The Museum

The memory of a heritage

The Esperaza Hatmaking Museum brings together the machines and various equipment necessary for manufacturing wool felt hats. From making the felt bell to the finished hat.

A heart’s project

The Esperaza Museum and the Association “Les Amis du Musée de la Chapellerie” are happy to welcome you, thanks to a dynamic team, keen above all else to share with you its passion for this art of hatmaking. They were able to breathe new life into a true heritage, witness to the traditions of daily life which once made Espéraza rich.

Invaluable know-how

Two spaces in the form of “crowd and appropriation” workshops both lift the veil on manufacturing and on the issues linked to mechanical development dating from the industrial revolution. Photographs, commented works, and models of headgear complete the illustration of these different phases, giving both a technical and historical overview of this once world-renowned industry.

“Congratulations for this place and its magnificent heritage to be preserved at all costs!”
Martin, 16 september 2020

Some numbers

Second largest hat producer in the world

13 factories

Esperaza hosted thirteen hat factories on its soil in 1948

7 200 000

7,200,000 is the number of bells that come out of the factories per year in the town


1200 tonnes of wool were needed for this, a good part of which came from Australia and New Zealand.

A complex work chain

The manufacture of wool felt hats requires both highly technological machines and at the same time skill requiring a long apprenticeship.