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3D: Kangol Factory, Cleator

3D: Kangol

Iconic Ruination:

Kangol is a British clothing company famous for its headwear. The companies head office was located in West Cumbria, at Cleator, until 2009. Now, the factory is a ruin.

Founded in the 1920s by Jewish Polish World War I veteran Jacques Spreiregen, Kangol (the K from knitting, the ANG from angora, and the OL from wool) produced hats for workers, golfers, and especially soldiers. In 1938, Spreiregen, who was working in London as an importer, opened a factory at Cleator, Cumbria, England which he ran with his nephew Joseph Meisner. A second factory was opened at nearby Frizington, and later, under the direction of Spreiregen’s younger nephew Sylvain Meisner, a third factory, manufacturing motorcycle helmets and seat belts in Carlisle. They were the major beret suppliers to the armed forces during World War II, including famously Field Marshal Montgomery.

During and after the war, Kangol berets were the height of fashion. In the 1960s, designers Mary Quant and Pierre Cardin worked with the company, whose products graced the heads of the rich and famous, including the Beatles and Arnold Palmer, and later Diana, Princess of Wales. The company also supplied uniformed organizations such as the Scout Association. The Kangaroo logo was adopted by Kangol in 1983 because Americans were always asking where “they could get the Kangaroo hat.”

No Kangol hat has ever actually been manufactured in Australia.

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