Hat Styles - Panama Hat

Panama Hat

Contrary to their name, genuine Panama Hats are hand-woven in the South American country of Ecuador, primarily in the cities of Cuenca and Montecristi. They became know as Panama hats due the fact they were popularily sold in that country, and were also noticed on men working on the Panama Canal during a visit by a US President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. The straw used to weave Panama Hats is from the Toquilla palm plant (latin name: Carludovica palmata), therefore the name "Panama" is used to refer to hat woven of the particular type of straw, rather than to describe a certain weave or style of hat. Panama hats can be many different styles, but the shape known as the fedora is by far the most common.

At Roberta's Hats we are proud to carry geuine Ecuadorean Panama Hats in 4 different "grades", which is the term used to describe quality when speaking of Panama Hats. Each time a strand of the straw is divided in half (by fingernail!) it makes for a thinner strand, which can then be woven tighter, resulting in a finer hat. We purchase our Panamas from a Canadian company whose representative travels to Ecuador regularly to inspect and choose hats on our behalf, ensuring superior quality and fair prices - not only for our customers, but also for the weavers themselves ...

Link to Tips on Panama Hat Care

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