The New Era 59Fifty Fitted Cap and How It's Made
This is the original, fitted cap. The 59FIFTY fitted requires 22 steps to make it perfect. Finishing touches like the taping, labelling and our symbolic New Era flag on the left-wear side makes this the authentic, premium cap of choice.
1 Eight rows of lock stitching hold your visor together despite the worst abuse. Pull one stitch. Pull two. It still holds together.
2, 3, 4, 5 Raised embroidery looks better. That's why New Era worked so hard to perfect it.
6 Embroidery looks better when the crown holds its shape. That's why the crown is fused.
7, 19 The fabric dye lot for each button has to match the cap dye lot. Underneath, buttons are made of galvanized steel to prevent rust.
8 Each panel seam looks good from the outside because a Triple Lock number 401 stitch is used. It looks good from the inside because special fabric tape is used.
9 Our inside detailing accounts for a precise fit and spectacular durability. Even the inside button is pinpoint accurate.
10 100% cotton face cloth sweatband will absorb a bathtub's worth of sweat.
11 Dupont formulation visor allows you to bend to your heart's desire without breaking.
12 Hand blocking raises the embroidery, smoothes and shapes the seams, and adds a final touch of love.
13 When you're as fanatical as we are about caps, you tend to be a little superstitious-so let's just say step 13 is in there but we don't like to talk about it.
14 The tag is sewn with two seams so it won't flop out and bug you.
15 Six eyelets. 36 stitches trim each eyelet. Details like that make the difference.
16, 17 New Era switched from eight panels to six in 1938. Six panel construction allows for a better fit.
18 New Era's 59FIFTY is 100% worsted wool for great insulation and ventilation.
20 New Era’s herringbone weave buckram adds extra durability even if you do put it in the dishwasher. *but please don't!
22 Kiss it, pack it, and send it off with love.
If it took New Era twenty distinct steps to make each New Era 59FIFTY pro cap they'd be proud to tell you just that. But it doesn't, it takes 22. That's because they're not into quicker or easier, but into doing what it takes. New Era found it takes 22. That's all the stitching, folding, fusing, embroidering, steam-blocking, and kissing it goodbye. That's 44 different hands, and 44 eyes on 22 real-live people who together share a single dedication to quality and craftsmanship and the elimination of errors.
Pick up any cap close to you. If it has embroidery, get it real close to an eyeball. Look at it. If it's one of New Era's, you'll see layer upon layer of meticulous embroidery. Each piece of embroidered art has anywhere between 8,000 and 31,000 stitches. That could mean an hour and a half on one of our embroidery machines for the artwork on just one cap. But it's worth every minute. The embroidery is the icing on the cake. Each stitch is carefully plotted. Point A to point B. If it takes 22,000 stitches to complete a team logo, well, that's 44,000 points that must be plotted. This information is used for a test run. And people with years of experience critique those tests. If thread number 12,766 isn't right, they'll see it and they'll fix it. That's not easy work. But you're going to wear that work on your head. It's art.
There are hundreds of sewing machines in the New Era factories. And highly-skilled people behind each one. Panels are joined. Seam tape is attached. Eyelets are trimmed. Visors are fastened to crowns. It's an art. One of the most important jobs is running a seam around the circumference of each cap to keep the lower edges from rolling under. And there just isn't a machine that can do it right. (Oh sure, machines have automated a few of the steps along the way, but even those steps have to be monitored by people who know what makes a good cap good.) Sweat. You'll put plenty into your own cap someday. New Era put some in already. Part of the reason each New Era cap looks as good as it does is because of a process called blocking. Most of New Era's competitors have decided this step isn't worth the effort. Others use a machine. Just before each New Era cap gets packed up, it gets a steam bath. Then someone puts your cap on a wooden block and shapes it. All that steam and sweat and the wood help to press the seams flat, raise the embroidery and do something really iinteresting. Add luster. Add love.