Home > Famous Hats > What Type of Hat Does Santa Wear?

What Type of Hat Does Santa Wear?

By Taylor James


Updated on

For different people worldwide, the beauty of Christmas celebrations is marked by the presence of the legendary Santa Claus.

Santa Claus, also known as Father Christmas, St. Nicholas, or simply Santa, has a long history steeped in traditional Christmas celebrations. Today, for many, this beloved character is the jolly man donned in red with a red conical hat.

The type of hat that Santa wears is a stocking cap. A stocking cap is long, conical in shape, and features a beautiful tassel at the end. Most stocking caps are knitted, but Santa Hats are typically made from felt or velvet.

If you want to know more about Santa’s hat and how to make your own, keep reading.

Santa hat on white fence

What Is the Name of Santa’s Hat?

Every year during Christmas, you’ll see people rocking red pointed hats often fitted with a white ribbon at the bottom and sometimes a white ball at the top, otherwise known as Santa’s Hat.

The name ‘Santa Hat’ is a modern-day name, which has changed over the years from the names used throughout history. Some of the names used to refer to this stocking cap include: 

  • Cap of Liberty 
  • Cap of Mithra 
  • Phrygian Cap 
  • Freedman’s Cap
  • Pileus

Where Did Santa’s Hat Come From?

To many people, Santa wouldn’t be Santa without his red hat. So how did this cap come to be?

Some sources say that traditions associated with the Santa cap descend from Saturnalia and the winter solstice, which coincide with Christmas celebrations. Saturnalia, held from December 17 to 23, is an ancient Roman festival celebrating the agricultural god Saturn.

Interestingly, the populace only wore this hat (referred to as Pileus) during Saturnalia. And the fact that Christmas is linked to Mithraism and Saturnalia explains the connection between Santa Hat and Christmas.

Over the years, names have changed; Saturnalia is now Christmas, and Pileus is now the Santa Hat.

What Color Is Santa’s Hat?

Santa’s hat is predominantly red and white, which are Christmas colors. In some European countries such as the Netherlands, St Nicholas, the inspiration for Santa, is still depicted wearing a red miter hat.

Sinterklaas wearing a red miter

What Is Santa’s Hat Made With?

Initially, a Santa Hat was made from velvet or faux fur. However, given that people are now more creative in designs, you can find one made with flannel, felt, and fleece. The fabric’s diversity is used to help satisfy the tastes and preferences of different wearers.

How To Make a DIY Santa Hat

If you want some fun you can make them yourself without any technical skills or expertise.

To make a DIY Santa’s Hat, you’ll need red and white fabric, a needle, red and white thread, a piece of string, paper, and a pencil. Additionally, you’ll need a ruler, scissors, and white pom poms.

Here are the simple steps to follow:

  1. Determine your head size. Use a tape measure or a string to measure your head’s circumference. If you’re making the hats for different people, use an average head circumference of 22-23 inches (56-58 cm) for adults and 12-16 inches (30-40 cm) for children.
  2. Draw and cut a triangle on a sheet of paper. Divide the head circumference by half to get the measurement you’ll use as the base of your triangle. The height will vary depending on your preference. Once you draw a triangle, draw a curve along its bottom with either a compass or a string. If you’re using a string, tie it around your pencil, hold the string taut, then swing it at the triangle base to create an arch.
  3. Trace the triangle on the fabric and cut it out. Once you have the triangle cut out, trace it on red fabric using a marker or tailor chalk, then cut the fabric using a pair of sharp scissors. When cutting out, add a 1⁄2 inch (1.3 cm) seam allowance at the base for sewing purposes.
  4. Sew the edges. Sew the edges at the seams. You can hand stitch, use a sewing machine, or fabric glue to hold the edges together.
  5. Prepare the white trim and sew it. Cut your white felt or fleece 1 inch (2.5 cm) longer than your ideal head circumference. The white strip should be twice as wide as you want your trim to be, plus a 1⁄2 inch (1.3 cm) seam allowance. Now fold the white trim halfway with the wrong side facing out and use a white thread to sew it uniformly.
  6. Attach the white trim to your hat. Turn the hat right side out and keep the white trim turned inside out. Slide half the white trim inside the hat and sew it along the bottom edge. Fold the remaining half and trip it over the hat such that the right side of the trim faces outside. Remember to tuck the raw edge to keep it secure.
  7. Attach the pompom. You can use white cotton balls of yarn pompoms from craft stores and either glue the pompom or sew it in. Sewing it will be more secure than glue.

And there you have it. Your Santa hat is ready.

If you prefer to buy a hat you can them on Amazon here.

Final Thoughts

Santa’s hat is part of what makes him stand out as the face of Christmas. You’ll immediately think of Christmas if you see this distinct cap anywhere. So why don’t you try making your own using the steps we’ve listed above? Let us know how it turns out.

About Taylor James

As Philip Treacy once said, “How a hat makes you feel is what a hat is all about.” And on that note, I hope you enjoy your hats and find the site useful. Learn more about Hat Realm's Editorial Process.