Every year for one week in July the streets of Caussade come alive with milliners and their glorious creations. People from all over the world flock to this unlikely town in rural South West France to visit and exhibit at this renowned hat festival.
You might be wondering why this sleepy French town hosts such a grand spectacle? In 1796, Pétronille Cantecor opened her first factory in Caussade producing straw hats. From this small beginning, the hat making industry in the region grew and, at its height, Caussade was home to 30 factories employing more than 3000 people.
History has it that the traditional straw hats made in the region were used for the unusual purpose of transporting precious cargo, namely the black diamond of the food industry ‘the truffle’ by rail from Lalbenque to Paris.
Those attending the festival can see traditional hat making methods, meet hat block makers, buy unique pieces or simply wander from stall to stall taking in the vibrant colours and general ambience. And, if that wasn’t enough there will of course be food, wine and dancing during the whole week to be enjoyed by all.
Come and visit this wonderful Region of France this summer to experience and enjoy its many hidden gems……….