Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Old Hat Factory

There is an old hat factory in Septfond - a small town near the chateau we rent for our Chateau Getaway. I try to explain this hat factory to people and I can never get it quite right. I want to tell them how it's an abandoned factory - how one day, the workday bell rang and everyone put down exactly what they were working on and walked out. A cigarette, a half finished crown, the iron - everything is left - exactly where it was left 50 years ago. There are rooms and rooms filled with old horsehair braid, crinolin, buckram, unfinished straw hat blanks and yards and yards of old silk labels for berets. The owner, Guy, doesn't really think too much of his old warehouse - although pick up the wrong hat to buy and he will quickly replace it with another - regailing you with the time Maurice Chevalier came in and was personally fitted with that particular hat. Lately I find myself crossing my fingers and hoping that the old hat factory remains untouched until we return next summer. Not that I am worried about the stock being depleted - but more so about the character of the rooms being disturbed - I don't want anything to be cleaned up or tidied - I want time to stand still at this small secret stash in France.

18 comments:

Kathie said...

what a treasure, how I would love to own that sewing machine by the window and look at the table its on.
wow!!!! a wonderful piece of history. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Kathie

becky up the hill said...

To much for my heart. I sigh.

dorylyn thomas said...

how interesting! i love the shelf with the numbered drawers...wonder what treasures are inside!

Laura @ 52 FLEA said...

It is like a dream. I would so love to visit there. Thank you for sharing these photos.

Auntie Bliss said...

Speechless!!!

Auntie Bliss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Be still my heart! Makes me want to join you in France this summer...any rooms left?

Angela/Long Island

kluless said...

Oh. My. Goodness. GOODNESS. I am so amazed that you could find this place and get to go inside. This is simply amazing. Thank you for sharing!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for sharing that story, and the photos! That would be so neat to see. I went to a place in Toulouse a couple summers ago with my daughter's mother in law, and it was very much like this.

madrekarin said...

I want to live in the old hat factory. :) It is beautiful! I cannot even imagine what the walls would say about its history.

Swinging From The Chandelier said...

Oh my .... Oh my... Oh my.... Oh my....Oh my!!!!!

Kathy said...

You have stumbled upon a most amazing piece of history! Is there anyway to find out what exactly happened? I envy your discovery!

Gretchen Portwood said...

Kaari, how beautiful. I thought I was alone in my awe at such things from the past; it's hard to believe that such a place still exists. It's nice to have a friend who also loves such beauty. I can't wait to hear more about your discovery.

molly said...

more pics of our trip here
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mengsta/sets/72157624564114173/

Rose Brier Studio said...

It looks wonderful. I want to take some of those numbered drawers home, they are so functionally beautiful! Thanks to Molly for the additional photos.

Curtains In My tree said...

OMG

what a find, how i would like to see that . What beautiful pictures or posters that would make to hang in our studios

Janice

Heather said...

Every time I see this old factory in post from one of your former travelers, I about stop breathing because I am thinking the same thing...."Please don't get cleaned out or up before I can get to it..". I LOVE the pictures that come from this particular stop on your travels, I can't wait to be there myself.

Ella Gajewska said...

OMG !! How stunning ! I would love to go there this summer ! Awesome ! My jaw dropped :)