The authentic Panama hat:
Ask any hat wearer or aficionado, during the summer there aren’t many hats that can top the Panama hat.
They are light, breathable and elegant. This is what most summer hats lack as opposed to winter hats. Because in addition to the fact that a hat has to look good, it also has to be functional.
During the winter, they protect you from the cold, rain, snow. But during the summer they prefer to protect you from the sun. So many hats will be made of a light material. Hopefully from a natural material such as straw, sea grass or something else vegetable.
Panama hats are not made of straw or seagrass. Now you may be wondering “what are they made of?”
Good question, these are made from the young shoots of the toquilla palm. (Don’t confuse with tequila that’s something completely different haha.)
This plant mainly grows in South America including the country where they are made Ecuador.
huh? Ecuador ? Aren’t they from Panama then?
Look despite their name they come from Ecuador. There are many theories that explain why we end up calling it that. My idea is that around the time they became popular they were always shipped from Panama. When they arrived at the port of their destination, people shouted: “Men the hats from Panama are here!”
Winston Churchill will also have contributed to this. The hat he always wore every time he visited Panama was that hat. People associated that hat with the Panama Canal after a while.
Now you have some trivia to impress your friends ;).
As a last point I would like to quickly say what things you should pay attention to when buying a real Panama hat (even if it comes from Ecuador).
This is a protected regional product so that whoever buys it is assured of a quality product. It is comparable to Harris tweed.
- It must be hand woven.
Each Panama hat is woven by hand, you have different levels of how fine it is.
- Must be from Ecuador.
- Must be made from the young shoots of the Toquila palm.
If you can tick these three dots, then you are 100% that you will get a real one.
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