One of the last steps when rolling a cigar involves the application of the “cap.” This is what holds the wrapper in place and prevents the cigar from falling apart. Typically, the cigar cap is fashioned from a small leftover piece of the wrapper leaf. This simple step can be accomplished in a variety of ways to both add style and function to the cigar. Let’s take a look at some of the different ways that cigars are capped.
Flag No Cap:
This is the most basic style of capping a cigar. In this method, the leftover wrapper leaf forms a “flag,” which is then trimmed and shaped to cover the cigar tip. This technique requires skill and precision because any imperfections will be instantly visible.
Flag and Cap:
Similarly to the previous style, the leftover wrapper leaf forms a “flag,” which is then trimmed and shaped cover the cigar. After this, a second round piece is attached to cover any small imperfections, completely covering the head of the cigar.
This style was originally popular with Cuban cigars but is a method nowadays used in cigars the world over. It’s known as the three-seam cap because of the two additional pieces of tobacco that are applied to the cigar. A teardrop-shaped piece is woven into the “flag” in order to cover the head of the cigar. After this, a third circular-shaped piece of wrapper is applied using a natural vegetable gum to create a finished look.
Rather than using the flag and cap method, some manufactures take the “flag” and form a tight bunch at the end of the cigar. This is very functional for those who like to bite their cigars, as it makes it easier to open up the end of the cigar with just a small tug with your teeth. There are different styles for creating your pigtail, with some taking much longer to form than others.
Due to the complexity of their shape, only the most skilled rollers at cigar factories are tasked with the job of rolling figurados. These shaped cigars are caped similarly to the flag no cap style but are finished at a point.