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Cap Making

Article about: Ladies and Gentlemen, encouraged by and with the consent of F.-B. (thanks a lot for the encouragement) I publish the pages of Hempe's book relevant for visor cap making. This also involves a

  1. #1

    Default Cap Making

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    encouraged by and with the consent of F.-B. (thanks a lot for the encouragement) I publish the pages of Hempe's book relevant for visor cap making.

    This also involves a debate on principles as to the term “Sattelform”. Over the years the term saddle shape has become a synonym for all caps which are not obviously Tellerform i. e. saucer shaped.

    Hempe himself writes (the book was published already in 1935) on page 17 about two forms of visor caps: Sattelform and Klappmütze. He defines Klappmütze as a cap the front seam of which is considerably longer (20 – 30% or even more) than the seams on the sides and the back of the cap.
    Sattelmütze is described by him as a cap whose front seam and the seam at the back are of equal length, just the seams at the sides are shorter. The top panel of both is slightly oval (2 - 2,5 cm longer than large). Tellermütze is a cap where all 4 seams are of equal length with a circular top panel (such as most imperial visor caps).

    Well, I won't change a habit that has developed over decades and maybe I am wrong but IMHO what is meant when most of us talk about Sattelform really is Klappmütze.

    Here then are Hempe's instructions for the production of a Klappmütze (please note p. 13 which shows Tellermütze and p. 44 which lists Feldmütze für Offiziere, 1935 not yet "Alter Art"! and called Klappmütze!:
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by ErWeSa; 03-24-2015 at 08:26 PM.

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  3. #2


    When I have time again I'll post parts of the appendix where sample templates are shown.
    As already mentioned in Helen's thread if one follows Hempe's templates of 1935 you'll get a rather flat version of Klappmütze. The design was refined by some firms - which was their secret - and very elegant "high crown" caps evolved. I could disassemble one of these and the design is different in so far as the side panels, contrary to Hempe's instruction are not of equal length. The panels which join at the front are considerably longer than those at the back and the top panel is more egg-shaped. So see how you can get on with this. If anybody finds a manual of later date I would love to compare it to Hempe's to check on this.

  4. #3


    Bravo to ErWeSa for his contribution. I own a copy of this book, too, and it is a great source.
    damit, basta.

  5. #4


    Dear Sir, thank you again for your kind words.
    This is the coincidence I was talking about (here the upload works):
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #5


    There she is, the ice cream chopper of Wien!

    I read the Krone, because I am interested in life in Austria.

    I do not endorse its editorial policy at all.
    damit, basta.

  7. #6


    She chopped up her husbands....and sold ice cream, all the while.

    I do not think the husbands or husband was put in the ice cream, if I recall.

    There are also the stories of the martyred Kampusch across the river in her dundgeon, as well as the incest mad man of Amstetten and his benighted daughters also in the dundgeon, don't forget.

    And there is the von Trapp family, too, of course.

    I like Kommissar Rex and Stockinger on ORF/ZDF, in fact. They are my cultural favorites, especially Stockinger reveals the demimonde in the realm of the Mozart Kugel in
    a compelling way.
    damit, basta.

  8. #7


    Thanks, ErWe of Salzburg for your support of our site and the good work of the digital rendering of Hempe.
    damit, basta.

  9. #8


    and, there are the stories of mayhem from my native city, which are eternal in film noir.
    damit, basta.

  10. #9


    As promised, for all those who
    - do not speak German
    - are not good at arithmetic
    - are not good at geometry
    here are Hempe's sample templates for a “NS-Frontkämpferbundmütze” Klappmütze for a size 56 cap (from 1935). (Pictures H1 - H3)

    Length of top panel: 26,5 cm, width: 24,5 cm, side panels as seen in Abb. 36 + Abbb. 37, length of front seam 6,8 cm, length of back seam 5,75 cm, length of the seams at the sides 5,25 cm (all measures inclusively seam allowance). I added the copy of a ruler so that you can enlarge/reduce the template should the copying/scanning have altered the original size.
    (I won't translate the texts for lack of time and knowledge of how to translate technical terms related to tailoring)

    In the 2. of the 5 appendices of the copy of Hempe's manual I had at my disposal you can find the templates (from 1936) for a Soldatenbundmütze, again for cap size 56. (pictures H4 + H5)

    Length of top panel: 26,7 cm, width: 24,3 cm (see Abb. 3 which is half of the natural size), side panels: length of front seam 6,5 cm, length of back seam 5,5 cm, length of the seams at the sides 4,7 cm (all measures inclusively seam allowance) as seen in Abb. 1 + Abb. 2.

    On comparing the templates of the two caps you'll remark slight differences in length and bending, just a few millimeters if not less.

    The 3. appendix (from 1938) is for a Zoll-Klappmütze. I copied the original page in two parts so that they overlap, in order to reconstruct the entire page you just have to print the 2 pages out, fit them together and fix them with some glue. Again the template is for cap size 56/57 (this time Hempe stated the two sizes for the same template). You'll notice again slight differences in length and bending of the side panels and one major difference: the front seam is curved! (pictures H6 + H7)

    None of Hempe's other (earlier) templates for side panels and none of those of the caps I disassembled are curved – let's see what you make out of this. The effect of a curved front seam is a pronounced bulge in this area.

    Confused about the minimal differences? I was and still am. That is what I meant when I wrote that every cap maker, every firm had their own secrets. These little secrets made caps look elegant or plump. The differences in the templates are tiny, just millimeters, the effects considerable, as are the effects of the workmanship, as Hempe himself writes. And I still do not know if there were templates which considerably diverge from Hempe's – e.g. different length of front– and back-panels, more egg-shaped top panel etc. see also what I wrote in post # 3 and in Helen's thread.

    O.K., get out your sewing machines and have a go, let's see who can do better than Helen and me (I won't tell you my little secrets!)

    To start off a Feldmütze a. A. is best as there is no padding, no stiffener at the front, the centerband is flexible and easy to sew through (buckram) and the leather visor can be sewn on with a good sewing machine whereas for Vulkanfiber Schirme you'd need one of the special ones.

    Good luck and let us see your results!

    I'm not yet too firm with the picture upload, I'm afraid they are not in the correct order, plse refer to the numbers!
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    Last edited by ErWeSa; 03-25-2015 at 10:24 PM.

  11. #10


    Bravo. A work of art from one of our finest new members!
    damit, basta.

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