Common Headwear Terminology

When shopping for headwear, there are certain terms you'll commonly come across. Here are some common terms to keep in mind. 

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When shopping for headwear, there are certain terms you’ll commonly come across. Many are self-explanatory, but not knowing a term can make a world of difference in the appearance of the final product and how it decorates. Here is a short list of some of these terms and their definitions to help ensure that you get the right topper every time.  

Five-panel: Caps constructed of two top panels, two side panels, and one front panel.

Six-panel: Caps made of six same-size triangles that come to a point on the top of the hat.

Adjustable hook-and-loop: The generic name for Velcro, which is often used for closures.

Brim: The piece on the front of a cap that shields the face from the sun. Also called a visor.

Buckram: The stiffener used inside a structured cap to keep it firm.

Crown: The front of the cap above the brim.

Eyelets: The small holes on top of a hat typically made of metal or reinforced stitching.

Pellon: Interfacing placed behind embroidery to give the needle something to grab onto.

Snapback: Caps that use plastic snaps on the back to adjust diameter.

Strapback: Caps that use an adjustable band to adjust diameter.

Structured: Caps made from stiffer fabrics that hold their shape if crumpled.

Unstructured: Caps made from softer fabrics that don’t hold their shape if crumpled.

Profile: Refers to the size of a cap’s crown. The lower the profile, the less structured the cap and the more snugly it fits to the head.

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Becky Mollenkamp

Becky Mollenkamp is a freelance writer based in St. Louis, Mo. Her work has appeared in Better Homes & Gardens, Prevention, and a variety of B2B publications. In her free time, she runs a food and music blog at 

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