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Our Story

Vermont Originals was founded in 1971 by a business professor from Cornell and one of his students as a case study on cottage industry for the Cornell Business School.
 All of our hats are 100% wool and knit in the traditional handcrafted manner by local knitters. Vermont Originals is the only hat company in Vermont that continues to use local knitters. All the others have moved their manufacturing out of the USA.


Today Vermont Originals, as part of Turtle Fur, continues this fine tradition of Made in Vermont, USA.


How Our Hats Are Made

All our hats in the traditional handcrafted manner by home knitters. The Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, where we are located, has a long history of home knitting. This skill has been handed down from one generation to the next. Almost all of our knitters have learned to knit from their mother, an aunt, a cousin or a sister. 


Our manufacturing process has four steps:

    1. We provide the 100% wool yarn, the patterns and the knitting instructions. They provide the skill and craftsmanship. Each week they bring in their orders and pick up the next week’s order. Our knitters make approximately 75-100 hats per week. 
    2. We also have a group of home sewers who sew the hats together once they have been knit.
    3. The third group of home workers pick up the sewn hats, crochet the tassels and braids and put them on the hats.
    4. Finally, the hats are sent to our fleecing department, where we sew in the fleece lining.

100% Wool
The quality of Vermont Originals hats is far superior because we use very high grade 100% wool yarn. It is spun and dyed especially for us. We know of no other company that uses the same yarn we do. All of our yarn is skein dyed to make sure the colors are rich and consistent. We also double wax our yarn to insure that it knits smoothly to avoid snags and flaws.


Fleece for Extra Warmth
We line all our heavy wool hats with high quality fleece that doesn’t ball up or pill. The fleece lining not only provides extra warmth, but keeps your head from itching.


The Best Hat You Will Ever Buy
Our customers tell us every day that we make the best hat they have ever owned. Of course, we believe they are right. Because we are a small company that only makes hats, we have concentrated all our efforts on making the best hat anyone will ever buy. Many people tell us that they just won’t wear out. While that is not necessarily good for business, we are very gratified that we make something that could last a lifetime.

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