Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Burel Factory

It all began in 1947, the year that saw the birth of Lanificio Império, the most important wool factory in the region of Serra da Estrela.

In 2010 the factory was discovered by two mountain explorers, João Tomás and Isabel Costa, who, after realizing the heritage and the cultural value of the space, decided not to let Burel die and proceed with the recovery of the factory; this became Burel Factory.

Today it continues to produce using the same machines and traditional equipment, from the time the industry was still made by hand, thus ensuring the production of unique, different and high quality fabrics, preserving the past, reinterpreting it and making it into a story of the future.


Monday, August 21, 2017

On Kitchens and Unexpected Finds

Sometimes berets pop up where you least expect them... After redoing our kitchen, designer/installer Sebastian Bissinger had some photo's taken for his website portfolio.
Nice pictures (nice kitchen, indeed), but going one page further, I see a boinero prominently present in a Miramar (Wellington) cafe, outfitted by Sebastian. 
No major news, I know, but little finds like this make my day. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Roland Garros

Eugène Adrien Roland Georges Garros (1888 –1918) was an early French aviator and a fighter pilot during World War I.
He started his aviation career in 1909 flying a Demoiselle (Dragonfly) monoplane, an aircraft that only flew well with a small lightweight pilot. He gained Ae.C.F. licence no. 147 in July 1910.
On 3 August 1914, Garros drove his aeroplane into a German Zeppelin dirigible above the German frontier destroying the aircraft and killing its crew of two in what was considered to be the first air battle in world history.
On 18 April 1915, either Garros's fuel line clogged or, by other accounts, his aircraft was downed by ground fire, and he glided to a landing on the German side of the lines. Garros failed to destroy his aircraft completely before being taken prisoner: most significantly, the gun and armoured propeller remained intact. Legend has it that after examining the plane, German aircraft engineers, led by Fokker, designed the improved interrupter gear system. In fact the work on Fokker's system had been going for at least six months before Garros's aircraft fell into their hands. With the advent of the interrupter gear the tables were turned on the Allies, with Fokker's planes shooting down many Allied aircraft, leading to what became known as the Fokker Scourge.
Garros finally managed to escape from a POW camp in Germany on 14 February 1918, after several attempts, and rejoined the French army.[12] He settled into Escadrille 26 to pilot a Spad, and claimed two victories on 2 October 1918. On 5 October 1918, he was shot down and killed near Vouziers, Ardennes, a month before the end of the war and one day before his 30th birthday.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Portuguese Boinas

The Portuguese word 'boina' comes from the Spanish 'boina', but has not the same meaning.
A 'boina' in Spanish means specifically a beret; Basque or military style, while the Portuguese word 'boina' can mean Basque Beret, but also the traditional Portuguese cap with a small peak. 
Boinas were and still are popular in Portugal and unlike the Basque beret, this popularity really is among all ages and both sexes. 
Portuguese boinas are traditionally made of felted wool, but are now available in a wide range of other materials such as tweed, linen, cotton and synthetics.
 
The boinas stocked at South Pacific Berets are exclusively made of burel, a 100% woven wool felt, made from Bordaleira sheep wool. This breed lives only in the Serra da Estrela region, the highest mountains in Portugal and is capable of growing extremely resistant but still pleasant to the touch fibres.
Beautiful artisan made traditional boinas in one of the world's most beautiful fabrics!

Friday, August 18, 2017

MMDA Berets in Manila

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority has spent P100,000 (US$2000) on berets for 2,000 of its traffic constables, in what has been described as an effort to spruce up the image of MMDA personnel.
Members of the Philippine Army’s elite Scout Ranger Regiment, which MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim once headed, are reportedly not amused. Neither are the commandos of the police Special Action Force, who must work to earn their berets in the elite SAF. Taxpayers are also grumbling about the expenses for the MMDA berets, with more to come for those tasked to enforce ordinances against jaywalking and littering, according to reports.
The principal concern of the public, of course, is the performance of the MMDA traffic aides. This means not just lying in wait at strategic spots to pounce on motorists along speed traps, but actually untangling traffic and keeping vehicular flow moving. Jeepneys and buses
Whatever headgear they are wearing, traffic constables are also expected to remain at their posts during downpours and floods. The MMDA should provide appropriate protective gear and equipment against the elements for its personnel so they don’t disappear when the rain starts pouring. Heavy-duty protective dust masks are also needed by traffic aides against the foul air of Metro Manila.
MMDA officials said the berets have boosted the morale of their traffic aides, who now pay more attention to their grooming and act snappy. This in turn encourages discipline among motorists, the MMDA officials said. Whether improved grooming will end kotong or petty extortion remains to be seen. For the public, the main concern is whether the traffic aides will do a better job. There’s traffic to keep flowing, and gridlocks to untangle.

Thanks, Heath

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Boinas Portuguesas Burel

Brand new at South Pacific Berets: Boinas Portuguesas, of 100% burel from the Sera da Estrela!
Burel is a 100% woven wool felt, made from Bordaleira sheep wool. This breed lives only in the Serra da Estrela region, the highest mountains in Portugal and is capable of growing extremely resistant but still pleasant to the touch fibres.
In the heart of Portugal’s Serra da Estrela lies the village of Manteigas. Shepherds have lived in these mountains since the 12th century and the village is characterized by the weaving industry and manufacturing of burel cloth, an ancient tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation.
The sheep of the Serra da Estrela have allowed humans to settle this inhospitable part of Portugal by providing wool, milk and meat for many centuries and until recently, the region’s economy was fully based on sheep’s products. 
It was the constant and unlimited supply of fresh water to wash the wool and drive the machines and looms (pre-Industrial Revolution) that enabled the industry to flourish in Manteigas.
With the introduction of synthetics and cheap imports from overseas, the burel industry went into decline and almost disappeared, throwing entire families into poverty and causing many to move to the cities or abroad.
The most important wool factory in the region was Lanificio Império (1947). This factory was bought in 2010 by two keen hikers and mountain explorers, João Tomás and Isabel Costa, who, after realizing the heritage and the cultural value of the space, decided not to let burel die and proceed with the recovery of the factory that became ‘Burel Factory’.
Burel Factory continues using the same machines and traditional equipment, ensuring the production of unique, different and high quality fabrics, preserving the past, reinterpreting it and making it into a story of the future.
At South Pacific Berets now the Burel Boinas Portuguesas in the original Sarrubeco (natural) and the custom made colours 'Jeans' and 'Exército verde' (Army Green). 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

August Sander

August Sander (1876 –1964) was a German portrait and documentary photographer. 
Sander's first book Face of our Time (German: Antlitz der Zeit) was published in 1929. Sander has been described as "the most important German portrait photographer of the early twentieth century."

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Francesc Català Roca

Francesc Català-Roca (Valls, 1922 - Barcelona, 1998) is considered one of the first Catalan photojournalists. 
His work has transcended because of the strangeness of his point of view (absolutely contemporary) and because it reflects on the time and is very aware of the power of image information.
Català-Roca considered himself as a professional photographer who tried to capture everyday reality, believing in short that he was more a documentalist than an artist. Nevertheless his work combines reality with beauty, thanks, among other things, to his natural ability to get in touch with the people he portrayed. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Mooses in Sweden

No country has as many moose per km2 as Sweden, even though some 100.00 are shot by hunters every year. 
Nothing new about that, these photo's date from the 1950's. Little has changed since, apart from the hunter's attire maybe. These days baseballcaps and bright orange beanies are the standard, while 60 years ago a small diameter black beret would do.
Personally, I prefer to see these majestic animals in real life:

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Portugal

Even though Portugal shares the Iberian Peninsula with beret-rich Spain, beret wearing has never hit it big in this country. Some famous Portuguese are well known for being boineros too though, like  José Manuel Cerqueira Afonso dos SantosManuel CabanasJoaquim Pereira Teixeira de Vasconcelos and Miguel Torga.
A nice surprise all the more to find these great pictures in my mailbox (thanks PLG); some great shots of Portuguese fishermen and boinero kids happily munching away on some Portuguese steps. 
More traditional to Portugal is of course the Barrete Preto Pescador, the traditional Portuguese black fishermen's “barrete”, made of 100% wool with cotton/viscose lining.
A genuine artisan made Portuguese hat, still in every day use by the fishermen of Nazaré on Portugal’s Costa de Prata (Silver Coast).

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Secua, a dentist/healer from Bilbao

Secua was a self-taught dentist and itinerant healer of uncertain origin who alleviated infantile paralysis, extracted teeth, healed the rheuma and manufactured a miracle ointment whose rights ended up being sold to a pharmacist from the Casco Vieja (Old Quarter of Bilbao).  
He always worked in the open air and was accompanied by an orchestra (trombone, drum, bass drum and cymbals); music therapy whose melodies served as an anaesthetic for his patients.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Vicente Jodra Sanz

Vicente Jodra Sanz (1845-1922) was a street flute player. Born in Pamplona, ​​he is believed to have arrived in Bilbao in the 1880s as a military musician. Discharged from the service at statutory age, he began to supplement his miserable pension by playing the flute through the streets of Bilbao.
He had a broad and opportunistic repertoire, folded to any taste and ideology, and topped with a personal bragging: to play the flute through the nose.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

El Madriles from Bilbao

"Madriles” was the nickname of an otherwise unknown Bilbaoan, who died in the great flood of Bilbao in August 1983.
Madriles lived and work in the Casco Vieja (the Old Quarter), collecting cardboard and paper for recycling and to earn a meager living.
Friendly bar and restaurant owners usually ensured he didn’t get hungry or thirsty. 
He used to say that a better world was possible; he believed and defended it. Good-natured and idealistic, he only plucked officials, because, he said, they “sold their lives for a plate of lentils”.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The WORLD, from New Zealand

To my enormous surprise, I found that there is another beret label from New Zealand. Yes, there is Hills Hats (whose berets are principally made in Pakistan and only finished here), but fashion label WORLD now has it's own model.
WORLD was established in Auckland in 1989 by Denise L'Estrange-Corbet and Francis Hooper.  Fuelled by their energy and passion, their vision and work has seen their label develop from a cupboard at the back of an arcade, to one of the leading fashion houses in New Zealand. Certainly WORLD is this country's fashion house that is most widely regarded as being "avant-garde". 
The berets are made of 100% NZ grown merino wool, are unlined and fitted with a sized headband; made in New Zealand. By whom, I don't know unfortunately (as said to be a trade secret).
The berets sell at NZ$199.00 through WORLD's online store