Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Svanetian Mountain Hats

11 August I posted on Svanetian felt hats and the New York made 6 Panel Felt Caps. From today, I can finally offer the real thing as well! 
And frankly, I am quite proud of this feat - it has taken me more than a decade to find a supplier of these hats! I got my first one from a Georgian friend, while working in Azerbaijan in 1996. Moth eaten and over worn, I managed to find a replacement while working on the other side of the High Caucasus in Chechnya, in in 1997, but not having been back to the Caucasus since, that was it...
Village Elders in Svanetia, 1890
Despite internet and an enormous growth in "openness" over the last decade in the Republic of Georgia, it still proves pretty much impossible to order felt hats, handmade by artisan hat makers in an almost inaccessible area of the highest mountains in Europe, from the other side of the world. 
But here they are, beautiful hats in grey and white, 100% felted wool, 100% hand made according to age old tradition. Due to incredible shipping and Customs costs, it's a one-off order so be quick if you are interested!


  1. This reminds me of the albanian cap or "qeleshe"
    (if some albanian is reading please correct me!), which is white felt, but looks a little more like a fez;
    anyway, there must be some sort of connection between felt and mountain peoples...

    one of your readers from Italy,
    Paolo :)

  2. Hi Paolo,
    You're absolutely right. The qeleshe is a very similar hat, although it is generally in plain wool/felt (without symbols or strings attached). The qeleshe comes in a variety of shapes, from a small diameter skull cap to a more fez-like hat. Good material for another post, actually...