With this bold move, Kangol and Bollman Hat Company will create 41 new, full-time American jobs and retain 176 currently held positions over the next three years. Bollman is America’s oldest hat maker, and its Pennsylvania factory has continuously made hats since 1868.
In 2001, Bollman Hat Company acquired the global license to design, produce, and distribute Kangol headwear. Prior to the acquisition, the decision by previous ownership had already been put in motion to move all manufacturing to China in order to stay competitive. The factory in China was purchased in 2006 by a Chinese hat maker who has now decided to close its doors, opening the door for Kangol to bring even more of its production to the United States.
The unique knitting machinery used to make the wool 504 was built exclusively for Kangol in the 1930s and 1940s. There are currently 80 machines in China that need to be transported to the US. Bollman has already moved ten of the machines over and made necessary electrical conversions of the equipment. The total cost of the endeavor will exceed $600,000 USD.
Bollman has already committed more than $350,000 and will receive an incentive from the PA DCED (Department of Community and Economic Development), who awarded Bollman a $60,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant.