When its the time of graduation, everybody remembers caps and gowns for graduation. This graduation dress, that was once everyday uniform worn by students in 12th century, is now seen only during commencement ceremony. As a result, academic regalia are viewed as the symbol of prestige and accomplishment.
The academic regalia consist of mid-calf or ankle length gowns, hood at the back and caps with tassels. All of these sections of the academic regalia follow the color code and style set by the respective university or school. Out of these, the caps or also known as graduation hats are an important component and the academic regalia are incomplete without it. The caps too bear the same color that of the gowns. There is a wide variety in the graduation caps based on the styles and shapes. Heres a quick guide on the types of graduation caps.
Types of graduation caps:
The most common type of graduation cap comes with a square top and is called as mortarboard or trencher. This kind of cap is adorned with a nylon tassel and a headpiece that helps in keeping the hat at place. The caps are made up of the material used for the gowns. The only exception to this is the caps for the doctors degree, which are made up of velvet irrespective of the material of the gowns. This kind of cap can have multiple sides, but 4 sided velvet tam is mostly recommended.
In some of the universities, undergraduates may not wear the caps. However, now the graduation ceremony is not completed without the headgear. Doctorate holders generally wear soft rounded hats known as tam or Tudor bonnets. Other types of hats consist of pileus, Bishop Andrews cap and John Knox cap. Pileus styled hat is worn in the University of Sussex. It is a cylindrical hat made of black velvet. It also consists of a twilled silk button at the center. The Bishop Andrews cap is viewed as the reinvention of academic caps of ancient style. The modern mortarboards are made in the same fashion as of these hats. However, there is a slight difference between the modern academic caps and the Bishop Andrews caps. The later have floppy and soft top and instead of a button and tassel, these have pompom and tump at the center. Usually these are made of black velvet.
The types of graduations hats are also classified on the basis of material these are made from. Students can get cloth graduation caps fabricated from washable cotton. Satin caps look shiny and silky than the cotton hats. The mortarboard of the graduation caps is made from cardboard as well. These kinds of hats are cheaper than the cotton or satin hats.
Generally the colors of the hats (and the academic regalia) depend on the discipline. For example, a graduate of dentistry will wear lilac color, while dark blue is the color for graduates of philosophy. However, students now wear any color, preferably the color code of their university or college. Students can buy these headgears from a cap and gown sale as well.