On our second day in France we went to the food market in Esperaza in search of provisions. Once loaded with pain, olives and tomatos we then came across the delightful Hat Museum. We started with a fantastically dated 1980s video explaining the process, however some of the explanations may have been lost in translation.

There was a small but perfectly executed display of the different machines involved including a beret knitting machine: 

beret knitting machine

A carding machine for the start of the felt making process:

carding machine 2

A felting machine to make the initial cloches:

felting machine

And a rather exciting looking pummeling (?) set up:

hat museum 2

A wide range of moulds:

hat moulds

Some shaping machines which wouldn’t have looked out of place in the early James Bond films:

hat shaping machine

 And a rather gorgeous copper steam (?) contraption:

copper machine

Finishing off with a display of antique French hats:

french hats

Good food and culture in the same day – who could ask for more…

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