Welders have to pay a surprising amount of attention to their clothing. They have to have safety equipment and clothing on hand, such as long-sleeved pants, sturdy boots, goggles, and helmets. They often starch their clothes to prevent sparks and dirt from sticking to their gear. Many welders also wear caps.
Welder caps help protect welders’ heads, necks, and ears from flying sparks. They have a soft peaked demand and ear flaps to protect the welder. Welder caps have become trendy, so you can buy one, but one of the best ways to ensure you have a quality cap is to make one yourself.
Here is everything you need to know about making a welder cap.
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Why Do Welders Wear Caps?
Not all welders wear caps anymore, but many still do. Many welders wear welder caps to protect their faces and heads from flying sparks, slag, and other debris. When welders wear these caps, the brim is snug and low across the forehead and covers the top of the ears. Some welders even adjust the caps according to which position they’re welding in to allow the cap to protect them maximally.
There is a story about the history of welder caps. The story goes that a widow made the cap for her husband’s former colleagues out of gratitude because they raised money for her in her time of need. Whether this story is true or not, it shows how important welder caps are to welders.
Design Features of a Welder’s Cap
A welder’s cap is not the same as any other cap, such as a baseball cap. Here are some of the design features that set it apart from other headgear.
- A high crown. A properly fitting welding cap will have the crown protruding high above the head, which looks a little strange but is necessary for the rest of the cap to fit properly.
- A soft brim. The welding cap has a low, rounded brim or bill. The bill has to be soft to fit comfortably under welding helmets or face shields.
- Low band. The band pulled low helps protect the welder’s ears.
- 100% cotton material. Welding caps have to be made of cotton or other natural material. Natural materials are more breathable than synthetics, which is important in the often sweltering conditions in welding workshops. Plus, synthetic fibers are more prone to melting when exposed to heat—not an ideal combination when you are working around flames.
These design features are making the welder’s cap a popular style accessory now. However, the purpose of the design features is not to create a good-looking cap—these design features are in place just to protect the welders.
How to Make a Welder’s Cap
If you want to be certain that your welder’s cap is the best quality, you can make your own. Here is a step-by-step guide to this process.
1. Gather and Prepare Your Materials
You will need an outer cloth, inner cloth for lining, interfacing, fabric shears, a fabric pen, a needle, thread, and your pattern. You can find welder’s cap patterns online. Your fabric should be cotton or another breathable natural material.
2. Cut Out Your Pieces
First, cut out the pieces of the pattern (make sure that you size the pattern to your head or the head of the person you are making the welder’s cap for).
Then, using the pattern to trace the size and shape, cut out pieces from the fabric. These pieces will make up your welder’s cap.
During this step, you should also mark up your fabric pieces according to the pattern. This will make it a lot easier to put the pattern together later.
3. Prepare Your Interfacing
Interfacing is adding a layer to your fabric to make it stiffer and sturdier.
Place your pieces of cloth on a board. Lay a large sheet of interfacing over them. Press the interfacing into the fabric with an iron. Once the interfacing is set, you can cut out the edges to match the pieces.
You can also cut the interfacing to match the pieces and then iron it, but this way is faster.
4. Sew the Cap
Locate the pieces that make up the side of the cap. Sew the tops of the pieces together (outer layer to outer layer, inner lining to inner lining).
Connect your front and back pieces as well, sewing just one side and leaving the rest open.
Pin the pieces together to create the dome shape. Sew the fabric together. Make sure you only sew outer pieces to outer pieces and liner pieces to liner pieces.
5. Make the Bill
Now, you can make the bill. Pin the two sides of the fabric together, then stitch into place. Turn the fabric inside out, then sew the edge again to get a crisp edge.
6. Make the Headband
Now it’s time to make the headband, or the piece that goes directly around your head. Join the pieces in a ring that fits around your head and sew the edges together.
Attach the band to the bill. Pin it in place and sew all around. You should now have a circle with an attached bill. Smooth the band flat.
7. Attach the Crown
Finally, it’s time to finish assembling your cap. Pin the outer shell of the fabric to the band and sew all around. Turn the cap inside out, then attach the lining—you will need plenty of pins at this step.
Make sure there are no loose pieces floating around, and now you have a welder’s cap!
Can You Buy Welders’ Caps?
If you’re a busy welder working 60-hour weeks, you might not have time to sew an entire welder’s cap from scratch. In that case, you can buy welders’ caps. Just make sure that you are buying from a retailer that specializes in work gear, not just a fashionable cap.
Welders’ caps help protect your ears and head from sparks. Buy one or make your own today!