German intellectuals and artists have popularized the beret as the 'thinking’ man's preferred head-wear. We've seen it in France and Italy too. The real thing, however, comes from the Basque territories, and our beret has been made for us by a family firm (established 1928) at the foot of the Pyrenees. Fine combed wool is machine-processed to make the 'labrazze', as they are called, the basic material for the beret: the ends of the thread are twisted together to make the characteristic little ‘tail’ on the crown. The crucial process of fulling the material is then done by hand – this ensures that the 'labrazze' gradually shrink to the proper size. The end-product is a real Basque beret, tough, warm and crumply: Ernest Hemingway's legendary head-wear in the Spanish Civil War.