The story of Mossant begins in a small town called Bourg-de-Péage. In the last century, with the rise and gradual development of the felt hat industry, this ordinary town in the south of France once gained the attention of the whole world.
Around 1810, workers from cognin in the Isère region east of the town introduced the felt hat industry to Bourg-de-Péage against the background of the inheritance and persistence of the traditional knitting industry. According to historical records, in 1811, there were 3 workshops in the town engaged in the hat-making industry, and 50 years later, the number of employees has grown to more than 400, distributed in 16 workshops.
The original felt was made of rabbit fur. Therefore, in the nearby countryside, a large number of “rabbit hunters” are active, providing basic raw materials for hat-making workshops; and in the workshops, workers process rabbit fur into felt under harsh wet conditions.
The appearance of the Mossant brand of hats founded by Monsieur Casimir Mossant in 1833 made the hat industry truly prosperous at that time. By 1835 there were 42 hat shops in the Drôme department, of which 17 were in Dieu and 10 in Montélimar.
In 1860, Mossant moved to a newly purchased piece of land on Boulevard Barbières. This was the age of the soft hat, which arose in response to previously known forms of cold. The company’s success is astonishing. The family business has grown gradually, with a workshop of 65,000 meters and a total area of 144,000 meters.
The development of the railroad facilitated trade, and MOSSANT’s business scope expanded as well. They shipped rabbit fur from Australia to make felt, and at the same time shipped the product to Paris and exported it to the United States.
The First World War had a serious impact on the development of all walks of life, but the members of the Mossant family still led practitioners to overcome many difficulties. In 1929, on the basis of mastering the core technology of changeable shape and elegance, Mossant’s technical ability and production capacity reached its peak. We can get a glimpse of this from the slogan “Mossant hat covers the world” at the time. At that time, the MOSSANT factory already had 1,200 employees and a production capacity of 2,000 hats per day, of which 55% of the turnover came from the export business, and the products exported to the United States accounted for 45% of the total export value (mainly including beaver wool cowboy hats and Borsalino hats).
After the Second World War, the fashion trend of clothing produced the so-called “bald head” movement. The design of clothing catered to the fashion needs of young people at that time, and more and more people were no longer willing to wear hats. After attempting to produce nylon canvas caps that nearly replaced colonial helmets, the MOSSANT company completely changed the direction of production and the MOSSANT brand in the mid-1950s. The company’s felt hat production ceased entirely in 1953. Since then, the MOSSANT brand has been associated with high-quality sportswear, nylon and Tergal cotton, such as raincoats or ski jackets. Even decades later, we can still find vintage MOSSANT clothing for sale.
In today’s century, MOSSANT LLC has rediscovered the historical value and spiritual essence of the MOSSANT brand. Under the inspiration of the historical slogan “Mossant hat covers the whole world”, it is our mission today to revive the brand’s glory and provide high-quality products and services to target customers.
WE ARE COMING!