Saturday, August 28, 2010

Zipper Cap Construction

I really appreciate everyone's comments on this mystery project. Now it's time to reveal what I'm making. It's a cap, and totally a conceptual piece. I've been wanting to make a leather cap that was different and unusual, and I realized I could construct one that had no fasteners, and that struck me as a worthy project. Back in January 2009 when I first began my blog I built an experimental leather zipper, shown below.

It consists of two pieces of leather cut with interlocking teeth, which like a zipper will hold the two pieces together with sufficient force to allow it to function as a single piece. The tentacle endings are strictly ornamental.

I had never done anything with this "lipper" until now, when I realized it would work well with a six-panel cap. Shown below is a cap of a similar design that I made several years ago, and it consists of six identical symmetrical panels, each shaped like the bottom of an electric clothes iron (thanks to Craig for that insight).

I started with the six panel pattern, then added the interlocking teeth. I liked the tentacular extensions I had made on the experimental piece (reminiscent of Cthulhu) and so opted to keep them. The tight spiral is intended to provide the longest strip of leather in the smallest amount of space (leather is expensive and I don't want to waste it).

I dyed the panels different colors on the fronts and backs because as the spirals are extended and twisted into tentacles both colors are seen together. Likewise I added the "mountain" cuts so that the leather can be bent down revealing the contrasting inner color as well as providing ventilation. Above I have begun to "zip together" two of the panels.

Here you can see the two panels completely zipped together.

And finally, all six panels are shown zipped together.


  1. That is going to look WILD when you extend all the tentacles!

  2. wow! that looks incredible! amazing! fantastic! i haven't seen anything like it. Looking forward to the next installment.

  3. Very clever and I love the idea, but it's looking very crowded at the top of the hat