Caring for Your Panama

Each genuine Panama hat is handwoven from Paja Toquilla, a natural straw. It is the weave which allows it to be easily packed for travelling - the finer the weave, the more supple and flexible the hat.


Contrary to myth, however, not all Panama hat shapes are suitable for rolling!


The ideal shape for rolling is the Folder Panama (Colonial), due to the ridge along the centre of the crown which lends itself well to rolling up. Our Ladies Panamas are also suitable for this. We do not however recommend rolling Trilby Panama hats, despite some claims, as they will lose their shape if rolled.


The purpose of rolling a Genuine Panama hat should always be for the convenience of travel only and your hat should not be kept permanently stored rolled up.

How to Roll a Panama Hat

1. Turn down the brim all the way round
2. Hold the hat with the crown running from left to right
3. Fold carefully along the centre ridge of the crown, pushing one side of the hat into the other
4. Gently roll the hat loosely into a cone-like shape – you can put a band or scarf around to keep it held loosely in place

Care for your Panama

As the proud owner of a Genuine Panama Hat, and to ensure many years of enjoyment from wearing your hat, it is important to remember that your hat is an individual piece of craftsmanship – it has been handwoven from a natural fibre, so treat it as such.

Treat your Panama with Care

  • Do not fold your Panama, or scrunch it up, as it will not only damage the shape of your hat, but also the straw could crack
  • Avoid pinching or crushing the natural fibre from the crown
  • Do not pull the hat from the edge of the brim
  • Protect your panama from rain as it will lose its shape

Roll your Hat Carefully

  • The Panama Hat Company always recommends a Folder Panama for rolling with frequent travel use. The finer the weave, the more supple the straw for regular rolling
  • Do not leave your hat rolled for long periods of time, mainly for convenient travel purposes
  • If the straw has become brittle due to intense heat, steam or mist your panama with warm water before rolling

Cleaning your Panama

  • Your hat can be cleaned using a damp cloth or a gentle facial wipe/ babywipe - try to remove any dirt marks with a dry cloth first, and then using warm water gently try to remove the mark with a clean cloth
  • Avoid rubbing too hard as this may damage the natural fibres of the straw
  • We do not recommend you use any cleaning agents or soap

Reshaping your Panama

  • Should your hat lose its original shape, you can steam it gently to try to regain its shape by hand and dry it gently using a hairdryer
  • The brim can be reshaped by using a steam iron on the lowest setting and a clean damp cloth, ensuring the iron does not come into direct contact with the straw itself