It’s fashion, it’s a status symbol, it’s style. Under the hat, everything.
Literature referred to the hat as a strategic accessory with the power of expressing the charm of a woman, the mystery of a man, the carefree attitude of a young boy, the sadness of an old man.
There are dozens of hats, of all kinds and for every taste; they express moods, tendencies, personalities. Hats enrich a face, a look, a smile.
The history of producing hats and berets in Apulia and in the Land of Otranto dates back to the end of the nineteenth century. There were sixteen factories dedicated to this activity, an artisanal work performed without resorting to any machine, but rather relying on the ability of skilled embroiderers.
In Salento, the town of Maglie is the capital of the production and trade of hats and berets. This is just another example of the great artisanal activities flourishing in Maglie, the richest and most vibrant town in Salento in that sense.
There, some of the most important factories of fabric hats and berets (còppole) were founded. The different types of fabric used in the process were made of natural fibres such as cotton, linen, silk, pure virgin wool, cashmere, alpaca and other fine fabrics.
In the early years of the twentieth century, small artisanal workshops were established: Sabino D’Oria’s, Roberto Scarpello’s and Ettore Negro’s - they all were street sellers who started producing hats and
berets. In the following years, the companies “Vincenzo De Donno” and “Giuseppe Partaluri & Sons” were founded.
In Maglie, there was also Egidio Marone from Laurenzana (in the province of Potenza, Basilicata). In 1925, on February 1st, a branch of the Company “Egidio Marone & C.” was opened: it included both a factory of hats and a workshop, which reported to their headquarter in Bitetto (in the province of Bari).