“If you want to get ahead, get a hat”
A hat worn well is part of a British gentleman’s heritage. These days it probably won’t be a bowler you choose, but perhaps it’s time to rediscover the hat? For ladies it is said a hat for every occasion is required.
Get ahead, get a British made hat!
For British made gloves please see my gloves category.
Click hat sizes for information from Lock and Co. on how to measure your hat size and standard UK, USA and European hat sizes and hat sizing in centimetres and inches. As with any clothing, it is best to try a hat on for fit and style. Hat size, types of hat and hat etiquette information can be found on the Christy’s website.
It is probably easier to measure your hat size in metric (centimetres), which is the circumference of the head measured above the ears. Hat sizes do vary from make to make and even from style to style, so it is probably best to try a hat on before buying. That way you can see if a particular style suits you too.
I read on the net that if you can (just) slide an index finger between your head and the hat, it fits correctly and if your measurement puts you between two sizes, it is generally better to select the larger of the two. Elsewhere though I have read you should go down a size if between sizes! Also, if you hat blows off in the wind, it is too big!
The ever decreasing number of proper menswear shops, both small independent menswear retailers and chains (like Dunn and Co), makes finding a decent hat much harder than it probably once was but it is still possible to find a British made hat. If you know of a good place to buy British made hats, I’d love to hear from you.
Personally I wear a hat more often than not when I am outdoors (and in winter a scarf and gloves too), but whilst hats are very much back in vogue amongst all ages, the propensity of people to wear hats, whether in Britain or America, is not what it once was. This article in the Independent from 2005 on the final demise of Denton Hats of Manchester (well known for their popular ‘Attaboy‘ range of hats and later acrylic hats for the catering industry and once one of the biggest felt hat makers in the world) also discusses why hats are not worn so often these days. There’s interesting article from 2009 here on the BBC website mentioning Dentons about the decline of hat wearing amongst men. Denton Hats was mostly sold off or absorbed by T W Brasher. Hats are still sold under the Denton Hats name, but alas that these are foreign made.
T W Brasher of Stockport, Manchester makes component parts for uniform and civilian hats for other hat makers – peaks, brims, sweatbands, stiffeners, straps, accessories – possibly all made in their factory in Manchester – http://www.tw-bracher.co.uk
Olney are a well know British hat manufacturer established in 1914 based in Luton, England. Luton, along with London and Manchester, was one of the great hat making centres of the world. Olney hats, unlike some other hat makers, are reasonably priced. They make flat caps, tweed hats, straw hats, cotton caps, panama hats, felt hats (wool and synthetic), fedora hats, trilby hats, waxed hats, top hats, bowler hats, a waxed baseball cap, a cricket umpire hat, a fishing hat, ladies country wear hats, school hats, corporate hygiene hats, and so on.
Olney hats are available online at John Lewis (unfortunately JLP are inconsistent about giving country of origin information online, but you can ask them), at Village Hats, at Tom Dick and Harry, at Tails (who despite their apparent emphasis on place of origin are not clear on where their hats are made!) and at The Hat Shop and elsewhere online.
Not all Olney hats are made in England, but some of them certainly are. Their felt hats and ladies Country Collection are mostly foreign made. Their tweed caps are generally made in Luton. Country of origin labels are put in some of their English made hats, but not all, so it will be best to ask Olney directly where a particular hat is made.
Olney Headwear Limited, 106 Old Bedford Road, Luton, LU2 7PD; telephone (01582) 731 512.
Christys’ were established in 1773, but sadly these days make many of their hats overseas; however some are still made in Witney, England (Christys’ having closed their other factories). Mens and ladies hats. Top hats, bowler hats, equestrian dressage hats, trilbies and fedoras, panama hats, tweed caps, deerstalker hats, homburgs, baseball caps, and fashion hats. It is not easily clear from the Christy’s website which of their hats are UK made (and to confuse matters some hats like the Epsom* are made in England but it does not say this on the website), but the following hats (as of 16/12/13) are listed as UK made (mens hats unless otherwise stated):
- Cotton 8 Piece Moleskin Baker Boy Cap – mens and ladies
- Tweed 8 Piece Flat Cap (made from British wool but seemingly not UK made) – mens and ladies
- Drop Brim Panama with Brim Binding (rough coned shaped Panama hat imported from Ecuador, then shaped, blocked and finished in the UK)
- Bowler Panama (rough coned shaped Panama hat imported from Ecuador, then shaped, blocked and finished in the UK) – mens and ladies
- Regimental Brisa Panama (rough coned shaped Panama hat imported from Ecuador, then shaped, blocked and finished in the UK) – choice of ribbon colours (all UK finished?)
- Superfine Folder Panama with Christys’ Hat Tube (rough coned shaped Panama hat imported from Ecuador, then shaped, blocked and finished in the UK)
- Superfine Preset Panama (rough coned shaped Panama hat imported from Ecuador, then shaped, blocked and finished in the UK)
- Reggie Pork Pie Panama (made in UK using straw from Ecuador) – mens and ladies
- Adventurer/Poet – a fedora – this type of hat can be seen worn by Indiana Jones in the films. Fur felt*
- Fur Standard Bowler (Derby) (finished in the UK) – mens and ladies
- Grosvenor – wool felt – mens and ladies
- Richmond – wool felt – mens and ladies
- Fur Felt Pork Pie – mens and ladies
- Yorkie Snap Brim (made in UK using straw from Ecuador)
- Classic Preset Panama (rough coned shaped Panama hat imported from Ecuador, then shaped, blocked and finished in the UK)
- Kent trilby*
- Fedora Hat – Handmade – fur felt – mens and ladies*
- Knightsbridge – mens and ladies
- Ingrid Fedora – ladies hat, fur felt
- Jenny Trilby Panama – ladies (rough coned shaped Panama hat imported from Ecuador, then shaped, blocked and finished in the UK)
- Fur Devon Bowler – ladies
- Mabel – ladies
- Wool Felt Pork Pie – ladies
- Daphne – ladies
- Kimberley – floppy trilby style – ladies
- Rosie – ladies
- Madison – ladies
- Harriett Fedora – ladies
- Chauffeur Caps with rope straps
- There may be other Christys’ hats made in the UK in shops. For example I tried on a rather nice winter hat called the Charlbury* (in a brown mix) at the Somerset House pop up Christys’ shop yesterday (27.12.13), which was made in England.
So there is a good range of UK made simply gorgeous Christys’ hats, but you should note that the majority of Christys’ hats are foreign made. Sizing varies a bit between styles; for example my size is 59 for the Epsom and Fedora, but 58 for some others.
No Christys’ top hats (including Christys’ dressage hats) are British made. No Christys’ deerstalker hats, baseball caps and very few Chrsitys’ flat caps are British made.
Christys’s hats will have the words “made in England” on them if that is the case. Deceptively, the words “Christys’ London” mean a hat is foreign made! However, it is good that some Christys’ hats are still made in England and unlike some other hatters Christys’ are fairly realistically priced.
Christys’ & Co. also make military and police hats for the UK and international market, everything from the cork and cloth dome shaped helmets to uniform caps, berets, bump caps, and corporate headwear is produced at the Christys’ factory in Witney, Oxfordshire under the C.W. Headdress Ltd name. C.W Headdress Limited (formerly Compton Webb Headdress) has been operating since 1996 as part of the Christy’ & Co business. Compton Webb (J. Compton Sons & Webb) was originally founded in 1899 (or possibly 1900), referring to itself by this name until 1978 when it was taken over by Vantona (later called Coats Viyella). Coats Viyella sold the company (by then know as C.W. Headdress) to Christys’ in 1996 and the two companies have operated just from Witney since 2001 when Christys’ closed their Stockport works. The company also used to manufacture military uniforms. In the 1960s C.W Headdress’s was well known for manufacturing the safety helmet, commonly called the Corker, worn by scooter riders.
Most of the UK’s Police Force are wearing Christys’ handmade police helmets and caps. It is not clear from the C.W. Headdress website whether all or indeed any of their hats are UK made (although I think some are), so please check they are UK made before ordering. I have emailed them myself about this, but they have not been very forthcoming and I think therefore one must assume most are foreign made.
Christys’ also provides stock for other hatters such as Lock & Co and Bates. Since 2011 Christys’ and Compton Webb have been owned by Liberty, where you can also buy a limited range of Christys’ hats. Liberty have a very restrictive and old fashioned returns policy which means they will often refuse to give a refund; Christys’ I imagine, may also adopt this poor customer service returns policy, so beware of that. If you buy online you will have a ”seven day cooling off period” as per EU law. As well as limited range at Liberty, Christys’ hats can be found in Harrods and Harvey Nichols, as well as in the small Christys’ Hat Shop in the Princes Arcade in St James’s, as well as online (for example at Country Attire, where they specify on their website which hats are UK made); at Tom Dick and Harry, and at Tails (who despite their emphasis on place of origin are not clear on where their hats are made!); Christys’ hats are available elsewhere online too) and in a few shops nationwide such as Walters in the Turl, Oxford. There is / was a Christys’ pop-up shop at Somerset House until 5th January 2014.
There is a short history of Christy’s hats in the Telegraph.
From what I can gather the name is spelt Christys’ but I have variously seen it as Chrsities, Christy’s, and Christys hats.
Stockport, Greater Manchester was once one of the world’s main hat making towns. In 1966, the largest of the region’s remaining felt hat manufacturers, Battersby & Co, T & W Lees, J. Moores & Sons, and Joseph Wilson & Sons, merged with Christy & Co to form Associated British Hat Manufacturers, leaving Christy’s and Wilson’s (at Denton) as the last two factories in production. The Wilson’s factory closed in 1980, followed by the Christy’s factory in 1997, bringing to an end over 400 years of hatting in the area. The industry is commemorated by the UK’s only dedicated hatting museum, the Hat Works. [Information from Wikipedia].
Some, now defunct, London hat manufacturers included Bowlers & Sons Ltd (famous for Bowlers), Thomas Townsend (famous for riding hats, folding toppers, bi-corn hats) , J. Ellwood (famous for pith helmets and bowlers) and Everoak (famous for crash hats). These manufacturers are mentioned on the Patey Hats website and from what the made I garnered from elsewhere on the net. Christys’ acquired the famous hat brands of Henry Heath, Tress & Co. and Lincoln Bennett during the 1950s. The Henry Heath’s factory building remains, just behind Oxford Street and I don’t know when they closed. Henry Heath were one of the world’s greatest hat makers and famous for their top hats.
Herbert Johnson / Swaine Adeney Brigg apparently made the original Indian Jones fedora (poet) hat for the films. Despite this being a hat for adventurers it is interesting to note that it should not apparently be worn in the rain! The same would presumably apply to the Christys’ version too?
Herbert Johnson / Swaine Adeney Brigg tell me that the majority of their hats are made in the UK, but some, military berets for instance, are not. The Poet hat is made in England, but the hood (the fur felt body) is made in Portugal. Apparently not all Herbert Johnson hats are labelled as made in England even if they are, so they suggest asking at the point of sale and tell me that they hope that in the future they will be labelled.
The retail side of Herbert Johnson is at Swaine Adeney Brigg (who seem to have taken over Herbert Johnson and Co.) and as well as the poet hat, they sell caps. Not all Herbert Johnson hats are made in the UK, so please check before buying – http://www.swaineadeney.co.uk/hats/index.html?page=1
There’s a detailed article about Indiana Jones hats here.
According to http://dw-cosplay.livejournal.com/138698.html about the forth doctor’s dress “Tom Baker wore mainly two different hats. His Season 12 Hat is a dark brown wide brimmed floppy hat with a tall crown. Hie later Season 13-14 hat was made in dark bottle green with unfinished long fur with a lightly shorter crown. His Season 18 hat was a plum fedora with a shorter brim size to match that look. All three hats (and multiples for shooting) were made by Herbert Johnson hatters in the UK.”
The ever suave Patrick MacNee plays John Steed in the Avengers. According to the ever informative Fedora Lounge Steed’s bowler hat was either made by Herbert Johnson or by Lock and Co. Steed confirms his bowler hat is from Benson’s in ‘Death of a Great Dane’ (1962). The brilliant website John Steed’s Flat tells us “Steed’s bowlers are made by Benson and Sons Ltd, now Arthur Benson (The £50.000 Breakfast), he also bought them from Hemming’s and Paul in St. James (The Gilded Cage) for 10 Guineas the hat and from Herbert Johnson & Sons, London and from Barnaby and Sons”.
In another article in the American Fedora Lounge the writer says “Hatters in the UK tend to charge a small fortune” … “the Quality of a proven English Hatter is unbelievable. Christies pre 1970 , Dunn and Co Pre 1980 , Austin Reed Pre 1970 , Moss Bros pre 1980, these are ‘Standards’ that are acceptable , not ‘The Best ‘, think ‘Stetson’ but English. Herbert Johnson and Lock tend to stand out as amongst the best you can get with the possible exception of some of our European friends (Borsalino?) depending on the type of hat you want.”
Established in 1676, James Lock & Co. Ltd. is the oldest hat shop in the world. Locks still sell hats that are made in England, although they sell some Australian, Canadian and US made hats too. No country of origin information is given on their website, so you’ll need to check country of origin with them before buying or to visit their store in London. They sell / make exclusive trilbies, fedoras, pork pie hats, homburgs, stetsons, woolen hats, cashmere hats, tweed hats, caps, fez hats, bowler hats, top hats, panamas, riding hats, ladies hats, etc – http://www.lockhatters.co.uk
There’s an article here in the Toronto Star in December 2013 all about a visit to locks and buying a trilby, with some interesting history of the bowler (or coke) hat too.
This article, “How to get away with wearing a hat“, in the Telegraph is interesting and features a video with Dave Stewart of The Eurythmics talking about hats and Lock and Co.
On Bond Lifestyle it is suggested that Sean Connery in Bond wears a Locks trilby; either the Sandown or the Wetherby. The Locks website says the Sandown “worn by Sean Connery in Dr.No it is a classic English trilby”. The Suits of James Bond website also talks about Bond and his trilby and that, in Dr No at least, the hat came from Locks. Colours were dark grey-brown, brown and for Lazenby dark blue. This interesting short article also tells us a bit more about trilby hats:
“Sean Connery’s Bond is well known for his trilby. It has been said that the original hats came from James Lock & Co on St. James Street in London, but the style can still easily be found from most English hatters. The trilby is a felt hat with a short brim. The brim is usually only about 2 inches wide and sharply turned up at the back. The crown is short with a dent at the top and a pinch at the front. The grosgrain band at the base of the crown is narrow (less than an inch wide) and matches the colour of the hat.”
Patey Hats – http://www.pateyhats.com – Royal Warrant holders – Riding hats, top hats, bowler hats, military hats and caps, peaked caps, ceremonial hats, bi-corn and tri-corn hats, trilby hats, fedora hats, panamas, flat caps, hat boxes / bags, hat jacks, and so on – Patey Hats also offer monogrammed initials embroidered either inside, or on the back of the velvet lining by Hand and Lock, and hat repairs. Prices are not given on their website for some items. You can see some of their military items on their E.C Snaith and Sons website. They have a store in London (at 86 Margaret Street, shared with Hand and Lock, an appointment may be necessary) near Oxford Circus and sometimes visit horse shows. They have a factory situated in Forest Hill, London and have told me that all of their hats are made in the UK. They specialise in riding hats, but do a full range of hat types. They have made hats for Royalty, the Tower of London, London’s finest Hotels and many other luminaries including Sterling Moss and Juan Fangio, the finest drivers of their generation. They also sell vintage hats. They are part of the Firmin Group.
The Rain Hat Collection sell waterproof and water resistant hats, some of which are made in the UK. For men there are British made hats from the likes of Olney. For women there are hats from the likes of Olney, Peak and Brim (these might be made in Britain, see below), Proppa Toppa (these might be made in Britain, see below), and JoJo Hats. The Christys’ hats they sell are not labelled as British made on their website and will be foreign made – https://rainhatcollection.com
Peak and Brim Hats for women, established in 1990, do not mention country of origin on the information sections of their website or against individual products, but it is worth asking if their hats are British made as the Rain Hat collection (see above) say the ones they sell are made in Britain – http://peakandbrimhats.com
Proppa Toppa hats for women, established in 1997, do not mention country of origin on the information sections of their website or against individual products, but it is worth asking if their hats are British made as the Rain Hat collection (see above) say the ones they sell are made in Britain – https://www.proppatoppa.co.uk
JoJo Hats for women are made in Devon. Their website has the words “Made in Devon” at the top of the pages. They also sell a few men’s hats. They also Max and Ellie fascinators but no country of origin is given on the Max and Ellie website, suggesting to me that they are foreign made – http://jojohats.co.uk
Purdey do a small range of traditional made in England hats, such as a fur felt foldaway hat, flat caps, fisherman’s hats, and a fur felt travellers hat. Look for the words “made in England”, as I suspect that not all their hats are made in England – http://www.purdey.com
Shackleton Company sell a fedora made for them in England by Christy’s, a British made British wool crewman hat in the style of Tom Crean, a wool scarf and wool mittens. Shackleton also sell lots of other nice clothing, accessories and banjos that are mostly UK made – http://shackletoncompany.com
London Undercover sell a bowler and some trilby hats made for them in England by Christys’ and also sell some British made scarves – http://www.londonundercover.co.uk/shop/hats_scarves
William & Irene accessories are all made in the UK – bow ties, cufflinks, bags, e-cigarette pouches, handbags, clutch bags, hand muffs, scarves and neckwear, covered buttons, barrier face masks, cossack hats, keyrings – They also have an eBay shop. On their website and their eBay shop they say “All of our goods are produced in house on the coast of South Wales, UK, by our small family run business” – https://www.williamandirene.com
Sock Shop sell more than just socks and they highlight which of the socks, tights, gloves, scarves, hats, knitwear, etc they sell are made in the UK on their website – http://www.sockshop.co.uk – not all the products they sell are made in the UK. Look for their British made sections and for their clear British made labelling. Their brands include Welsh brand Corgi, Leicester brand Pantherella, Derbyshire brand John Smedley, Pretty Polly, ELLE, Aristoc, Kinky Knickers, Sealskinz, Ussen, etc.and their own brand SockShop of London.
Laird London is a hat shop with branches on Sherwood St in Soho and on New Row in Covent Garden and the Strand in London and a branch in Cambridge. On their website they describe themselves as “Brilliantly British” and they tell us “The quality of our headwear is crucial to everything we do. Our hats and caps are all handmade, using some of Britain’s finest cloths.” According to their website Dugdales cloth merchants supply their linen, cotton and moleskin fabrics, and Lovat mill supply the majority of their tweeds. They don’t specifically say the cloths used are all British made, but they do say “passionate about sourcing the best British cloths, and supporting British textile manufacturing.” They do not say where their hats are made or who makes their hats. I would gather from their website then that at least some hats and caps in Laird London might be British made, so it might be worth visiting one of their shops. No country of origin information is given on their website. I have yet to visit one of their shops myself – http://www.lairdlondon.co.uk
Route Clothing sell a UK made lightweight cap – http://www.routeclothing.com/product/route-summer-cap-charcoal
Vélobici sell this Merton Denim Ride Cap which is made in the UK – http://www.velobici.cc/merton-denim-ride-cap-4880-p.asp
Albam cycling caps are made in England – http://www.albamclothing.com/product/18817/premium-navy/cycling-cap.asp
This is Cambridge (tic) specialises in cycling caps made in Cambridge, England. Inspired by the enthusiasm for cycling in one of Britain’s greatest cycling towns, they produce a range of vintage style caps made from British tweeds and wool. Their other products are likely foreign made – http://www.this-is-cambridge.co.uk/Shop/Cycling-caps.html
Some Dashing Tweeds products are made in the UK, for example their reflective cycling caps and their urban caps. For other products check country of origin before buying – http://www.dashingtweeds.co.uk
Ramnation (Swink It Limited) have the words “MADE IN ENGLAND. All of our products are made entirely in England, from sheep to shop” written on every page of their website. In their about section they say “Our supply chain is entirely UK based. British sheep raised on British farms. A Cornish mill, with an organic certification. A family run factory in Nottinghamshire.” Products are available from their website. They sell men’s cardigans, sports jackets, scarves, fingerless gauntlets (fingerless gloves), and caps, made using British wool. They seem to be a relatively new company but I am not sure when they were founded. They joined twitter in June 2013 – http://www.ramnation.co.uk
Bison Bushcraft clothing is all made in the UK and includes UK made merino wool watch caps (wooly hats) and a UK made merino wool buff – http://www.bisonbushcraft.co.uk/bison_bushcraft_outfitters.htm
David Saxby tweed flat caps are made in England – http://davidsaxby.co.uk/shop/product/tweed-flat-caps/
Christopher Ræburn exclusive caps are made in England (as are some of their other mens and women’s clothing products) – http://shop.christopherraeburn.co.uk/collections/ss14/products/classic-map-print-cap They are available on the website and I originally found them here at http://www.oki-ni.com/accessories/christopher-raeburn-men-s-grey-desert-cap-crb2021stl.html
Tender’s caps made in England – http://www.trestleshop.com/flowerpot-left-hand-twill-cotton-cap/
A few pieces of clothing at carp fishing clothing company Wofte are made in the UK (most are not) such as their wax jackets and their waxed cotton baseball cap – http://wofte.co.uk/products-page/headwear/dark-green-wax-cap
RAMNATION (SWINK IT LIMITED) wool clothing (mens outerwear and accessories) is entirely made in England from sheep to factory to shopfloor and their range includes a flat cap and a couple of scarves – http://www.ramnation.co.uk
Charles Wall’s Ratcatcher flat caps are made in Yorkshire, England and sell for realistic prices – http://www.charleswall.co.uk/caps-hats-countrywear-menswear/Ratcatcher
Failsworth Hats of Manchester had been manufacturing ladies hats and men’s hats since 1903. They had a factory in Manchester and possibly another in Luton. Their linkedin page confirms that sadly all production is now in the Far East. Their website – http://www.failsworth-hats.co.uk – does not work and their Twitter site – https://twitter.com/Failsworthhats – has not been updated for nearly a year. Possibly the firm is now closed.
St Saviours were a maker limited edition hats in London from what I can gather on the net, but have now moved to Australia and so are no longer an English hatmaker.
Hedderwicks of London – Their site strongly gives the impression that their top hats are made in London, but please check before buying as this might be incorrect. No indication of price is given – http://www.hedderwicksoflondon.com
According to their Facebook and website all GiliNix products are made in England, so this presumably means their great looking ladies hats and mens caps too (but do check) – having looked at their website again, non of their hats are labelled on the site as made in the UK and sadly we can therefore assume they are foreign made. Their Facebook page no longer says everything is made in England – http://www.gilinix.co.uk
Community Clothing is a new venture on Kickstarter intending on selling British made clothes. Initially they are offering men’s and women’s jeans, classic Harrington jackets and single-breasted raincoats and their intention is to sell at reasonable prices. The clothing will be made in Blackburn at the Cookson and Clegg factory and elsewhere and the garments will also source their suppliers for things like buttons and labels from other UK factories, making use of off-peak times when factories are quieter to manufacture and selling directly to consumers. The Kickstarter project was launched in February 2016 and was successful. The clothes are now available from their eBay shop. What’s good here is that they are selling British made basics such as knitwear (cardigans, crew necks, v-necks, hats, gloves, scarves, etc), t-shirts. jeans, socks and outerwear with many items at very reasonable prices – http://communityclothing.co.uk
James Dermot caps are for sale at Top Secret Hats and are made in the UK. The only places I can find them online is at http://www.topsecrethats.com/James-Dermot-Tweed-Caps and at Top Secret Hats on eBay.
It is strongly suggested on their website that Jill Corbett “stingy brim” hats are handmade in England and on some of their eBay store entries it says handmade in England, but you should check as I am not clear on this point. Slim brim “proper” hats in leather and other materials – http://www.jillcorbett.com
Arktis technical apparel, load bearing vests and outdoor gear is all made in the UK. On their website they say “Since it inception we have prided ourselves in making our goods in the U.K. Despite most competitors turning to overseas production we have retained our manufacturing facility in Britain, which has allowed us to remain versatile and responsive.” and “All the products shown on this site are available for purchase. We make the goods in our factory in Exeter, which means there is no minimum order quantity and you can choose whichever camouflage you like.” Established in 1985, Arktis specialise in military kit. Camouflage and plain colours are available. Everything is made in the UK. Prices are not given on their website but you can call or email to order. Jackets and smocks, trousers, tops and shirts, bags, rucksacks, mats, boonie hats, coveralls, load bearing vests, mollie pouches, waterproofs, etc. Prices are given for their more limited ‘outdoor’ range. There range includes the below hat.
http://www.arktisusa.com – North America site.
http://www.arktisoutdoor.co.uk – Prices are shown here for Arktis ‘Outdoor’ range.
Always Wear Red is a luxury brand that ‘salutes British cultural icons, specifically the Post Box (1897), the Telephone Box (1936) and the Routemaster Bus (1956)’ and everything they sell is both red and British made. They sell beanies, scarves, wraps, ties and handkerchieves for men and women. They say on their website “Every Always Wear Red scarf and Beanie is knitted or woven in Scotland, either just North of the border or a further 200 miles North of there on Scotland’s beautiful North West coast. All our silks are woven in Southern England and all our ties and hanks (pocket squares) are manufactured and hand-finished in London too before quality checking, further hand-finishing and repackaging takes place in the North of England. Our unique Always Wear Red Beanie, scarf, hank and tie boxes are manufactured and hand-finished in the North of England before each one has an individually hand-woven label attached, also in the North of England.” and “Our boxes are really sturdy and super-white with a neat, 6mm red ‘foot’. They’re made and hand-finished in the UK” – https://www.alwayswearred.com
VERITY Truly British say on their twitter tagline “Luxury limited edition attire and exclusive homeware collections. Truly British- Made in Great Britain.” They say on their website “The ethos of the company is simple; quality British made clothing made from quality British fabrics.” No country of origin information is given against individual products on their website, so I would check before buying. Ladies neck-wraps, corsets, and waistcoats, plus cushions, AGA Chef’s Pads, oven gloves, and aprons – http://www.veritytrulybritish.co.uk
Green Grove Weavers sell “accessories in natural fibres made with care in … Scotland.” Throws, scarves, shawls, mittens, flat caps, wooly hats. Available at online shops and at retailers such as London Transport Museum Shop – http://www.greengroveweavers.com
Xpose Ltd (XP) are UK manufactures of knitted accessories, specialising in beanies, gloves, scarves and snoods, but they will also make capes, shawls, wraps, sweaters, bobble hats, hot water bottle covers, eye masks, book covers, bed socks, etc as well as garment processing, odour / mould removal, garment embroidery, and importing. They say on their website “The whole ethos behind our business is that we manufacture our goods here in the UK at our Manchester factory” and “Wherever possible we use UK sourced yarns, employ local people and promote the “Made in Britain” concept.” Products are made from acrylic blends, wool (including some use of British wool), and cashmere. They have a factory in Manchester and another in the Far East, so you will need to specify you want a product British made as they are importers of foreign made garments too. Trade only, but they do have an eBay shop where they sell for example the mens/ladies high quality skull fit merino wool beanie hat pictured below which is made in England (using Italian wool) and other beanies, scarves, throws, capes, woollen placemats and coasters, eye masks, gloves, knitwear, finger-less mittens, etc together with various imported products – http://www.xposeltd.co.uk
The Pattern Guild make their products in England. They say on their website “Our products are made in England using the best materials in order to guarantee quality in every single product.
Our fabric is also printed and woven in England.” They sell made in England sweatshirts, canvas weekend bags, tote bags, pouches, pencil cases, scarves, cushions, card holders, and greetings cards. They also sell t-shirts which are screen printed in London, although the t-shirts themselves are foreign made. They have a stall on London’s Covent Garden market, which is where I first saw this company on 20/1/16 and the products look really good – http://thepatternguild.co.uk
Luke Eyres has been supplying traditional made-in-England British fashion accessories such as college and university style scarves and wraps since 1894. They supply sports clubs and societies, as well as corporate and academic institutions with scarves, cricket / tennis sweaters, cricket caps, ties, and mascot bears (I very much doubt the bears themselves are made in England). Minimum order qualities apply. In 2002 Luke Eyres acquired Frederick Theak’s collar business and they now also produce an extensive range of traditional starched collars. On their website they say they are “a Cambridge based company dedicated to preserving and delivering the best of British craftsmanship traditions” and at the top of their website it says “Double Blue Luke Eyres Since 1894 Made in Cambridge, England”, so, whilst information about where they manufacture is sparse on their website, one gets the impression all their products are made in England (nevertheless, you would do well to check before ordering) – https://www.luke-eyres.co.uk
William Turner & Son Limited manufacture and supply bespoke academic scarves, club scarves, fashion scarves, bar scarves, corporate ties, school ties, university ties, club ties, bags, lab coats, aprons, school badges, etc. Their school wear is branded Unicol. Minimum order quantities apply. Individual items are available in shops such as the Oxford University Shop. Around half of William Turner products are still made in the company’s own UK factories in Skipton and Colne in Yorkshire. For example, their wool academic (college) scarves are made in Yorkshire. However, with an almost total lack of information about country of origin against products on their website, it is very much a question of your shop, club, school or organisation having to ask about where a product you might be interested in will be made – http://www.william-turner.co.uk
Cambridge University outfitters Ryder and Amies have a small work room just outside of Cambridge where I gather they manufacture academic (college) scarves and academic robes, which are for sale in their shop and online. Unfortunately country of origin information is not generally given for other products on their website – http://www.ryderamies.co.uk
John Lewis stores sometimes stock a few UK made hats, primarily panamas and tweed hats, but very few of their hats are UK made. Also they sometimes stock made in the UK scarves. Country of origin is shown on their website inconsistently, so you will need to visit their stores to find any British made hats they might have or ask online.
Bobbl sell 100% Merino wool hats and scarves with interchangeable “bobbls” (bobbles). Their hats for men and women appear to all be 100% made in the UK (including the woven labels), as are their wool bobbles and scarves. The wool used is Italian though. Their fur bobbles appear to all be foreign made and it does not say what animal they come from on their website – http://www.bobbl.co.uk
Fernweh UK are a small “Scottish adventure label established 2014” and they say on their Esty shop site “All my items are handmade in my small Aberdeen studio overlooking the sea”. Available from their Etsy shop online and they can customise items too. Items include waxed cotton chalk bags, pouches, wash bags, tote bags, clutch bags, leather purses, leather belt clips, leather wallets, rucksacks sometimes, a wax bar for re-waxing and wooly hats and scarves. I came across this brand on the Well Dressed Dad website where one of their rucksacks is reviewed – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/FernwehUK?ref=l2-shopheader-name
Bold Beanies mostly appear to be made in UK. These are cotton hats designed with no unnecessary seams, to fit snuggly onto the head. They were initially designed through necessity for hair-loss by chemotherapy, but the website says they are suitable for all sufferers of hair -loss including Alopecia… and as a useful breathable clothing layer for outdoor sports and as a liner under all types of helmets. For men, women and children – http://www.boldbeanies.co.uk
Marks and Spencer stores occasionally sell UK made classic hats and UK made flat caps, but by far most of their hats (and other products, except foods) are foreign made. Country of origin is not given on their website, but clothes themselves are labelled with the country of origin.
Used and new British made hats can often be found on eBay, including flat caps, tweed hats, gillie hats, bowler hats, felt hats, beanies, woolly hats and so on. Sizing and style can be difficult when shopping for hats online though and second hand hats will need to be cleaned before use. For example I found this new made in the UK waxed cotton cap on eBay.
You can sometimes find British made caps, beanies, wooly hats, scarves and so on in local indoor / outdoor markets and often at craft fairs and sometimes country shows.
Kangol is / was an English brand, well known as beret suppliers to the armed forces during World War II, including famously Field Marshal Montgomery. They are possibly owned by Sports Direct or the Bollman Hat Company of the USA. Most Kangol hats are foreign made, but Kangol do have a few caps and a bucket hat (gillie hat) that are made in England on the “Made in England” section of their website (and they have a made in the USA section too). Strangely their English website is priced in Euros; Kangol please note we do not use the Euro in the UK! Neither do they have an option to purchase on their website, but their hats are available elsewhere, for example at Village Hats – http://eu.kangolstore.com/made-in-england.html
Village Hats – Not all the hats at Village Hats are made in the UK, but they do have an extensive made in England section which includes hats from Highland 2000, Olney, Christys’ and Whiteley Hats – http://www.hatsandcaps.co.uk/hats-made-in-england-c_made_in_england/
Whiteley Hats (Whiteley Fischer Limited) are made in Luton. Luton, along with Stockport and Denton in Manchester, and London, were once the world’s great hat manufacturing centres. Classic ladies hats; all made in Luton, England – http://www.whiteley-hat.co.uk
Hats Off Oxford have a very small range of British made hats, including a British made deerstalker, a British made moleskin cap, a Moore and Moore ladies faux fur hat and a couple of British made tweed trilby hats – http://www.hatsoffoxford.com/Search.aspx?Mode=1&Query=british
Classic Cap Company Ltd. sell a few British made hats, including Blues Brothers style trilbies, deerstalkers (Sherlock Holmes hats), a Bolero hat, panama hats, tweed trilby hats, and a homburg. Hats made in the UK are clearly labelled as such and country of origin is sometimes given for foreign made hats too (many of the hats they sell come from the USA, Australia, Italy, and South Africa, as well as presumably the Far East) – http://www.classic-caps.co.uk
Peregrine Clothing manufacture fabulous wool jumpers and accessories (wooly hats, scarves, socks) and wax jackets for men and women; and picnic bags. Highly recommended. “All garments are manufactured in England” it says on their website – http://www.peregrineclothing.co.uk
Winter Crown is a British brand specialising in luxury knitted hats, for the winter season and skiing and snowboarding. Made using wool or alpaca. All of their products are designed and made in Britain – http://wintercrown.co.uk
Johnstons of Elgin make their scarves and hats (wooly hats, a flat cap, a baseball cap) in Scotland (using mostly imported raw materials); and as far as I know all their other products are UK made too – http://www.johnstonscashmere.com/retail/
Balmoral Knitwear manufacture in the UK and abroad. Trade, but they have a Mill Shop in Scotland. They make corporate and workwear, sports and teamwear, and schoolwear, including school scarves. The manufacture of larger orders and some styles is outsourced to Eastern Europe. Minimum order quantities apply for many items. Unfortunately country of origin is not stated against individual products on their website, but I suppose you could specify the items you want are UK made. Their website gives the impression that everything from Balmoral is made in Scotland, but it is not – http://www.balmoralknitwear.co.uk – http://www.balmoralmill.com
Robert Mackie are a long established (1845) Scottish knitwear manufacturer, producing knitted fashion accessories mainly hats, gloves and scarves and traditional Scottish headwear such as Balmorals and Glengarries. The impression from their website is that they still manufacture everything in the UK but this is not explicitly stated so please check before buying. This article mentions a factory in factory in Stewarton, Ayrshire. The company passed outside of family control in 2015 after a management buyout – http://www.robertmackie.com
Whilst I think a lot of their hats are foreign made at least some hats from Scotweb (Tartan Mill / D.C. Dalgliesh) are UK made – tartan caps, deerstalkers, Tammy Hats, Highland Hats, knitted hats, tartan baseball caps (some Scotweb hats are made by Scotweb; some by other makers).
House of Cheviot (primarily sock makers) flat caps appear from their website to be made in the UK, but please check before buying. Their website is trade only but lists stockists. They are available, for example, from Tom Dick and Harry – http://www.houseofcheviot.com
Just Wool Textiles are an artisan hand-weaver using British Wool and British Falkland Islands Wool to produce dog coats, scarves, cushions, and blankets. Located in Derbyshire, United Kingdom, I get the impression everything is made in England – http://justwooltextiles.co.uk
Gilboa Hats for the Lady and for the Gentleman are hand made in the UK (bespoke or ready made). For example they make flat caps for men and pillbox hats, deerstalker hats, caps and berets for women – http://www.gilboa.co.uk
The Edinburgh Woollen Mill sometimes have British made caps, wax jackets, gifts, confectionery and other products in their stores. You’ll need to visit one of their shops, for example in Windsor or Bourton on the Water, and check the products themselves because they do not give country of origin on their website. A lot of products in Edinburgh Woollen Mill are foreign made and some of their products have no country of origin labels at all (which means they are foreign made). Menswear and womenswear and gifts. Shop carefully by checking labels and you can find some great British made products in this very nice shop- http://www.ewm.co.uk
Glen Appin of Scotland sell Scottish gifts and tartan clothing, such as Harris Tweed bags and accessories, traditional tartan children’s clothing, tartan bags, purses and accessories, stoneware, napkins, pet products, tea towels, hats and caps etc. There is no information about country of origin on their website but I have seen some British made men’s caps from this brand and you never know they might make other items in the UK too. Trade only. They do not manufacture themselves – http://www.glenappin.com
Sunspel sell British made scarves – http://www.sunspel.com/uk/mens/accessories/hats.html
PIPÉT sell Men’s and Women’s Scarves and Accessories (such as men’s pocket squares, pouches, and technology covers) “printed and handmade in England” according to their Facebook page. I first saw their iPad sleeves on the Unique and Unity web shop – http://pipetdesign.com
Hackett London sell a UK made flat cap, a UK made trilby and a UK made lambswool scarf in Prince of Wales check, all part of a Prince’s Trust collection, all of which is made in the UK. As far as I can gather though most items in Hackett London are foreign made – http://www.hackett.com/accessories/shop-by-product/hats-gloves
Friday Fox make a couple of ear warmers in the UK – The Newmarket ear warmer and the Tweed and Moleskin ear warmer and a British made merino wool scarf. Many Friday Fox products are British made, but some of their products are foreign made. It will say next to a product if it is made in Britain and if it does not then it is foreign made – http://www.fridayfox.co.uk
Sheep Sheep – SheepSheep.co.uk is a retail website from Richard Sexton & Co. Richard Sexton & Co is primarily a wholesaler and their Glencroft country wear brand is available in shops (a few Glencroft branded items are also available on the SheepSheep.co.uk website too). All the hats on the SheepSheep.co.uk are made in the UK and their range includes a sheepskin flying helmet, a deerstalker, flat caps, a ghillie hat, and a couple of wool trilbies. SheepSheep.co.uk also sell some UK made scarves, as well as UK made moccasin slippers, British made sheepskin rugs, British made belts, British made jumpers, British made chamois, British made wool insoles and some foreign made products.
Highland 2000 make quality made in the UK British wool from British sheep hats and scarves (these are mostly sold to Japan usually). Available at the London Sunday UpMarket and at Village Hats and elsewhere online for example at Urban Excess.
Nursey Sheepskin appear to have kept their production in the UK, although you should check as country of origin is not given against all products, suggesting some are foreign made. “After 170 years in business, Nursey Sheepskin handmakes the finest luxury sheepskin slippers, hats, headbands, gloves and mittens. Cut and stitched in the family’s original workshop in Suffolk, a Nursey Sheepskin product will last you a life time” it says on their website. It seems they had a factory shop up until 2014 and that they no longer do wholesale. Founded in 1846 and they have the claim to fame that Del Boy’, portrayed by Sir David Jason, in the hit BBC comedy ‘Only Fools And Horses’ regularly wore a Nursey coat – http://www.nurseysheepskin.co.uk
Funi is a wooly hat and scarf company who make all their products in the UK. Established in 2008, everything is hand knitted by a team of British ladies on our fair isle. There’s an extensive range of beanies (with or without bobbles), headbands, face and neck warmers to choose from or you can design your own. They say on their website “Our headwear is made in the UK by a crack-team of knitters – and being able to say “we manufacture in Britain” is something we’re proud of. The yarn we use is made and spun in the North of England. We dabbled with using other countries to produce our stuff, but frankly it felt a little wrong. So even our team and club beanies are made by us in Britain now” – http://www.funiwear.com
Cambrian Woollen Mill British wool woollen socks are fabulous. Medium weight (to heavy weight) I would say and plenty long enough, they are perfect for everyday wear with boots. Being 90% British wool they are as close as you can get to 100% wool and still retain some wear resistance. I got my green ones from Bison Bushcraft. Based in Wales, Cambrian Mill design, weave and manufacture wool products, such as socks, purses, ties, dog coats, scarves, shawls, cushions, picnic blankets, blankets, throws, baby blankets, and Welsh tartan scarves – all made at their mill in Wales. Cambrian Woollen Mill is located just north of Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys. There is or at least was a Cambrian Mill Gift Shop & Heritage Centre and it seems at least part of the mill was up for sale during 2016. Very little information about the mill or the company is given on their website – http://www.cambrianmill.co.uk
Arena Scarves specialises in the manufacture of knitted scarves and hats for football clubs, rugby clubs, schools and universities, scarves for rock and pop merchandisers, promotional scarves and bespoke scarves for special events, and companies, etc. They say on their website “ALL SCARVES AND HATS ARE MANUFACTURED IN OUR OWN FACTORY, HERE IN THE UK.” Arena Scarves is a leading manufacturer of knitted products, including scarves and hats, across the UK and beyond, based in Leicestershire, and established for over 25 years. Minimum order quantities may apply but they also have an Amazon shop selling various scarves and hats, including football scarves, bar striped scarves, traditional little hats and so on – http://www.arenascarves.co.uk
Mountain White sell mostly British made and USA made outdoor gear – British made over-shirts, polo shirts, jogging bottoms, rucksacks, duffle bags, beanies, hoodies, socks; for men and women. British made items are labelled as such; other items are foreign made – http://www.mountainwhite.co.uk
Perilla sell British made alpaca socks for men, women and children. The alpaca yarn they use is imported from Peru. Founded in 2006. They also sell some other British made items such as scarves, capes, beanie hats, slippers, snoods, ear muffs, muffs, gloves, ponchos, knitwear, hats, and some bags. Some items they sell are foreign made but quite a bit is made in the UK – http://perilla.co.uk
The Skins 100% hemp made in UK hat below was on eBay. Nice hat, but I don’t know who makes it or where you can get one. Sorry.
Ussen make hats and balaclavas in the UK. Their twitter says “Ussen is an Outdoor brand, Based in UK, Born in UK and all MADE IN UK!”. They also make fleeces, gloves and t-shirts. Stockists are listed on their website – http://www.ussen.co.uk
Anna Söderström knitwear is made in England (with a Swedish feel), using materials sourced from the UK and elsewhere – Wooly scarves, wooly hats, and wooly wrist warmers for men, women and children, plus pet blankets, and Christmas stockings – http://www.annasoderstrom.com
Wallace Sewell scarves are made in England (check the one you are interested in is actually made in England, because I am not sure if they all are) – http://www.wallacesewell.com – Available for example at Lissom and Muster. Wallace Sewell works closely with a mill in Lancashire and a finishers in Huddersfield W.T. Johnson & Sons.
The Bang Bang Bobble Hat is made in Britain using pure British wool – http://wearebangbang.bigcartel.com/product/bang-bang-250-bobble-hat-charcoal
Knockando Mill in Knockando, in the Spey valley, Scotland is one of a few surviving small scale woollen mills in the world and produces beautiful and very reasonably priced woolen scarves, tweed baseball caps and flat caps, together with fabrics, ties, cushions, throws, teddies, bags, blankets, blanket ties, capes, etc. All their products are made in the UK – http://www.knockandowoolmill.co.uk
John Halifax and the Susquehana Hat Company have a very limited range of UK made hats that are available online and at some shows, such as the Explorer Wax Hat by John Halifax, a ladies Panama hat (finished in England) and John Foster flat caps; they also sell some Olney hats that could be UK made but they don’t specify; however most hats at John Halifax are foreign made. Susquehana hat are apparently made in Europe and the UK, but I have yet to find any Susquehana hats that are made in the UK – http://www.johnhalifax.co.uk
Llaird London / Llaird & Co Hatters talk on their website about their brilliantly British hats and about their hat and cap shops in London selling traditional English headwear, but no country of origin information is given and from that we can assume all their hats are foreign made. I have written to them to ask if any of their hats are made in the UK and await a response.
Ingles Buchan tartan accessories and fabrics are, as far as I can gather from their website (which it says is under construction; as of January 2015), all made in Scotland – ties, scarves, bow ties, sashes, stoles, shawls, headsquares, tams, golf caps, cummerbunds, travel rugs, crest ties, tweed ties and a range of silk products; with over 500 different tartans to chose from. They are not for sale on their website but you can find their product in some shops and on the internet – http://inglesbuchan.com
Woolyknit make good value quality woolen hats and scarves in England, as well as fabulous made in England ladies and mens knitwear, yarns, rugs, throws, socks, etc. – http://www.woolyknit.com/accessories.html
Barbour wool hats and scarves might still be made in the UK, but you’ll have to check because most Barbour products are now manufactured abroad.
Plum of London knitwear have luxury alpaca wool scarves made for them in the UK (the alpaca yarn comes from Britain or South America). Everything on their site is British made – http://www.plumoflondon.com
Some children’s, ladies and gents sheepskin hats by Danecrafts are made in England (it will say on the website if a particular product has been made in England).
Helen Moore (AKA Moore and Moore) lovely luxury faux fur items are all made in Great Britain, including their faux fur hats, ear warmers, scarves and muffs. They also make products for the house such as hot water bottle covers (the hot water bottles themselves are made in Germany) and cushions – http://www.helenmoore.com
Yvette Jelfs – Some, perhaps most, of their hats are made in the UK – they make women’s hats – felt hats, caps, dress hats, wedding hats, race day hats, headpieces, etc. and bespoke hats but I think not everything on that their website is made in the UK. Later they intend to do men’s hats too – http://www.yvettejelfs.com
Some flat caps in the Hawkins Country Collection (an own brand by a company called SSP Hats?) are made in England. The few made in England hats they sell are labelled as such on the SSP trade website. I came across them on eBay. They are also available in Murdock shops (not online and they only stock made Hawkins made in England caps).
Ede & Ravenscroft sell a small number of british made proper hats, all made in England except their top hat (which is actually the most expensive hat they sell). They sell a fedora, trilbies (including a folding trilby) and a homburg. Online and they have stores in London, Oxford and Cambridge – http://shop.edeandravenscroft.co.uk/collections/hats
Campbell Cooper – Their fabulous tweed jackets, tweed plus 4s, tweed waistcoats, wax cotton jackets, wax cotton riding coats, wax cotton biker jackets, quilted jackets, Harrington jackets, and re-proofing wax for men, women and children are all made in England and offer exceptional value for money with free delivery within the UK and no-quibble returns. They also do hats, but only their harris tweed flat caps are made in the UK and all their other hats are foreign made. Campbell Cooper have told me this and statements otherwise from re-sellers on sites like eBay are therefore incorrect. Available at http://www.campbellcooper.com and at Amazon and on eBay.
Sunproof branded cotton children’s sun hats are Australian designed and manufactured in Devon, England – http://www.sunproof.co.uk/store/sunproof-sun-hats-made-in-england/1752-sunproof-cotton-blue-sun-hat-made-in-england.html
It should be possible to find UK made chefs hats and other work hats including uniform hats, baseball hats and bump caps or your company should have their hats made in the UK specially for them.
Weave Toshi (trading under the brand name ‘CA4LA’) is one of Japan’s leading hat makers and they have a store in London (at 23 Pitfield Street, London N1 6HB). It is interesting to note that 70% of the hats they sell are made in Japan. I have no idea about their prices.
It’s also interesting to note that Tilley hats are made in Canada and Stetson hats are made in the USA.
Most if not all Barbour hats (such as their wax cotton hat) are foreign made these days.
AIS made nice hats in England, such as the Squire hat below. I do not know anything about the history of this company though and I assume they are now defunct.
British Home Stores (BHS) and Littlewoods (now defunct) used to sell nice made in Britain caps, such as the BHS one below, but they do not sell British made hats these days sadly.
What is the difference between a trilby and a fedora? The answer is unclear. Some say that the trilby has a shorter brim which is downturned at the front and up slightly at the back, where as the fedora has a wider brim which is more level. However, others seem to disagree with this. The main difference tends to be personal preference and where you come from! In the UK, the term ‘trilby’ is commonly used where as in the USA, most use the term ‘fedora’.
Red, blotchy skin on your forehead from wearing a hat? – Good news: You don’t necessarily have to stop wearing your favorite fashionable chapeau – Advice here.
You can find guidance on hat care on the internet, for example here.
Self adhesive Velcro might be a way forward if a hat is a little bit big – peel the sticky backing off the softer, fuzzy side (as opposed to the “hook” side), and put that inside the hat (preferably underneath the headband) with the sticky side facing away from the head.
Doubtless there are other British hatstand (or hat, coat and umbrella stand) makers out there, or most builders can no doubt integrate them in work too, or you can make your own (sourcing British made hooks of course), but this is something I have not researched much. However, you will need somewhere to hang your hat! Incidentally I believe your hat should be placed on the top part of double hooks on hat stands and hat racks.
A hat joke – Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat says to the other, “you stay here, I’ll go on a head”.
Incidentally, the term, “mad as a hatter” may have arisen because the mercury used in the felting process led to mercury poisoning in the old days.
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