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How a Panama hat is made

A genuine Panama hat should never be described as simply a straw hat! By virtue of its name, it is in fact a very unique hat, skillfully handwoven in Ecuador over several days or even months.

Panama hats are woven from Paja Toquilla straw, a member of the palm family indigenous to the coastal regions of Ecuador. Their history can be traced as far back as the Incas who were the first to weave hats from this fibrous plant. Since then the extraordinary Panama hat has had a wonderful and varied history.

There are different qualities of Panama hats, depending on the fineness of the weave, and therefore can suit every pocket – from the exclusive Montecristi Panama hat, which can take up to 4 months to weave, to the standard woven Panama, which can take only 2-3 days. The weaving process is just a small part of the fascinating journey of a Panama hat, from straw to finished hat – learn about the Panama hat process.

Dependent on shape and weave, some Panama hats can be rolled up, making it a desirable feature for travel. Find out how to roll your Panama carefully and look after it.

Today the Panama hat, ever-known for its classic style and quality, has retained its charm yet has become ever more fashionable with new styles and patterned weaves to suit all tastes and pockets. Check out our fantastic selection of Ladies panamas and Men's Panama hats.

Once you have a Panama hat, you will never look at a straw hat in the same way – at the Panama Hat Company we hope you appreciate this amazing piece of craftsmanship and keep this small but dying cottage industry alive for many more years to come !