Thursday, January 7, 2021

Deerstalker Cap

Deerstalker Cap  
A deerstalker is a type of cap that is typically worn in rural areas, often for hunting, especially deer stalking. Because of the cap's popular association with Sherlock Holmes, it has become stereotypical headgear for a detective, especially in comical drawings or cartoons along with farcical plays and films.

The deerstalker is most often made of cloth, often light or heavy wool tweed, although deerstalkers made of suede, white cotton duck and even denim are not unknown. The cap is made of six (or eight) triangular panels with rounded sides which are sewn together. If the sides of the panels are cut in a way giving them slightly rounded shoulders midway, the crown will become more squared and flatter rather than hemispherical. The cap may be deep or shallow, barely touching the tops of the ears, according to the whim of the hatter. Either way, it is usually lined with an inner cap of satin, polished cotton or similar lining fabrics. Occasionally one can find a deerstalker with a lightly quilted satin lining.

The deerstalker's main features are a pair of semicircular bills or visors worn in front and rear. The dual bills provide protection from the sun for the face and neck of the wearer during extended periods out of doors, such as for hunting or fishing. These are usually stiffened with pasteboard, cardboard or layers of heavy canvas. For a brief period during the 1970s some deerstalkers were manufactured with bills stiffened by the steam-cooked and pressure-molded wood fiber construct called Masonite. The Masonite tended to crack and break into segments. Over time, the Masonite insert was also apt to crumble at the corners.

Along with its visors, a deerstalker has a pair of unstiffened cloth earflaps attached to either side of the cap. These are tied together by grosgrain ribbons or by laces or, very occasionally, held together by snaps or a button. The earflaps, tied under the chin, provide protection in cold weather and high winds. They are otherwise tied together above the crown to keep them out of the way.

Deerstalkers may be made of solid-coloured material, but they are most often found with houndstooth check, herringbone, or plaid patterns in the twill of a fabric which serves as camouflage. Modern hunting clothes, including deerstalkers, are often made with either a red-and-black or an orange-and-black check pattern or tweed for both this purpose and hunter safety, not least in actual deer stalking, for which purpose milliners originally constructed this type of cap.

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