The Czech, and previously the Czechoslovak, have a long history where berets are concerned. The town of Novi Jicin in the eastern part of the Czech Republic is the center of the Czech hat industry, dating back to the year 1630. The mechanized production of fur felt hats started in 1865 by hatter Johann Nepomuk Hückel, who two years later started the company J. Hückel & Sons. This name was kept until the private company was nationalized into a state owned enterprise and FEZCO - TONAK was born. These days TONAK is one of the world's largest manufacturers of headwear and berets still take a prominent role in TONAK's assortment.

Why the beret became such a popular headgear among the Czechs and Slovaks is unknown to me, but evidence of the beret's popularity in former Czechoslovakia is evident in many movies and photo-libraries and of course the beret was made immortal thanks to children's animation series Pat and Mat.