes from the front of the hat to protect your head and face from extreme heat, and it shields your eyes from sunlight or glare so that you can see even under intense sunlight or blinding stadium lights.
These caps are often considered an indispensable part of any baseball team uniform. They help create an identity for players on the field and, at the same time, protect the players’ eyes and heads as they work their magic on the field.
Origins of the Hat
You might have heard your great uncle Louie comment along the lines of “such-and-such is as American as apple pie and baseball!” But did you know that baseball gets its roots from traditional games played all over the world? It’s difficult to firmly establish a beginning date since there are so many variations, but the brand of baseball that we know and love today was initially played right after the Civil War based on game traditions from around the globe. Because matching team uniforms were such a good way to show teamwork and comradery, baseball teams started to include them as part of the official uniform. The first official team to wear baseball caps was the New York ‘Knickerbockers’ sometime in 1849. By the 1880s there were three kinds of baseball caps according to catalogs of the era, and there haven’t been any significant changes to the style since then.
Baseball Cap Materials
The basic baseball cap is often made of solid colored wool. Nowadays, most baseball caps are not used by baseball players; instead, the majority of caps now bear logos of various fashion brands and come in many different colors, designs, and fabric. Some add buckram or a plastic insert as a stiffening agent in the front panel. Others use sweatbands made of cotton, thin leather, plastic, etc. The fastener is usually made of an adjustable Velcro strap or a snapback closure. This allows the hat to be one-size-fits-most.
Making the Cap
The first step in the manufacturing process is to cut the material. Each hat needs either six or eight fabric triangles for the cap. It also needs materials for the visor, peak, and plastic extenders at the back. All of the textile materials are cut according to a pattern, while the plastics come from a third-party supplier. The panels usually have a mesh inner layer which dissipates heat and perspiration more effectively than a solid fabric panel. This is attached to the panel before the panels are sewn together. Eyelets are then inserted into the panels, providing additional ventilation. The embroidery is sewn onto the two front panels before the rest of the pieces are sewn together to form a beanie. At this stage, binding tape is applied to the seams to give the cap a finished look. A button is covered with the same material as the cap and then attached to the center top of the beanie, where the panels meet. Visors are made with a stiffener inside and covered by the same cap material. The visor and adjustable plastic fasteners are then attached to the cap. Lastly, the sweatband and label are sewn to the inside of the hat.
To set the cap, some companies steam it after all the sewing is done. Other hat makers add additional steps to ensure that the cap does not unravel. After inspection, the baseball cap is ready for shipping or storage. The next time you see a baseball cap, you’ll have a new appreciation for the complex processes that made it what it is today.
Baseball hats are famous accessories not just for men but also for any gender out there. Actually, there are millions of people who prefer to use it covering their heads. Some cost a few dollars while some are costly. For those that are a fan of it, these interesting facts may interest you.