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Home Made Caps


rtrich11

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I'm posting a couple caps I've done at home. I had a couple blank caps around and decided to decorate them, so I used some dark-color iron-ons, felt, and needle and thread to do the job. The art is from some concept art I've worked on over the years.

Initially I tried (with Creamerboard help!) using an embroidered texture on the art, but it ended up looking very fake. Embroidery does look best on a cap, but it was hard to make it work as a phony here. Decided to just have it flat.

For what this is, it still required a lot of trial and error to get it to turn out, and it's a pain, but I think I have the methods down. It's something y'all could do, too.

2hats_Richards.jpg

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Here's a little info on the process.

Perhaps the biggest challenge to these caps is matching colors.

Felt matching:

For the brown hat I was lucky that the brown felt matched the cap fabric fairly well. The lion cap was not a concern as it is grey. If you want matching colors I'd be tempted to buy the felt first and take it to the hat stores.

Iron on color matching:

The brown iron-on had to match the felt. I created a bunch of brown test swatches that I printed on a corner of a "dark fabric" iron-on sheet (gotta be economical, the sheets are expensive). I ironed those swatches on the felt and picked the one that was the best match to use in my design. On the lion hat I admit that I didn't test the green iron-on color, so the colors are off a bit.

In fact, it's best to test all your colors with swatches. There's a lot of shifting when the iron hits it.

Fabrics:

I settled on felt because I've seen other caps use it. There are two kinds of felt, the soft and the rigid. The soft felt is pliable, but the edges are soft, no matter how you cut it. I used soft on the brown hat because the fuzzy edges wouldn't be seen so much. On the lion I used the rigid felt and that worked well.

Ironing: If you iron something on dark felt the color will come through if you aren't careful. I ruined some indian heads that way. Be light and swift over the fabric, but still make sure the colors are set. The first indian head hat I made was ruined when it got wet. I didn't iron enough. It's a fine line. Also, the rigid felt will compact down if you push down too much. Again, it's a fine line. Expect to mess up a bit here.

You'll make a few trips to the fabric store by the end of this. You'll mess up a few times- I know I did, but I'm happy with the results even if it's not as good as embroidering.

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Could you give a lil more detail on how you used the dark color iron-ons? I have tried a few times, but the the shirt color always bleed thru on me...

And is ironing onto the felt basically the same as ironing onto, say, a t-shirt?

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Could you give a lil more detail on how you used the dark color iron-ons? I have tried a few times, but the the shirt color always bleed thru on me...

And is ironing onto the felt basically the same as ironing onto, say, a t-shirt?

hjwii, are you using the dark t-shirt transfers? They are like white sheets of paper, but with a vinyl (I think it's vinyl) coating. Avery and Printworks are the brands I've used. I have never seen colors bleed through before except the one time I pressed hard with the iron on some dark felt.

The concept of ironing on felt is the same as a t-shirt, but you have to use minimum pressure and keep the iron moving. Overdo it and the color bleeds through, plus you'll get unwanted textures. Don't do it enough and the colors will bleed just a bit when wet. Do some tests on swatches, etc. until you "know" how it's going to turn out, then use the real design.

Oh yeah, thread. Just match it to your felt. Most fabric stores will have lots of thread colors.

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I have made two custom hats, both with my buddies towing logo on them. The first one lasted a couple of months and bled when it got wet, so I scraped it off and ironed on a new one. I used that hat to work in though so it got filthy quick, seeing as I wore it just about everyday for a year. I replaced this past spring with a new one and it has held up pretty good, especially since I don't wear it every day. I try not to wear it if its going to rain though because I think this one will bleed too. Next time I might try and iron it a little longer. I will try and gets some pics up tomorrow.

Also, what exactly did you use the felt for? I just ironed mine directly to my hat.

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Moseph, I iron the design on the felt, cut it out, then stitch it on the hat. I thought about doing a straight-to-hat application, but I realized I'd have only one shot at it. If I messed up the hat is toast. With stitching you can reposition it, or start over. Your options are open.

I'd still like to see your hat, though!

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Could you give a lil more detail on how you used the dark color iron-ons? I have tried a few times, but the the shirt color always bleed thru on me...

And is ironing onto the felt basically the same as ironing onto, say, a t-shirt?

hjwii, are you using the dark t-shirt transfers? They are like white sheets of paper, but with a vinyl (I think it's vinyl) coating. Avery and Printworks are the brands I've used. I have never seen colors bleed through before except the one time I pressed hard with the iron on some dark felt.

The concept of ironing on felt is the same as a t-shirt, but you have to use minimum pressure and keep the iron moving. Overdo it and the color bleeds through, plus you'll get unwanted textures. Don't do it enough and the colors will bleed just a bit when wet. Do some tests on swatches, etc. until you "know" how it's going to turn out, then use the real design.

Oh yeah, thread. Just match it to your felt. Most fabric stores will have lots of thread colors.

Tom... I did use the dark color transfer. However, I applied lots of pressure (as I do with the white/light transfers). So, perhaps I don;t apply pressure, but continuously go over it for a longer period of time? Thanks for the insight...

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Tom do you know what the brand of your transfers was? I have talked to my mother in law about trying this... she is a big quilter and told me about this brand printed treasures that is often used to transfer printed photos to quilt materials. Thought about givin it a try. I am guessing with this type of project the better the transfer paper the better your project will turn out and hold up.

Also have you tried using any material aside from the felt? I was thinking of trying a patch with tackle twill but not sure how well the transfer will take to it.

Anyone else with experience or info feel free to comment on this post.

Tom could you post a couple pics with closer look at the logos? I am interested to see the edge difference in the felt that you talked about above and the style of stitch you used to attach them to the hats

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hjwii, yep-lighter pressure, but make sure the iron-on gets hot enough with multiple runs over it. If the vinyl doesn't melt the color will be flat and it'll bleed. Do some experiments.

JJ, I've used Avery for a lot of my logo clothes and one of these hats. I've never heard of Printed Treasures before. Sounds interesting, though.

Why felt? I wanted something with a little give, but ultimately it has to do with frayed edges. A lot of cloth materials will break apart at an unseamed edge. I have a Shiner Bock hat that uses some cotton fabric that makes the edges look ratty-on purpose. If tackle twill won't fray, then experiment. If it does, then it's no good.

I'll try to get some more pictures of the details up over the weekend.

Moseph, The hat looks nice. I can see that's it's been around the block, but interesting to see the concept worked for the most part. Like the logo.

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Yeah, I might end up making another one here sometime soon, maybe I will try the felt this time. The problem with the hat is it can be hard to iron on because it is rounded. Like on this one, I didn't get the bottom part of the A heated up enough and it started to peel up after a while. On my previous one, I had too much heat on it and it dented the cap a little on the top. Do you ever have any problems with the transfers getting scratched up a little or bleeding a little bit if it gets wet? I have been using the Avery transfers and would like it to be a little more durable next time.

I didn't make the logo, my dad friend has been using it for about 5 or 6 years now. He has always been good to us so I figured I would give him some free advertising, but I have always liked that logo too.

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JJ, I look forward to seeing your cap. Don't be afraid to start over to get it just right.

Don't forget you can add anything to the back you want, although it's a bit tougher to sew there. Here' a close up of the back of the indian head cap.

RichardsFeather.png

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