Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Visiting Boinas Elósegui

One of the absolute highlights of my latest trip to the Basque Country was visiting the Boinas Elósegui factory in Tolosa.
Boinas Elósegui berets stood at the very beginning of South Pacific Berets and these are still our best selling berets too. With good reason, as their berets are among the very best one can find.  
From books, video's and correspondence with the people at the factory, I already knew a great deal about the company, it's manufacturing process, environmental (high) standards and more, but... visiting the premises was still a real eye-opener!
In it's 159 years of existence, Elósegui has developed an excellent know-how on beret making. On the work floor one sees the most modern high-tech knitting machines next to European models of over 100 years old (each it's own purpose). 
Much of the work is still done by hand; the closing of raw berets, looking for faults and discrepancies (the raw beret pulled over a lighted globe), the sewing in of lining, labels and headbands, etc.

What I found fascinating is that some of the machines that were good enough a century ago, are still going. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! The wooden fulling machines are a good example of this; these machines that have massive wooden hammers pounding the berets in a solution of warm soapy water are still the same as 100 years ago!
For me personally, it was fantastic to meet sales manager Ander and my counterpart Iosu in real life; in principal the accountant of the company, but as a good English speaker, he also deals with international orders and wholesalers. And yes, he does wear a beret (even though it has a peak...).  
Headbands in all colours/sizes
What was very good is the openness of the company for new ideas. We have discussed new models, colours and special projects (all of which you will hear about in due time). 
More than ever before, I highly recommend these berets - having seen such dedication to and believe in this product. After all, the only Basque Beret actually made in the Basque Country!
Testing impermeability

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