The first documentation that describes the ancient process of hat making, and illustrates it with diagrams, is L’Art de faire des chapeaux by the abbot Jean Antoine Nollet who wrote it in 1765 for the Diderot & D’Alembert encyclopaedia. It deals with the raw materials, their preparation, manufacturing process and the dyes as well as the styles. The industrialization of the 19th Century, which brought on a radical change in the craftsmanship, is extensively and preciously documented in the Hatters Manual by Lamberto Ramenzoni, published by Hoepli in 1906 and reprinted in 1924.
In 1867, the rapport on visits to Paris’ Exposition Universelle was published in Le Moniteur de la Chappellerie, a specialized magazine of French Hat making. It documented the wonder that the new machines aroused among the visitors in the pavilions. His Majesty Napoleon III, the European Monarchs which honoured Paris with their visit, the industrialists and the public were all amazed to see these ingenious machines function in the department that Mr. Haas from Paris had happily presented at the Exposition. 1. Elegant bas tisseuses, invented by Mr. Coq di Aix, were on display. He had also invented the mechanical sanding machine and later Mr. Coanet’s press, from Nancy, that could perfectly shape, size, and dry a hat in a few minutes without leaving any creases.1. F. MONDOLFO, op. cit., pg. 105 e pg. 107