Exploring the museum

Hat Works factory floor tours are now available

The museum is open for booked tours only on selected dates. The Gallery of Hats is temporarily closed for refurbishment and reinterpretation. For more information about the project follow us on our:

You can book a tour of our factory floor on selected dates.

2. The hatting industry

Hat Works’ ground floor provides an introduction to fur felt hat-making, which began to concentrate in the Stockport area from the 17th century.

A farmer, making hats to supplement his income, is shown preparing fur to be shaped into hats.

Hat Works introduces mechanisation of the hatting industry to its visitors with a hatter’s cottage.

Visitors can walk through the back kitchen of a small terraced house to see how a worker in a hat factory might have lived in the late 19th century, when hatting became an urban occupation.

The late 19th century was the heyday of the hat, and Stockport’s hatting industry became large and prosperous at this time.