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The Ultimate Guide to Embroidered Cap Styles

The Ultimate Guide to Embroidered Caps Styles


Embroidered caps and hats are as much a part of the South African landscape and lifestyle as just about any apparel accessory. Truth be told, South African’s love caps and if they can embroider their brand, logo or name on them, even more so.

There is a great demand to have caps embroidered in South Africa, its trendy, fashionable and makes a statement. Because of that, caps make a great place to put your custom embroidery.  You don’t have to look very hard to see the popularity of embroidered headwear and caps, just take the time to look around you next time you are out and about. There are caps being worn for all occasions.

This is one of the main reasons we started GetCapped. To offer a wide range of quality caps and headwear, all embroidered with your requirements, designed online and delivered to your door with none of those arduous requirements of minimum order quantities.

There are host of different cap styles onto which you can have your logo, brand, design or just words embroidered.  Choosing the right style for you is sometimes a matter of taste, of your brand message, or even of your customers.  The good news is, there is a style that fits just about all of your needs in about most of those situations, and our range at GetCapped is constantly growing to meet these requirements.

The classic baseball style cap is far and away the most popular style for cap embroidery. This style dates back almost a century and remains popular today. A baseball style cap is a wonderful canvas to embroider your logo and support your brand. These wonderful caps are available in various colours and constructed in various materials, resulting in different qualities available that are designed to suit the purpose for which you will be using the cap as well as a cap to suit your pocket.

There are a variety of baseball style caps that are worth considering for your embroidered logo.

At a very high level, most styles of baseball caps fall into two general categories:

  • Constructed or structured cap
  • Unconstructed or unstructured cap.

    An unstructured cap has no additional support behind those front two panels and it is the same all the way around the crown. Another way to look at it is if you take a hat off your head and set it down on your desk a structured hat will continue to look the same and keep it's structure whereas an unstructured cap will collapse slightly without your head in the hat supporting it.

    The profile of the cap, or height of the crown can also determine if the cap will most likely be structured or not. High profile caps are always structured because the taller crown needs the support. Most moisture wicking caps are structured because it looks better for the performance fabrics to have structure. Most unstructured caps are low profile and made fromcotton and can have a solid or mesh back. Both 6 panel hats and 5 panel caps can be structured or unstructured however most 5 panel caps are structured.

    A structured cap tends to be more polished or crisp looking so it's good for teams or uniforms. An unstructured cap tends to have a more casual look. If you are going to be embroidering a heavy patch or an embroidery which has a lot of stitches with your team name or logo on to the front of your cap, a structured cap will hold the weight of it a little better

    Constructed or Structured Cap

    Very simply put, constructed caps have a piece of material called “buckram” in the crown that helps hold its shape. The buckram is lining and is found on the inside of a Constructed caps front 2 panels (the crown). This is a very stiff lining that makes the front of the cap stand up.

    Constructed CapConstructed CapConstructed CapConstructed Cap

    Constructed caps are very popular, and many of the caps available today are constructed caps. Constructed caps are used for golf days, sport and athletics activities. Various caps from our premier Uflex Collection are structured caps. These caps are also used predominantly in our corporate branding range of 6 panel classic caps available in brushed cotton and heavy brushed cotton.

    Unconstructed Cap

    Unconstructed caps do not have this support feature which is one of the reasons unconstructed caps are called “floppy caps”.  The crown lies more against the forehead.

    Unconstructed CapUnconstructed CapUnconstructed CapUnconstructed Cap

    These are much more popular with people who are buying them for Dad caps as well as caps that are distressed or used for that more casual look. A lot of the time unstructured caps are also made from 100% cotton. Dad caps are a type of unstructured baseball cap that are both stylish and easy to wear. You can find Dad hats in a variety of colors and designs. While you can wear them with just about anything, low-key outfits like sweatshirts and jeans go best with them. These hats are best for daily wear or outdoor activities. 

    Flatbill or Flat Peak Cap

    The flat peak cap is a constructed baseball cap style that has become popular in the past few years.  It is probably most recognized as a symbol of the hip hop culture-worn mostly by young people looking for something different.  It is a very personal cap and that reflects the style and attitude of the wearer.

    The defining characteristic is represented in the name.  It is the large flat bill on the cap that gives it a very distinct shape.

    Flat Peak CapFlat Peak CapFlat Peak CapFlat Peak Cap

    The flat peak cap, which has also become known as a snapback cap is as street and urban as it gets. That brim left unbent is a stark symbol of hip hop and youth fashion in many cities gave birth to the fashion statement.

    Having come a long way and taking on multiple forms, how did the snapback hat trend start and manage to stay fresh all the way through?

    The snapback’s predecessor, the baseball cap, must be proud of its stylish spawn. Compared to fitted baseball caps worn by pro players, snapbacks are much more attuned to contemporary urban culture.

    But earliest versions of the snapback had been around since the late 1800s, marked by the use of non-uniform hats during baseball games.

    Music groups in the late 1980s to the 1990s were quick to adopt the style: N.W.A to stand for the LA suburb of Compton in the West Coast, and groups like Mobb Deep that stitched on those NY boroughs – think Queens and Brooklyn – to profess their loyalty to the East Coast.

    Hip Hop and rap icons such as Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube – to cite a few made the snapback a prominent fixture in their music videos, concerts, and even movies.

    Sports played a key role in snapback history, too. Sports superstars and personalities wearing their snapback on TV were never in short supply, whether they’re in the actual game or on the sidelines.

    Athletic team hats have taken on many forms through the years, from fitted to crushed to mesh-back. But there remain sparse details on the origins of the snapback and its recent surge, although the perpetually ceremonial hat – flat-billed and all – handed out to major championship players are telling of things to come for the snapback.

    You can count on pop culture to resurrect the snapback style after its hiatus. Artists like Jay-Z and Kanye West keep the style hot and fresh in the music scene, while Mac Miller even devoted whole song to the hat: “Used to wear baggy clothes / now my clothes tailored / Used to wear a fitted cap / now I rock a snapback.”

    The lyrics themselves represent a clear transition: from those baggy jeans and fitted hats to sleek, expensive clothing and snapback hats. True enough, it’s a never-ending revolution.

    Today snapbacks remain a prominent feature of streetwear style, whether they be blockhead snapbacks, 90s snapbacks, NFL snapbacks, and those other sought-after forms. This popularity even cuts across age and groups now, showing just how far that iconic that unbent brim can go.

    Trucker Cap

    Everything old is new again, right?  One style that has made a comeback the past few years is the mesh back or sometimes called “trucker caps”.  Mesh back caps come in mostly constructed styles but unstructured styles are available and popular as well.

    The defining characteristic of the mesh back cap is the back 4 panels of the caps are made of a mesh material that allows air flow to the head which keeps the wearer cooler in warm temperatures.

    The correct term for a trucker cap is actually a mesh hat.

    Trucker CapTrucker CapTrucker CapTrucker Cap

    The trucker cap originated in the early 1980s as a promotional giveaway item from feed stores and farming supply companies. Less expensive to make than baseball caps, and adjustable enough to fit almost anyone, the high front foam panel above the bill was the perfect place for companies like John Deere (and later, Budweiser, Mountain Dew, and others) to place their logo. The companies would give the caps away to truck drivers, farmers, and other rural workers. While sometimes called a “gimme cap” or a “feed cap,” the name “trucker cap” stuck.

    A trucker cap is technically a type of baseball cap. Its design includes a bill and a foam front section that stands up tall and straight (making it taller than most other hats or caps). The rest of the hat is constructed of plastic mesh, with a snap closure in the back for a one-size-fits-all adaptability.

    To answer another common question: yes, a trucker hat is a snapback, but not all snapbacks are trucker caps. Designed with breathability and one-size-fits-all in mind, the signature features of the trucker hat are the plastic mesh back and the snapback closure.

    There are many ways to fancy up the trucker cap. In the late 1980's these caps were replaced by the actual 100% cotton or wool ball cap that we see today. Early hipsters, skaters and punks started wearing trucker caps in the late 80's and never stopped.

    The cool thing about trucker caps is that if you like them so what, you wear them and screw whatever someone calls a trend or not. If you are a true trucker cap wearer, you are one for life no matter what the trend says.

    Distressed Cap

    Another relatively new style the past few years is that of the distressed cap.  The distressed style caps are mostly unconstructed and feature a look that makes it appears as though the cap has been worn a lot over the years even though it is a new cap.  Distressing caps has become popular in the past few years as people seek items that are vintage or old looking.

    Distressed CapDistressed CapDistressed CapDistressed Cap

    There are a number of different ways to distress a cap to make it look worn.  All of which are very interesting.

    Fitted Cap

    In 1920, Ehrhardt Koch founded his own hat company, E. Koch Cap Co. His company started with 14 employees and was located in Buffalo, New York. In 1922, the company name was changed to New Era Cap Company. In 1932, the company designed its first version of a baseball cap. In 1934 the company started producing its first professional baseball team's caps: The Cleveland Indians home and road caps. This was in the years before exclusive licensing, so New Era was competing with other cap-producing companies at the time. New Era also manufactured caps for some of those companies under private labeling. By the 1940s, New Era was producing caps for many professional baseball teams. In the late 40s New Era unveiled their adjustable cap. However the company still mainly manufactured fitted hats.

    Fitted CapFitted CapFitted CapFitted Cap

    In 1954 the fitted hat was redesigned and named the 59Fifty, a.k.a. the 'Brooklyn Style' cap. Cloth sweatbands were also introduced at this time (leather sweatbands would be slowly phased out until the end of the 1980s). By the year 1965, New Era was supplying caps for ten Major League Baseball teams.

    New Era had grown more by 1974, and now supplied 20 out of 24 Major League teams with caps. By the early 1980s, New Era not only supplied caps for 23 Major League Baseball teams, but for college sports, local, AAA and International baseball, tennis, golf, and custom orders.

    But in 1986 a huge step was taken. New Era was granted co-exclusive licensing and unveiled the "Diamond Collection", which they supplied to MLB teams and were sold to the general public. Wearing "What the Pros Wear" became a major trend.

    New Era was granted exclusive licensing for MLB caps after the 1993 season, beating out their main (and final) competitor, Sports Specialties. Now all of baseball was supplied with New Era caps for their games. In 2006, New Era, having outgrown their facility in Derby, moved to a new larger headquarters in Buffalo.

    Most baseball style caps are “one size fits all” and feature some kind of adjustable closure on the back that can be made to fit most heads. Fitted caps do not have a closure, instead they have an elastic band that stretches slightly to fit heads of different sizes. Fitted caps are mostly a constructed style cap and are associated with baseball but many others love the look and feel of a fitted cap.

    This 6-panel fitted cap is a great wear. It's perfect for teams or individuals, for the field or the street. The addition of spandex to the material makes for a form-fit, and the extras like a sewn-in sweatband and embroidered ventilation holes makes the fitted cap a must for the discerning cap wearer.

    Fitted caps general come in different sizes.  Most come in M/L and L/XL. Most adults wear a M/L but we always recommend trying one on before buying to make sure you get a fit that is right for you.

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