Another stall that interested me was Fabrikk. Having enjoyed ‘Peaky Blinders’ on TV and seen ‘Beaky Blinder’ the duck in the corporate duck race, I liked the classy flat caps on this stall. Some were the classic ‘Peaky Blinder’ caps favoured by the members of 19th century Birmingham gang made famous in the TV programme. Minus the razor blades hidden in the peak of the cap of course. Hence the name of the gang. Go figure how they got their name. In Manchester we had ‘The Scuttlers’, a similar organisation famous for their sartorial splendour and their viciousness. If you’re going to be a thug be a well dressed one I suppose. This all happened at the same time as the events portrayed in the Leonardo di Caprio film, ‘The Gangs of New York’, so I suppose it must have been an international phenomenon.

Kate, who makes the caps, also had some in the style of the Yorkshire Flat Cap. These were the headgear of choice of the working men and boys of the industrial cities (obviously not the ones blinding people with razor blades) of the North, the guys who worked in the cotton and woollen mills of Manchester and Leeds. They are still popular but have gone upmarket. You often see well to do kids from Cheshire in them these days while the kids in the poorer suburbs favour designer baseball caps. 

Kate also makes bags. I was drawn to the coloured patterns in the fabric first because I thought they were leather. What they were made of was the bark of the Cork Oak that has been treated to make a vegan leather. They had the look and the feel of a very soft leather. Cork Oak used to be used to make corks to seal wine bottles. Almost every wine now has a screw top which has all but killed the cork oak industry. And ruined that little ceremony the wine waiters enjoyed, opening the bottle at the your table with the corkscrew and getting you to try a taste before accepting it. Twisting a screw top just doesn’t cut the mustard. If I can find the right pattern and colour I’d likeliness of these caps to,wear with my cashmere/wool overcoat in the autumn/winter.

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