Our hats are made out of a plant that grows in the coastal areas of Ecuador, in South America. The palm-like plant is called "Toquilla", and our hats are 100% handwoven. If it's made out of the toquilla straw, then it's a genuine Panama hat.
As we work directly with the artisans, we get to know the beautiful people who is behind the hats you wear.
Our hats take around one week to be made, as they go through a long process. Take a couple of minutes to learn about our hats:
-Artisans cut a stalk of the toquilla palm. Only young shoots are used, with leaves that have not opened yet. The stalk is opened showing out the inner fibers, being then split up using a special tool with a metal needle.
-They collect a group of toquillas known as “cogollos” tied into bundles of 8 (called an ocho) to be boiled.
The toquilla needs to be boiled and stirred (non stop) in a large cauldron for about 20 minutes.
-Once the cogollos are cooked, the Artisans hang them on strings to get them dry out in the sun for several hours. Then, they select the finest fibers of the toquilla straw to make the hats.
-The weaving of the toquilla straw hat begins with two straws making a circular “button” at the center of the crown.
After the hat is weaved, the craftsmen tie the end of the brim and gently hammer the hat to get the weave even.
The hat is then pressed with an iron from the crown to the brim. Finally the artisans cut the uneven borders of the hat to avoid the brim to fall apart.
Ecuadorian craftsmen use the finest selected natural straws from the Toquilla Palm (Carludovica Palmata) to elaborate each hat.
This process can take between one week to six months, depending on the delicacy of the weave and the straw.