On the top of your head

Oct 02, 2012

Crafting hats

For two centuries from the creation of the modern hat for gentleman during the 19th century to its relative downfall at the end of the 20th century, the Aude Valley in France, especially the city of Esperaza, was the heart of the French felt hat production. It's reputation went well beyond the national borders, competing with American and Italian knowhow and quality.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the use of hat is so common and so globalized within western countries and beyond that the industry blossoms, to the point of being barely able to answer the demand. A fabulous expansion that sadly did not last as more and more people decided to do without headgear.

One factor accelerating the industry's downfall was the increasing use of cars who provided warmth and protection during transport. As with any craft, the shift in consumption behaviour coming along with the crave for modernity signed the death warrant of most of the Aude regional hat production industry in the eighties.

Despite all this, thirty some years later, it's with one of the last old fashion regional company that still possess the know-how to produce Monsieur London’s quality felt hats. 

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