A visit to a hat factory – by Alan

We all know about the hats worn by Bolivian and Peruvian Ladies.
Introduced of course by the English…..?
We took a taxi to the factory/museum on the outskirts of Sucre, the Capital of Bolivia. Cost 9 Bols each way..80p and took 10 mins or so. Dropped outside the museum which was all locked up. A local man suggested we bang on a large metal factory gate, which we did. We were let into the factory…oh law..
120 people work on the old fashioned production line. Whirling machines, steam, cotton fluff and noise everywhere.
We were taken through the factory and each step explained…from cleaning the raw wool, combing, pressing, cutting, treating it with some chemical stiffener, dying, various shaping stages and then either exporting (most) the basic fabric in a hat shape (shaped a bit like the old clowns hat) or being finished in a separate part of the factory (another 20 workers) for the home market.
Being brought up in Manchester in a coal mining, textile manufacturing world, I’ve always been rather sceptical of the view that our Health and Safety regulations are over the top. Also my Dad was an Insurance Accident Inspector in Manchester.
Just look at the pictures to see what it must have been like in the UK, Germany and USA during those early days!
We bought three hats for £22 and now we have to get them home!imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

One thought on “A visit to a hat factory – by Alan

  1. Photos of you in your new hats please!

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