I’m excited that this week I am able to share a personal viewpoint and insight into the creation of our new Torsa Performance Cap. As an activewear brand, we’re always looking for ways where we can introduce products of value into the market. Don’t get me wrong, there are hundreds of running caps on the market that are great, and I’m not here to tell you otherwise. What I wanted to create for Torsa was an all-rounder, something that can transition from gym training, running and into everyday life. I have loads of caps at home from different brands, amassed to shield myself from the sun through years of surf trips around the globe. This is where I started my research. Analysing material, shapes, peak, construction, trims, and all components that go into a cap. I also turned to a member of our Innovation Team who has years of experience with trialling running caps, and he kindly sent me a breakdown of his cap selection and the nuances of each style.
There are a number of considerations when designing a cap. Albeit simple on the surface, you have to consider overall shape, peak length and material, fabric, ventilation, closure mechanism and a lot more. Barrie’s selection consisted of solely 5 panel running caps. With transition in mind, we wanted to go with a traditional 6 panel cap, taking inspiration from vintage Japanese baseball caps. We felt like this shape was more suited to transition from training to everyday use.
Moving onto peak length and material, we wanted to make a bill long enough to shield from the sun during the warmer months. With the peak material, we are currently in the process of testing out softer inserts which would allow the cap to be stowed away in a pocket when no longer needed.
Design starts with a concept. With our performance cap, we had to look at the bigger picture of its function. We knew we wanted to develop a cap that could transition from activity to activity, but first and foremost it was built for training.
Taking the feedback from our earlier research we know we wanted a 6-panel cap made from lightweight material that could protect against the elements. We wanted to consider the end use of the cap, ensuring it could meet the demands of training and running, whilst still being comfortable enough for day-to-day wear.
When it came to material, we wanted something lightweight with elements of stretch. Further to this, we were keen to add element protection if you were caught out in the rain. After sourcing from a handful of our favourite mills, we landed on a lightweight woven fabric from Italy that was water repellent, and had a unique depth of colour.
Functionality and trims
Looking at existing caps on the market, there weren’t any geared specifically toward training. Although our performance cap has been built for both training and running, and every day for that matter, it was the training element that most peaked mine and Daniel's (our designer) interest. From a functionality viewpoint, we had to establish how the cap would be used in training. Taking experience from my own training, I find myself a lot of time lying down on the bench, or with my head propped up against the bench. The closure mechanisms from caps currently on the market didn’t facilitate this position, with the size adjuster closure at the back of the cap always digging in or causing discomfort. How could we design a closure that eliminated this pain point?
Taking the bungee tightening mechanism seen on many running caps these days, we tweaked its design slightly. Instead of the bungee being sewed into both sides, with the corresponding toggle being directly behind the cap, Daniel came up with the idea to secure the bungee into one side, and allowing the user to tighten it from the other. This meant that the toggle was out of the way, allowing the athlete to lie down comfortably on the bench, whilst securing the fit could be done with just one hand.
Subtle branding has always been in our DNA, most notably seen through our T-stitch across our apparel. For the cap, we didn't see a natural way to integrate our T-stitch, so opted for our secondary branding mechanism, our signature lilac colour, for the bungee cord.
The cap is still in development as we try to make subtle improvements, but make sure to sign up to our newsletter for developments on this, and other new releases. We're hoping to have this ready for a June release.
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