A grand military parade goes hand-in- hand with striking uniforms. What is often less obvious amid the pomp and ceremony is that much of the insignia and accoutrements are still hand-made, such as the products of Stepahead Military Headwear (South African Pavilion, Stand 12-C20). The company has a score of specialist gold thread embroiderers in its manufacturing facility in Pretoria to supply military headgear and rank badges to armed forces in the Middle East, Indian Ocean islands and southern Africa.
“From the beginning almost 12 years ago, we made quality our pride and top priority,” said managing director Maureen Simoés. “Not only do we comply with stringent international quality control tests, but the South African Bureau of Standards in its annual capability report has given Stepahead a 100 per cent pass rate for the past eight years.”
A state-of-the-art computerised colour density reader ensures colour consistency in Stepahead’s products, which are made from the very best wool, Melton cloth and gold wire. Its military products include woollen berets, officers’ and ceremonial peak caps, badges and epaulettes, as well as webbing bags and equipment.