7 things you should know before purchasing a welding cap
From Grace McNamara
There is more to a welding cap than meets the eye. Asking a few questions could help you get a better hat.
- How many panels do your hats have? Generally the more panels the better a cap will conform to head shape. The extra panels add labor by having to cut more pieces and then having to sew them together. This is an important fact when considering value.
- What type of fabric do you use in caps? 100 percent cotton comes in many qualities. Just like a good set of sheets high thread count gives a soft and durable product, which has more cotton per square inch. Thin material shrinks due to spaces between the threads, when you dry them they close that space by shrinking. Good material in my opinion actually saves money in the long run.
- Do you install a band or use a thread around outside of hat to support bottom panels? Installation of a band adds 2 more pieces to cut and sew. Skipping this much needed step is tempting. Remember that a band holds the shape of cap giving strength and supporting the bottom panels.
- Is there a denim middle piece in brim of the hat? The addition of denim to the brim gives both strength and protection from sparks. It also allows you to fold the brim upwards when wanted.
- What kind of thread do you use? Cheap non cotton threads burn from sparks or simply break from wear and washing. Drastically reducing life expectancy. We use only 100% mercerized Egyptian cotton thread from the Coats and Clark Company.
- Do you use fancy (custom) stitching? Weaving back and forth on a sewing machine is not the fastest way from one end to the other. Fancy stitching not only looks better, it deposits more thread and covers more surface area giving a stronger seam.
- While different styles are out there and not all are bad. The characteristics stated above should give a good starting point in your search. I hope you learned a few things to consider, because the science and skill behind the scenes of making welding caps is sometimes overlooked.