Opening in 2000, Hat Works is the UK’s only museum dedicated solely to the hatting industry, hats and headwear! The museum was developed in Stockport, one of Manchester´s leading hatting towns. It is an award winning interactive Visitor Attraction housed in a restored Grade ll listed Victorian Mill. Wellington Mill was appropriately once a thriving hat factory. Hat Works focuses on the development of the hatting industry from its humble beginnings in the cottage industry to the mass production of the early 19th century.
Live demonstrations of working machinery combined with an extensive collection of hats and stimulating audio-visual shows create an experience, which is thought provoking, educational and fun. Hat Works has a good collection of twentieth century British hats, including top hats, bowler hats, trilbies, homburgs, 1950/60’s ladies synthetic hats, and all kinds of hats dating from the 1930s to the 1970s. We also have spectacular examples of the very best in couture millinery on display. About 250 of these hats can be seen in thematic displays in the museum, with an approximately equal but ever-growing number of hats in store, waiting to take their place on display. One of the most atmospheric parts of the museum is the recreation of a hat block maker’s workshop and office. Wooden hat blocks around which to mould hats were essential to the hat maker. William Plant and Co. of Great Ancoats Street in Manchester were the last hat block makers in the North of England.