Allergic reaction to beret lining - any suggestions?

HI there, first time poster to this v helpful community. We have a cadet that has had a strong skin reaction to the leather lining on their beret. You can see the line across their head where the beret sits in hives for three or four days after wearing. Has anyone come across this before and are there any alternative berets that look exactly the same other than the leather lining. The child involved is obviously upset and just wants to be able to wear their beret like everyone else. Thank you for any advice anyone might be able to give.


Possibly try taking a beret to a tailor and they should be able to remove the leather and replace with soemthing else. Maybe black felt?


I’m sure when I was a cadet there were some berets being issued with this

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There were berets with cotton bands, but if my experience was anything to go by, they tended to fray fairly easily. I’ve not seen one for years.

I wonder if a tailor could use substiture the band with proper leather?


Really old berets had a lining which was just parallel lines of stitching.

What about the private purchase Officer’s berets? They need holes for the lugs, but are probably better quality?


I remember the old ones with the black material band instead of leather. I would not be surprised if there is a vegan friendly beret design about somewhere that didn’t use the animal product.

I’d say private purchase or unit purchase may be the route forward.


A quick Google has found a couple of the old style berets:


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The current beret bands are definitely ‘proper leather’.

What I suspect everyone is remembering as an alternative is the grossgrain band which the Compton Webb berets of the early 90s had. That would be an easy job to fit.
Another approach is that the private purchase silk lined berets bring the lining down over the band, so that it’s silk which rests against one’s skin.
But I’m not sure whether either of these would help.

Is this actually an allergic reaction to leather? Or is it a general skin irritation caused by the heat and pressure of a beret band?
I would start by asking the cadet whether they wear other hats (baseball cap or whatever) for similar lengths of time and whether they have experienced similar symptoms.
If it’s a more general problem then solving it might be difficult.


Definitely a new one for me in terms of berets but anything can cause skin irritation.

If it’s a minor allergic reaction e.g. a rash as you say, have they tried taking an antihistamine prior to attending before wearing the beret.

Also important to note that a minor allergic reaction can one day become a serious one.


Thank you all those that replied - lots of good suggestions and routes to investigate. Much appreciated. If we find a solution, i’ll post a reply so that others searching the forums can see in case anyone else comes up against the same thing,


the point about the heat/pressure is a good one and not one we had thought about - so thanks that’s worth looking at. Cheers!