ADAMSTOWN, PA – The Bollman Hat Company, America’s oldest hat maker, acquired dyeing and drying equipment from G.J. Littlewood & Sons after Littlewood discontinued its operations, following a flood in September of 2021, and has begun to fiber dye for their hat making operations and others in the textile world.
Littlewood was founded in 1869 on Main Street in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia and Bollman in 1868 on Main Street in Adamstown, Pa about 56 miles west. Bollman has always piece dyed its wool felt hats in house but contracted with Littlewood for decades to fiber dye some of its wool to create heathered colored hats. When Littlewood was forced to cease operations after a devastating flood, Bollman sought to buy some of the equipment to bring to Adamstown. Bollman is now using that equipment to dye cleaned wool for its mixes and swirl hat styles and provide contract wool dyeing for other companies. When using fiber dyed wool, Bollman cards and then felts wool with more than one color versus piece dyeing into a solid color after carding and felting.
Bollman’s expertise in wool processing includes its scouring plant in San Angelo, Texas, which washes wool and also provides warehousing operations for the wool industry, and its historic wool felt hat making operation which has been making hats on Main Street in Adamstown, Pennsylvania for 155 years. Bollman is 100% employee owned through an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) and was recently named the 19th oldest continuously operating consumer products company in the United States.
“Bringing these historic operations together helps to preserve an important piece of the textile and wool industry and, along with it, American jobs” Don Rongione, Bollman President and CEO, noted. “Our employee-owners are learning how to produce the outstanding color that was part of Littlewood for over 150 years.”
Bob Littlewood, former President of Littlewood said “It was a devastating day for Littlewood on September 2, 2021. Realizing that our family business of 152 years and five generations is now over. It meant a lot to us when Don from Bollman Hat reached out and expressed interest in bringing these two historic operations together. Having our machinery and our processes being used at Bollman makes Littlewood feel as if they still have a role in the industry.”
About Bollman Hat Company:
Founded in 1868, Bollman Hat Company is employee-owned and is America’s oldest hat maker. We are the world’s leading designer, manufacturer, marketer, and distributor of men’s and women’s fashion headwear. Today, Bollman has 240 employees located on four continents and distributes products in over seventy countries.
The Bollman Group provides the world with the headwear industry’s top brands that include Bailey®, Betmar®, Country Gentleman®, Helen Kaminski®, and KANGOL®. Bollman owns www.hats.com and serves consumers online through hats.com, baileyhats.com, helenkaminski.com and Kangol.com. Bollman’s employee-owners manufacture wool felt, fur felt, straw hats, and knit caps in its factory located in Adamstown, Pennsylvania, USA, which is America’s oldest hat factory. To learn more, visit www.bollmanhats.com
Media Contact: Ryann McDevitt – Executive Assistant to President & CEO – Tel: (717) 484-6249 – firstname.lastname@example.org