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Man Wearing a flat cap

The Irish Flat Cap - History & Heritage

August 04, 2021

Irish Flat Caps 

 

 

Flat caps have long been a trademark symbol of Ireland, synonymous with the culture and traditions which make Ireland so unique on a global scale. In a similar vein to the iconic Aran Sweater, flat caps have come to symbolize the transition of Ireland from a largely rural and agricultural country to a country which now operates on a global scale. Here at The Donegal Shop, our range of flat caps has been carefully chosen in order to represent the finest examples of this Irish icon available anywhere. 

 

When did Flat Caps Originate?

 

The origins and popularity of the flat cap can be traced back to a rather unusual and short lived law, passed in the 16th century which made it compulsory for males over the age of 6 to wear woolen caps. What is even more unusual, is that this law was only brought into effect only on Sundays and public holidays. The purpose of this rather strange law was to attempt to stimulate rapid growth within the domestic wool trade. While this may appear to be a rather crude manner in which to boost the economy, and unsurprisingly, it worked. By the time the law was repealed in 1597, 26 years after it had been introduced, the flat cap had become a firmly ingrained staple of male fashion. Fast forward to the 21st century and the flat cap has changed little in terms of both design and popularity.

 

 

Irish flatcap

 

 

What are Irish Flat caps traditionally made from?

 

Traditionally, Irish flat caps are made from wool or tweed, materials which are both renowned for their breathability and durability. As well as this, the primary reason as to why Irish flat caps are traditionally made from wool and tweed is that these are the materials which were readily available. A further reason as to why these materials have been continuously in use to make flat caps is down to their timelessly elegant appearance. As fashion has evolved, the appeal of wool and tweed has remained a constant, reflected in the continued popularity of flat caps.

 

Why are Irish flat caps still so popular today?

 

Unlike other styles of headwear, such as the top hat, flat caps have remained almost popular throughout recent centuries. But why? Although the flat cap has remained consistently popular, with everyone from Colin Farrell to Bono being spotted wearing one, in recent years the flat cap has seen even further growth in popularity. Much of this can be attributed to another famous Irish face, Cillian Murphy, and his role in the immensely popular tv series Peaky Blinders. Despite the success of this show, the place of the flat cap within contemporary male fashion has long since been solidified.

 

What Flat Caps do we stock?

 

When it comes to choosing the perfect flat cap for you, there are a number of factors to consider. Thankfully, here at The Donegal Shop, our range of flat caps encompasses a wide range of both patterns and colours, ensuring that we will always have the perfect cap for you. We have spent a great deal of time sourcing some of the finest quality flat caps available anywhere, and our range of flat caps currently features work from Hanna Hats of Donegal, The Hatman of Aran, as well as Carnaween Tweed. Each unique piece in our collection offers our customers something different, while maintaining the iconic look and feel of traditional Irish flat caps.

 

To browse our current range of Irish Caps, simply click here.



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