The be all end all guide to Cap careView previous topic :: View next topic  
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Nos Jawborn
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Post Posted: 12/18/10 9:39 pm    Post subject: The be all end all guide to Cap care Reply with quote
I see a lot of discussion here in the forums on the best way to care and clean for caps. And no one is really offering anything from the fashion production end of things.
As someone who has been in the fashion industry for 12 years, I’m going to tell you exactly what you need to do in order to keep your caps looking their best.

Brushing:

Most caps made by New Era are made from a woven textile, be it cotton, wool, or polyester. As a woven textile, each individual fiber in the fabric is gathered, twisted and polished into a single thread and then woven into fabric. Brushing is the best method of cleaning this type of fabric, but what is more important is the type of tool used to clean the fibers of your cap. Anything to abrasive will break the tiny polished fibers in the threads, and give your cap a “fuzzy” worn look. The most abrasive tool you could use would be a brush with bristles, like the one sold in the Re-Cap Kit by New Era. The better bet is the less expensive Cap Brush from New Era, and I’ll tell you why. Although this foam brush is a little on the small side for my liking, and is not as dense a foam as I’d hoped for. It works. A bristle brush as I mentioned before, with its sharp ends is enough to rip apart tiny fibers, but a foam brush has no sharp abrasive surfaces. The foam organizes and polishes the fabric’s fibers and at the same time has enough micro surface texture to catch and lift away any dirt and dust.

As I mentioned before, the foam brush is not as dense a foam as I would have hoped. My solution to this problem was to make my own foam brushes out of better, denser foam. Since foam comes in bulk when you purchase it, I was able to simply cut a brush for each of my caps. If you’d like to give it a shot, google “packing foam”. http://zhenfoamchina.en.made-in-china.com/product/UbTnQhRoIVcp/China-Packing-Foam-Acoustic-Foam.html

What your looking for is actually “Acoustic Foam”. It has a series of small peeks in the surface and is usually dark grey or black and made from of polyurethane . Since this is a denser foam, it has much more mico textured surfaces to better clean your cap. The peeks in the foam also make it really easy to brush around embroidery. Simply order as much foam as you need, and cut it into 3x3 inch squares.

Tip:

Have you ever gotten a little “shmutz” on your cap? I’m not talking about a liquid stain that sets into the fabric. I’m talking about a little smear of something on the surface fibers or the cap. Better than picking it off and rubbing in deeper into the fabric, put a little water of the foam brush, and brush it away damp. You’ll be really surprised at how well this works.

Washing:

The WORST thing you could do is to wash your hat, and for many reasons. You need to look back to the beginning of the ball cap, their original use and consumption. Given to baseball players on a team, caps were meant to get dirty and wear out, and when they needed a new one, they were just given one. Caps originally had a much shorter shelf life. Since caps have become a fixture in the world of fashion, we treat them a little differently then their intended purpose.

Rule of thumb: you never wash a cap. Would the queen of England put her fancy hats in a washer? Would you throw a top hat a dryer? Think of any hat, and recall a time in went into the wash.

Yes, caps get dirty, although I believe if your keeping your hands clean enough when you touch your cap, this should be the smallest of your cleaning problems. A bigger issue would be smell. Everyone sweats, some more than others. When sweat and dead skin cells are trapped in the fabric of your cap from day to day wear, bacteria which also naturally live on the skin’s surface begin to break them down causing order. We all know that bacteria are small living micro-organisms. They need pretty much the same environment we do in order to survive. So, if you find that your cap is a bit stank, put it in the freezer over night. Freezing temperatures kill order causing bacteria. When removing your cap from the freezer, it will feel stiff, as if it had been wet before going in. Just allow your cap to come to room temperature for about 10 minutes before wearing.

If your cap is so dirty and stinky that it actually needs to be washed, then it’s probably time to shell out the $50 for a new cap and consider taking better care of the new one. Moisture of ANY kind is going to affect the shape, color, and size of your cap during the drying process no matter what your cap is made from.

Interesting point:

Most, if not all caps produced by New Era contain what is called Buckram. It is the stiff cotton backing on the two front crown panels of your cap. Buckram is a stiff fabric used to give shape and stability to fabric. Especially for embroidery. Since Buckram is always made from cotton, no matter what the rest of your cap is made of, once you wet and dry the Buckram, it IS going to shrink when it dries. If your cap is made of polyester, which shrinks less then cotton, the Buckram on the two front crown panels will shrink twice as much as the rest of the cap and will severely ripple and warp the panels when they dry.

Shaping:

Through everyday wear, fabric of any kind will change and loose it’s shape. To address this problem, New Era includes an 8oz bottle of “re-shape” spray in it’s Re-Cap Kit. But, if you own as many caps as I do, you’ll notice that this small 8oz bottle of re-shape spray doesn’t last very long. The spray itself is nothing more than fabric starch. You can pick up a huge 20oz can of spray starch for ironing at the grocery store for about the same price. The formula of starch is also stronger, giving you better lasting shape. My personal favorite is “Easy On Speed Starch”. Once you’ve brushed your cap, give a light mist of starch over the inside and outside of your cap and let dry completely. If your in a hurry and want it to set faster, use a blow-dryer.

Storage:

The Neoprene crush proof case by New Era is perfect in every way. It keeps caps protected from dust, provides just the right amount of ventilation, keeps caps out of the light, holds their shape, and It’s perfect for all cap materials. Very few people know that dye starts to fade the very second it comes into contact with light. While it would take a decent length of time in the light to visibly alter the color of a cap, It’s still better to keep them out of the light when your not wearing them. Plastic containers are ok, but don’t provide the right ventilation. Caps of the same or like colors should be stored next to one another, with care to be taken in keeping light colored caps separate from darker ones. Should you accidentally spill water on them for example, darker colored caps could transfer their dye to light colored caps. Never ever put your cap(s) in a plastic bag(s). Good for dust? Yes..but in essence, your choking your cap. A better alternative would be a brown paper bag. Paper is breathable, and blocks out light.


Last edited by Nos Jawborn on 12/23/10 1:32 am; edited 3 times in total
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Komrade
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Joined: 12 Apr 2008
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Post Posted: 12/20/10 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Great post! Thanks a lot for sharing. This thread should be stickied
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HatGuy
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Post Posted: 12/22/10 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Great stuff! Thanks! Agreed on the sticky, worth it.
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Nos Jawborn
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Post Posted: 12/23/10 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for the props gents.
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lalakerspurpyellow
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Post Posted: 04/18/11 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
i read somewhere that i can use a toothbrush as a brush to clean is it a good idea or bad idea?
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Nos Jawborn
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Post Posted: 10/05/11 10:11 am    Post subject: Cap Care Site Reply with quote
www.kingofcaps.blogspot.com
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Rewind
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Post Posted: 10/14/11 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Are plastic containers okay if I just shift the lid a bit and don't keep it closed and let air in?
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moontheloon
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Post Posted: 10/14/11 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I disagree about the paper bag storage.....most paper has acids in it that will eventually discolor and destroy your hat
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moontheloon
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Post Posted: 10/14/11 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Rewind wrote:
Are plastic containers okay if I just shift the lid a bit and don't keep it closed and let air in?


thats exactly what Ive done for years.....and my hats are crisp as the day they were bought

I lay a plastic loosely over the top of the hats then just lay the lid of the container on without locking it shut and slide them under the bed

done me just fine for years

this guy must work for New Era....you know how many of those cases some of us with hundreds of hats would need?

great tips on brushing and cleaning though
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Rewind
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Post Posted: 10/14/11 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
moontheloon wrote:
Rewind wrote:
Are plastic containers okay if I just shift the lid a bit and don't keep it closed and let air in?


thats exactly what Ive done for years.....and my hats are crisp as the day they were bought

I lay a plastic loosely over the top of the hats then just lay the lid of the container on without locking it shut and slide them under the bed

done me just fine for years

this guy must work for New Era....you know how many of those cases some of us with hundreds of hats would need?

great tips on brushing and cleaning though


I don't really got space to hide it from the sun moon. Is a tarp/blanket fine to keep it out of the light you think? Damn I wonder how many boxes you have, your collection's huge but that new titanium rack you're rocking is too ill.
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moontheloon
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Post Posted: 10/14/11 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Rewind wrote:
moontheloon wrote:
Rewind wrote:
Are plastic containers okay if I just shift the lid a bit and don't keep it closed and let air in?


thats exactly what Ive done for years.....and my hats are crisp as the day they were bought

I lay a plastic loosely over the top of the hats then just lay the lid of the container on without locking it shut and slide them under the bed

done me just fine for years

this guy must work for New Era....you know how many of those cases some of us with hundreds of hats would need?

great tips on brushing and cleaning though


I don't really got space to hide it from the sun moon. Is a tarp/blanket fine to keep it out of the light you think? Damn I wonder how many boxes you have, your collection's huge but that new titanium rack you're rocking is too ill.


you may have the wrong guy.....no titanium rock here....

a tarp or blanket seems cumbersome

you have them out on a shelf?

I definitely dont recommend that.....not for long periods of time anyway...... especially if you are in a humid climate.....dust is a killer

a friend of mine uses big duffle bags .....like gym bags with hard plastic bottoms ......he fits like 40 caps per bag ....slightly easier to store than the plastic totes

something like this hanging in a closet is nice to

http://www.amazon.com/New-Era-Storage-System-Black/dp/B004407WMQ/ref=pd_sbs_sg2
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DBlock72
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Post Posted: 10/14/11 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I've been putting mine in old shoe boxes. I wear 13s so I can fit about 10-15 per box.

I've been thinkin of a new solution and I thought that Lids would have big boxes that are made to hold a lot of hats for shipping purposes. I called one of the local lids up and they said that they do have boxes like that, and that they'd give one to me. I haven't had a chance to pick it up yet, but the guy on the phone described it to me and he said that they can hold approx. 100 hats and there are dividers inside of the box to keep hats separate. Seems like it's worth a try to me and I'll probably be picking one up on monday.
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Rewind
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Post Posted: 10/14/11 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
moontheloon wrote:
Rewind wrote:
moontheloon wrote:
Rewind wrote:
Are plastic containers okay if I just shift the lid a bit and don't keep it closed and let air in?


thats exactly what Ive done for years.....and my hats are crisp as the day they were bought

I lay a plastic loosely over the top of the hats then just lay the lid of the container on without locking it shut and slide them under the bed

done me just fine for years

this guy must work for New Era....you know how many of those cases some of us with hundreds of hats would need?

great tips on brushing and cleaning though


I don't really got space to hide it from the sun moon. Is a tarp/blanket fine to keep it out of the light you think? Damn I wonder how many boxes you have, your collection's huge but that new titanium rack you're rocking is too ill.


you may have the wrong guy.....no titanium rock here....

a tarp or blanket seems cumbersome

you have them out on a shelf?

I definitely dont recommend that.....not for long periods of time anyway...... especially if you are in a humid climate.....dust is a killer

a friend of mine uses big duffle bags .....like gym bags with hard plastic bottoms ......he fits like 40 caps per bag ....slightly easier to store than the plastic totes

something like this hanging in a closet is nice to

http://www.amazon.com/New-Era-Storage-System-Black/dp/B004407WMQ/ref=pd_sbs_sg2


Oh damn moon sorry, kinda tired and my eyes ain't that good, this is the post I was talking about. Wasn't you. Yeah I'm in a humid ass place at the moment, seaport town in Saudi Arabia haha. Nah not on a shelf. I keep them in a big ol' plastic container on my floor next to my bed near some boxes. My room seems ventilated well enough and I don't have enough space in my closets for the box. I'll look into getting that fabric rack and some cap carriers soon probably.

What do you do with the lining of your shoeboxes DBlock? Damn that box sounds ill, I just got mine from some hardware store. I don't have nearly that many to warrant need for a box like that but the dividers thing really caught my attention. You could probably even add labels and s. I only got 13 so far, gave away a couple to some friends that wanted ones that I didn't really want.
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moontheloon
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Post Posted: 10/14/11 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
DBlock72 wrote:
I've been putting mine in old shoe boxes. I wear 13s so I can fit about 10-15 per box.

I've been thinkin of a new solution and I thought that Lids would have big boxes that are made to hold a lot of hats for shipping purposes. I called one of the local lids up and they said that they do have boxes like that, and that they'd give one to me. I haven't had a chance to pick it up yet, but the guy on the phone described it to me and he said that they can hold approx. 100 hats and there are dividers inside of the box to keep hats separate. Seems like it's worth a try to me and I'll probably be picking one up on monday.


Im going to have to look into this as well
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DBlock72
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Post Posted: 10/14/11 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Rewind wrote:

What do you do with the lining of your shoeboxes DBlock? Damn that box sounds ill, I just got mine from some hardware store. I don't have nearly that many to warrant need for a box like that but the dividers thing really caught my attention. You could probably even add labels and s. I only got 13 so far, gave away a couple to some friends that wanted ones that I didn't really want.


Usually my Nikes come with tissue paper lining, so I leave that in there and use it to cover my caps.

Yeah the box sounds good, I'll post some pics up after I get it.
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