Panama hats

On our site, and in shop, you will find genuine Panama hats and also Panama type summer straw hats with high quality weave. The designs on the hats are drawn by hand in house, in our own workshop. They come in two sizes (you need to measure yourself) and are prepared to order within two working days.

About the Panama hat

The Panama hat originates from Ecuador. It is the country's traditional hat, weaved from the leaves of the palm-like plant "Carludovica palmata" or more commonly known as toquilla.

Panama hats are usually light coloured and well known for their comfort and feeling of coolness they offer. Nowadays, they are considered to be the ultimate complement to light summer suits and dresses made of linen or silk. The quality of a Panama hat is determined by the density and stability of the weave and the time taken to make it. The art of weaving Panama hats is part of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists since 2012.

But if they originate from Ecuador, why are they called Panama hats? It is because they were first exported through Panama. The making of these hats begun around 1650 in various provinces along the country's coastline and the Andes. Exports begun in 1835 by Manuel Alfaro in Montecristi who took advantage of the large thoroughfare through Panama resulting from the gold-rush to California during that time. And, indeed, many people found such a hat very useful in the hot and dry plains of the Far West.

The Panama hat received a huge publicity boost in 1906 when the U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was photographed wearing one while visiting the construction site of the Panama canal! Soon they were highly sought after all over the world.