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Hats divide generally into three classes: offensive hats, defensive hats, and shrapnel.

--Katharine Whitehorn

Founded in 1918 as an importer of sewing needles, American Needle has evolved over three generations into a world leader in headwear manufacturing.

Upon its inception as a family-owned business, the company quickly progressed into manufacturing headwear and millenary styles of all types. The factory, located on the North side of Chicago, hired skilled tailors, pattern makers, sewing machine operators and seamstresses. Their passion was for making new hat styles for new markets.

In 1946, the company approached the Chicago Cubs with the idea of selling fans baseball caps like the ones the players wore on the field. The Cubs agreed to the proposal, with the team’s ownership noting, “Who would want to buy the hats that the players are wearing?” The first run of Cubs hats sold out in one day and a second lot sold even faster. Based on these successes, the company would soon begin supplying caps to all Major League teams nationwide and years later, the NFL.

Today, American Needle is a third generation family business that continues to lead the industry with the design and manufacture of products that are admired by headwear connoisseurs around the world. American Needle holds licenses for major sports leagues and entertainment properties, as well as over 30 patents on design and manufacturing innovations.

Throughout the company’s nearly 100-year history, American Needle attributes its success to the company’s allegiance to its core principles of craftsmanship, leadership, individuality and heritage, while continually inventing dynamic new headwear concepts and expressions.