The Panama Hat
It has been argued that Panama Hats are the best hats ever made. The incomparable material they are crafted from, toquilla straw, makes them light as a feather, fresh for a warm sunny day, and stylish with any attire. Worn by world leaders, Hollywood stars, singers and celebrities, Panama hats have become a symbol of elegance, luxury and sophistication.
Genuine Panama Hats are manufactured exclusively in Ecuador. They acquired their name after being commercialized in Panama during the construction of the canal in the early 1900's.
The Panama Hat originates from the toquilla palm leaf that grows in the warm coastal lowlands of Ecuador. The palms are shredded into fiber straws, sun dried, woven by hand, trimmed and shaped into what are perhaps the finest hat made in the world!
Panama Hats are usually of two varieties, depending on their place of origin:
|Montecristi Panama Hat
These Panama hats are made by master weavers from the town of Montecristi, in the coast of Ecuador. Very thin straw is used to obtain a sharp and tight weave that produces the finest straw hat in the world! Depending on the fineness of the weave a Montecristi hat can take several two months to weave. The result is a hat with a soft texture and an elegant natural straw color.
Cuenca Panama Hats come from the highland town of Cuenca. They are made of thicker straw that allows a hat to be woven in a couple of weeks. These hats are usually bleached or tinted beige. They are regarded as affordable hats of good overall quality.