American Needle started out in 1918 importing sewing needles at first and shortly after started manufacturing headwear and millenery styles. The company is family owned and their place of business was the North side of Chicago. In 1946, American Needle approached the Cubs organization with a crazy idea of selling the hats the players wore. The team didn’t think people would want to wear the hats. Well, American Needle sold out its first run in a day and its next run even quicker. Soon, they were supplying hats to all the Major League baseball teams as well as the NFL and NHL.
American Needle is in its 3rd generation and there’s no sign of letting up. They have maintained the integrity of their products with great quality and craftsmanship. With almost a hundred years under its belt, they know a thing or two about making a great hat. They have one of the cleanest hats on the market and are usually at a great price-point. They used to make fitted hats when fitteds were mainstream. Nowadays they manufacture snapbacks and dad hats. They create their own programs and offer their authorized dealers a custom option but like most headwear companies, they require a high minimum order which makes it tough for the independent mom and pop shops to handle.
American Needle Craftsmanship
As a retailer, it’s a sigh of relief when you deal with a company like American Needle because you know your order isn’t going to be screwed up. Stitch for stitch, they are legit. Their only drawback is that they haven’t been associated with a recent trend. But they’ve been successfully able to ride the waves as they came. Their snapbacks are done with the square brims like the vintage hats. And their dad hats are impeccable. Their craftsmanship is on a whole ‘nother level, there’s rarely any quality issues with American Needle’s hats. Their embroidery is sharp and there are no loose strings hanging off of the hat.
At one point, American Needle was making hats for brands like Mitchell and Ness which speaks volumes. We don’t have all the details for you at this time but will one day have it for you in another blog post. We mentioned that American Needles made hats for Major League Baseball. According to online sources, New Era Cap has been making MLB’s hats since 1934. That doesn’t mean American Needle wasn’t also manufacturing replicas as New Era Cap and MLB may not have had an exclusive deal on the game hats like they do now.
American Needle doesn’t get the love it deserves. Maybe it’s not time for them to shine but it’s long overdue. When you put an American Needle hat next to any other hat, it holds its own. It really comes down to shelf space at retail stores. There’s only so much they can stock up. That’s why you’ll mostly find American Needle online and occasionally at the retail chains but it’s not consistent.
American Needle in Fashion
American Needle is always on top of current fashion and accordingly produces the right silhouettes for the season. They get a piece of the market share with hardly any advertising or marketing budget in general. The streets approve American Needle. If there weren’t so many hat brands in the space American Needle would surely be at the forefront of the consumer’s mind. That said, hat fans show love whenever they have the opportunity to buy American Needle. So once again, it comes down to the retailer making it available to the end customer.
As long as they continue to do what they’re doing, they’ll continue prospering. They just need to catch the trend and ride the wave until the next one comes up. They don’t seem to have a problem doing that. Of all the headwear brands, their fitteds were the only ones that the streets adopted to a certain level which is a hard thing to do. It’s too bad they don’t make fitteds at this time as they would be able to compete but the licensing rights would make it hard to realistically compete because they wouldn’t be allowed to make replicas of the on-field hats.
Shop American Needle hats here.