French milliner

The firm of Crambes was created in 1946 by Auguste Crambes, a worker in the felt hat industry in the department of Aude in the South West of France. Following the advice of a friend, he went and settled in the department of Tarn et Garonne in Caussade, the city of the hat, where several factories had closed. A former milliner sold his workshop and helped him start his business. Auguste Crambes first made felt hats but one night he had an idea which was to revolutionize hat making. He woke up his wife and asked her to stick some pieces of fabric to cork which was then shaped into a hat. Thus, the canvas hat was created.

Evolution of the factory

The firm developed quickly and had to get bigger.  In 1954, Mr Crambes bought a farm that he converted into a modern factory.  In 1968, his daughter, who had succeeded him at the head of the factory, bought an adjoining carpentry workshop to create a new building. The firm covered nearly 7000 square metres and employed about 250 people.

Thierry Fresquet, the founder’s grandson, remained at the head of the firm until April 2019, when Catherine Vampouille and Benoît Besnault became the owners.

Crambes, which is still set on its original site, perpetuates an irreplaceable know-how. The new managers, while still maintaining the firm’s assets, are creating new momentum with more modern and eco friendly products.

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