Saturday, November 13, 2010

Muir cap

The Muir cap is classic 'Old Guard' headgear that figures prominently in the artwork of many leather artists.

Versions of this cap have been worn by bikers and leathermen since shortly after WW II, and its adoption is most probably due to returning servicemen in these groups.

The classic Muir cap is clearly based on headgear worn by both Allied and Axis militaries during WW II, and on police caps. The style seems to be the headgear of choice among hierarchical, quasi-military organizations even today.

For several decades from the mid 1970s on, Muir caps were worn at virtually every leather bar, gathering and event in North America, but they're seen far less often today. You'll see more Muir caps at a leather gathering in London or Berlin, even on a regular weekend, than you will in SF or LA.

The authentic Muir cap is made and sold by The Muir Cap & Regalia Ltd in Toronto (Canada). They sell one basic model of the black leather Muir cap with one option: silver or black Mylar trim on the brim's edge.

Most leather shops outside Canada sell 'Muir-style' caps. These caps generally try to look as much as possible like the genuine article, copying the shiny brim (with silver or black trim options), plastic straps on front and crown, two black buttons on the sides to secure the straps, and the distinctive Muir profile. For all intents and purposes, 'Muir cap' has come to mean any brimmed black-leather biker cap in much the same way that Kleenex has come to mean any facial tissue.

Look inside the crown of your cap to see if yours is genuine. In a new Muir cap you'll find a white sticker in a plastic pocket displaying the Muir brand logo and red text that reads:


The Muir Cap & Regalia Ltd. has a website at
but you can't order online. You'll need to contact them directly.

1550 O'Connor Drive, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4B 2V3
Tel: 416-757-2815
Fax: 416-752-9986
Toll Free: 1-866-423-4086

Unless you absolutely positively have to have an authentic Muir cap, most Americans and Europeans should simply pick up a Muir-style cap at their local leather shop or order from a convenient online supplier to avoid the hassles of customs and duty charges.

The authentic leather cap from the Muir Cap & Regalia Ltd - and most of its imitators - have a leather exterior over a hard plastic insert in the front which keeps the face of the cap more-or-less vertical. This leather-and-plastic insert is solid and unbroken except at the seams. If you just plan to wear the cap as is, this construction is not an issue; in fact, it may help preserve the shape of your cap for years.

But if you want to wear a bad ass metal eagle or pair of thunderbolts on the front of your cap, you're going to have to find some way to permanently attach it. That presents a bit of a problem, as neither Muir nor its imitators offer you any cap badge option.

While many regulation-issue police caps include a little tag or one or more grommet-type holes to accommodate cap badge attachments, Muir's leather cap does not. To further complicate the issue, cap badge attachments are not standardized. Some badges have one or more sharp pin posts on the back, others have screw posts and a few even have safety-pin type backings. So it's not a case of one solution fits all.

So what's a leathercop to do? Punch a hole in the cap.

While this seems rather drastic to a leather purist, it is your only option. Punching a hole defaces the leather and inside lining, and runs the risk of rendering the cap unwearable if done badly done, but it is the only way to put a badge on a Muir cap.

Please note that this is a one way process: After you've punched a hole in your cap, it's always going to be right there in the front. You'll either have to leave the badge in all the time, replace it with a badge that has similar posts - or buy a new cap.

Leather shops might do the deed for you if you bought the cap and badge at the same store, or if you just bring in the badge to the shop where you bought the cap. Or you can pierce your cap yourself.

Check the cap badge position carefully several times and note where the posts touch the cap. Check your post positions again. You've got no second chances here. Gently press the posts into the leather firmly enough to leave a slight impression in the leather (or consider marking the post positions with chalk or other non-permanent maker).

Carefully drill, pierce, punch, puncture or screw the necessary holes (usually one, but sometimes two). Proceed with caution, as you can tear either the outside leather or inside lining or shatter the interior plastic if you apply too much pressure or go too fast.

Hand drilling or punching is recommended, as you have finer control over the process. You will find little pieces of stuffing and plastic particles as you go. This is normal and not something to be concerned about.



  1. always loved muir caps!

  2. Muir caps are so sexy and they complete any Leather Mans gear

  3. Muir Caps are so sexy and complete a Leather Mans look!!!

  4. But what's the Leather Culture history of the eagle? In some communities (mine used to be one such community), it's one of the last Sir/Master/Daddy things that you earn, or that is gifted to you. It signified that you'd gone beyond even earning your Cover, and was always bestowed by an Elder or other respected member of the community.
    Did others experience this? Is it still known about today?