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Hats, Caps and Visors Buying Guide

Posted August 30, 2010

HatsBuyingGuide

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Contents

Headwear Video Buying Guide

Why Buy Custom Hats, Caps, and Visors?

Buying Custom Hats, Caps, and Visors is one of the most effective ways to promote a brand, advertise a business, or build team unity. 2010 marked the 150th anniversary of the modern baseball cap, which was born in 1860 when the Brooklyn Excelsiors adopted a close-fitting cap with a forward brim to shield players’ eyes from the sun. The style caught on quickly and by 1900 the cap, emblazoned with the franchise logo, was an indispensable part of the uniform and an unmistakable way to identify a team player.

Today baseball caps are standard equipment in just about everyone’s wardrobe. Whether it’s part of an employee uniform, protection from the sun or cold, a fashion statement, or a handy way to cover up a bad-hair day, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t own at least one cap with a logo or graphic on it. People wear caps often and keep them for years. That’s serious visibility at eye-level, and that’s why imprinted or embroidered caps are a great idea as part of your promotional strategy.

As with most of our promotional products, InkHead has a wide selection of custom caps from which to choose. All those choices can be daunting, so here are some tips to get you through the selection process.

The Anatomy of Custom Baseball Caps

The crown of the standard baseball cap is constructed from five or six panels of fabric stitched together. A 6-panel cap has a seam that runs down the center of the forehead, which gives the cap a more relaxed fit and lower profile. This cap looks great with an embroidered logo but the center seam often makes silkscreening difficult. A 5-panel cap features a flat front panel reinforced with buckram, a stiff cotton that stiffens the panel and gives it a higher profile but an unbroken imprint area ideal for silkscreening images.

The bill or visor is usually constructed of stiff paperboard or PVC covered with fabric. Traditionally the bill is covered by the same fabric as the crown, but many caps have the bill in a second, complementary color or sporting its own graphics. One recent trend is the sandwich bill, which features a bright strip of color along the very edge of the bill for a smart look. Depending on the style of cap, the bill comes flat or pre-curved but can be adjusted as comfort and fashion warrant.

Caps come in many materials, from breathable brushed cotton twill to light wool (the preferred material of Major League Baseball) to moisture-wicking polyester, usually with cotton inner sweatbands to catch and keep sweat off the wearer’s face and grommets for ventilation. A very popular option is the mesh cap, also known as a “trucker’s cap,” which features a polyester front panel and ventilating nylon mesh for the rest of the crown.

Professional ballplayers have fitted caps made to their specifications. The rest of us don’t have that luxury, so all of our promotional caps come with adjustable closures – nylon snaps, Velcro straps, or antiqued brass buckles and eyelets for a retro feel.
Every custom cap InkHead carries has a full list of specifications and representative images on its individual page, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

How to Buy Custom Hats, Caps, and Visors

Imprint Method

Once you’ve navigated your way through all the many style and color choices available to you, the question of embroidery versus silkscreen comes into play. Embroidery looks great on a baseball cap and gives it a higher perceived value, a feeling that will translate into your promotional cap becoming one of the wearer’s favorites and thus a very visible way to promote your brand. It also gives the cap a crisp look essential for use as part of an employee or team uniform. Embroidery does have its limits, however, especially if your logo or message is color- or graphics-heavy, which will make embroidery a pricier option than silkscreen.

If you elect to go with silkscreen, remember that a 5-panel cap is preferable for the purpose, providing an uninterrupted imprint area. It’s also important to keep in mind that in the silkscreen process, especially on a dark-colored cap, some colors may be susceptible to bleed-through and not show up as well. As you go through the ordering process, however, our Promotions Specialists and our crack Art Department will work with you to make sure your custom cap looks its best and brightest.

Ready to order? Have a question about this product? Please contact us. We can take your order over the phone or answer any questions you may have.

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