24 Apr 2013
The quintessential British flat cap has been given a sustainable update by East London label Cock & Bull Menswear. The brand has launched a capsule collection using 10 tweed designs, all hand-woven on a Hattersley loom in the Outer Hebrides and spun from an eco-friendly blend of British Scottish wool.
The eight piece Rambler tweed flat cap was inspired by a decade long love affair with a classic cloth cap. Designer A.A. Lindsay said, “The story of this flat cap began with the hunt for exceptional fabrics for the outer tweed cap and an inner lining that would render our flat cap indestructible. Our journey began in the outer Hebrides islands of Scotland - known worldwide for their excellent production of wools and tweeds, and specifically for the British Isles' most famous heritage textile - Harris Tweed. The story took a surprise turn when we discovered a tweed mill on the Isle of Lewis.
“What we wanted were hand-woven woollen tweeds in arresting patterns and palettes that would seriously blow away any hat lover. And we certainly got that! Technically they cannot carry the Harris 'Orb' trademark, as they use a finer yarn brought from the mainland, however, they are every bit as special as their more famous cousins from the Isles. In fact we say they are much nicer due to their finer touch. To date we have used 10 designs from the range.”
The hats are lined with a luxurious hemp and silk blend, both of which are organically produced. This organic lining is a rich royal purple colour which gives the hat a modern flair. The hemp / silk blend is both beautiful and very durable and makes for incredibly comfortable wear year after year, staying true to the London menswear label’s passion for longevity.
A number of manufacturing options were considered for the tweed cap, including a foray into Luton, once the millenary capital of the country. With just one specialist producer left, a specialist flat cap artisan team in Yorkshire were eventually discovered. They produce each hat to exacting standards by hand in their studio.
The journey from drawing board to manufacturer took six months, leading to the official launch of the collection this month. The flat caps are available to buy in a choice of grey, brown or multicolour check, purple or blue herringbone, rust, forest green, chocolate, turquoise and petrol. They are priced at £59 and can be custom ordered to size.