Beret . It is a garment that serves to cover the upper part of the head , generally made of wool or cloth, flat, round, in one piece and without a visor. Its size is small, it exclusively covers the scalp. It does not cover the ears or the nape of the neck.


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  • 1 History
  • 2 Use
  • 3 Civilian beret
  • 4 Preparation
  • 5 Sources


It appears in Europe historically documented both in miniatures from the late Middle Ages and in figures that adorn Gothic constructions. It was then up to twice the diameter of the head that supported it. Pietro Perusino had a beret in the painting of Francesco Delle Opere . Rembrandt was very fond of wearing this garment, with numerous self-portraits, especially in his dry point engravings, in which he appears wearing a large beret.

Being so widespread use in the Netherlands, some historians have wondered, although never stated, if this garment could reach Spain due to the union of the house of Castilla – Aragon with the Austrian.

As military clothing it was adopted by the imperial armies and known as Parlota, although even then its ribbon or bow was worn on the outside and left a visor border all around that would later disappear by inverting.

However, it is during the French Revolution when, in the same way that La Marseillaise arrives in Paris , the beret also arrives there from the northern Basque-French Pyrenean valleys, where its use has still been maintained since time immemorial. The commercial exchange between both sides of the Pyrenees became very active after the Treaty of Valencia and thus the Basques, who bought it in France , also used the beret , since until the mid- 19th century the existence of factories of berets in the Basque Country .


The beret has to wear “cascas hastalentrecejo”, in such a way that “put the jetal zagal fura”, in the words of the gañán himself. An early alopecia at the age of 22 is usually indicative that the subject is a skilled beret user in the “cascaded” mode.

The time of year or weather conditions are indifferent when using it; in fact, wearing the beret in the middle of August and at noon is a clear sign of style and good taste among the people of agriculture. It should not be removed in the event of rain (in this case it must be combined with a shepherd’s umbrella, or, in the last instance, covered with a Sabco bag and a rubber).

Despite its preeminent employment in the rural world, its use is widespread in large cities, where, for example, an agglomeration of berets is a clear indication that works are being carried out on public roads or that a championship is in progress. International Mus or Wink at the corner bar.

The beret is usually worn accompanied by other typical gadgets such as the gayata, the navajicao or the wine boot, reaffirming such accessories the determined character of the user. The garments that are usually accompanied are the corduroy pants, the shirt, the jacket, or the chustillo. A scapular to carry the knobs around your neck will never hurt. Espadrilles or sandals are a suitable accompanying shoe, but according to a report signed by Boris Izaguirre and Anne Igartiburu, wearing the beret with fishnet shoes is of exquisite taste. You should never wear a tracksuit, since there is a risk that some advanced level beret user will hit us with a host with the aforementioned gayata, by legs.

Civilian beret

Civil Beret.jpg

Civil beret keeps his fight with many competitors headdress, both traditional and new, from the usual hats wide brim, the hat wool models for skiing, caps with built -in visor, plus different hats short brim (Bob type), etc. Still and everything, due to the simplicity of the item, its ease of carrying it (it rolls up without wrinkling) and its characteristics (breathable wool, warm in winter and protection against the sun in summer), continues to be used among the rural population and to a lesser extent the urban population. Consequently, most of the designers of large firms keep the article current and every year they always show models more focused on the female world wearing the article. Traditionally, the beret is used throughout the rural world of northern Spain , being more common in Navarra , the Basque Country , Cantabria , Asturias , Galicia , northern Castilla y León , Aragón and La Rioja . Also in France, especially in the French Basque Country, and in the Canadian region of [Québec]] due to its French origins. To a lesser extent it can be seen in other countries in Europe , America and even Africa and Asia .

Due to its great versatility, utility and practicality, the civilian beret is still used today in practically all continents. In Europe there are some manufacturing companies ( Spain , France , Italy , the Czech Republic , Romania ) with their integrated processes, specifically in Spain and France, which are the countries that can properly say that the “txapela” is made. One of these centennial companies is Boinas Elósegui SA in Tolosa ( Guipúzcoa ), which has been operating since 1858and it is the only one in Spain today with the majority of integrated manufacturing processes: weaving, overcasting, fulling dyeing, sizing, casting and clothing. Its market is mainly in Europe and America, in the rest of the continents the Asian competition of low prices has greatly reduced its market share. In spite of everything, it continues in the gap, maintaining annual sales between 150,000 / 200,000 items distributed between the Spanish territory, Europe and America ( USA , Argentina , Chile , Uruguay , Peru , etc.).

In Oloron – Sainte – Marie is also the largest and oldest berets factory in France. This city is located in the Verán , next to the Basque Country , and in fact, the Bearnais claim to be beret users even before the Basques, providing both graphic and written documentation.


Although when looking at the article it seems simple, its preparation requires some complexity in a series of sequential processes. The beret is made in one seamless piece, shaped like a spherical cap and woven with 100% natural wool yarn . The manufacturing process is “roughly” as follows:

  • Selection of the best quality charred punctured and combed beard for the manufacture of the thread with a specific title (diameter, torsion, quality in microns of the wool, etc.).
  • Fabric: on straight or circular looms where the cap is made from the spool of thread.
  • Overlock: operation of overlapping side seams to shape the shape of the spherical cap. Later checking and inspection of the helmet.
  • Revised: Closed in the center and sewn from the corner, whether it is a civilian beret or not if it is a military beret.
  • Batanado: Operation of infiltration and coloration (depending on the range of colors) of the wool by means of fulling mills or specific washers of the latest generation previously adapted, favoring the mechanical effect of friction. Also in this phase non-toxic chemical components are added, such as waterproofing and anti-insects to improve the performance of the garment.
  • Drying, molding and demoulding: temperature elimination of humidity and homogenization and adaptation of the beret body to the corresponding sizes.
  • Sizing: Hair lifting, using cards, in preparation for cutting the outer and inner parts of the beret.
  • Drowning: Cut of the excess hair extracted in the previous operation.
  • Click and review: Cutting the corner, adjusting it, to a specific length and reviewing imperfections and defects.
  • Finishing operations: final beret preparation, ironing, lining sewing, chamois placement, label gluing, etc.


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