Panamas are the classic hot sunny weather hat, given the status imprint by the Paris salons in the nineteenth century, worn by world leaders from Napoleon III through Teddy Roosevelt to Kruschev, and immortalized by the great movies of the 1940's.
The bodies for our Panama hats are hand woven in Ecuador from toquilla fiber, the finest of the straws used in hats. The bodies are tightly woven, and the weave is kept solid in blocking to ensure good protection from the sun. A substantial fiber is selected to produce a firm hat that holds its shape well. The pinch is reinforced to reduce breakage if the hat is handled by the pinch. These hats are great for hot sunny weather (but not suitable for use in the rain).
Ecuador, Panama and Toquilla Fiber
Genuine Panama hats are, and have always been, handwoven in Ecuador from toquilla fiber. The toquilla palm grows on the coastal lands of Ecuador, where conditions are ideal for its growth and regeneration. Straw hats hand woven in Ecuador from the toquilla fiber were exported to Panama in the mid 1800's and purchased by fortune seekers crossing the Panama isthmus on their way to the California gold rush. During the Spanish American War, the US government bought 50,000 of these hats for the troops from merchants in Panama. During the early twentieth century, these same hats became very popular at the Panama Canal construction site, where the hats were very well suited to the hot and humid weather conditions. As word spread around the world of this construction marvel, so too did word the straw hats hand woven in Ecuador. Since then, these practical and stylish hats, handwoven in Ecuador, have been known as Panama hats.
Heads come in all sizes, and a surprising variety of shapes. To determine your hat size, follow the directions under Hat Sizing. Use the size chart below to determine your panama hat size.
|Panama Hats||7 - 71⁄8||7¼ - 73⁄8||7½ - 75⁄8||7¾ - 77⁄8|
Care of Panama Hats
With reasonable care, Panama hats will last years. While extremely light fine weaves may be folded and rolled, the firmer weaves we offer should not be crushed. Pick the hat up by the brim, not by the crown or the peak, as it will fray with repeated pinching.
Panama hats are designed for protection from the sun. Do not wear them in the
rain, and do not store them near the rear window of a car or truck, where they
would bake in the sun.
When you put your hat down temporarily place it on its crown, so as not to distort the brim. Store the hat on a hat rack or supported at the sweat band in a hat box.
Use a soft brush to remove dust.
May We Suggest?
Complement your Panama hat with these fine items:
Hat -- by Akubra, a year 'round fur felt fedora.
Feather Cloth Shirt -- by Filson, 3 ounce pure cotton, perfect for summer.
Front Pocket Wallet -- by Bosca, in Old Leather.
Bills Khakis -- 8.5 oz. twill, American made.
Beaver Money Clip -- in sterling silver, from our Northwest Indian jewelry collection.