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Where do Panama hats come from?
One might just ask who was buried in Grant's tomb, except that the answer is not so obvious. Panama hats are made in Ecuador. For centuries, the very finest have been woven in and around the small town of Montecristi. In the town of Montecristi,Ecuador,the ultra fine Panama hats are woven over a period of several months. These ultra fine Panama hats are named after the town from which they came,and are perhaps the finest hats made in the world. The Montecristi Panama can take up to 6 months to weave and can cost thousands of dollars each.
The Panama Hat originates from the Toquilla Palm Leaf grown in Ecuador's coastal lowlands where the combination of fertile ground, cool weather and shading from taller plants combine for the perfect habitat. The seven to ten foot palms are shredded and woven by hand into a brimmed cone. It is then bleached and sundried high in the Andes where the mix of cool air and sunshine give it a pure milky consistancy. After grading it is shipped to hat makers where machines block and trim the hat into its final form.
What is Baku Straw?
Baku Straw is a very fine straw with a 1x1 weave and has a dull finish made from the young stalks of the Talipot palm from Malabar and Ceylon. When made into a hat, it is very lightweight.
|THE GRADE 8 PANAMA
The Panama "Grade" is defined as weave density, or number of
straws less 10 that run in a one inch measurement. The larger this
number the higher the "Grade". The toquilla "Panama" palms are
specially selected for their purity of color,fine texture and strength.
Weaving a Grade 8 takes an average 10-12 days, a few hours
each morning and evening, when the air is cool as the straw may
crack in the heat of the day. Upon completion each hat will be
logged in by the "collector" for Grading and then assigned to the
"azocador" or trimmer. Afterwards the bodies are given to the
"processador" for bleaching and finally to the "comicionista" where
it is pounded with a wood hammer to gently stretch the crown.
Each hat combines the finest choice of materials, generations of
tradition and the evolution of manufacturing processes. The result
is THE GRADE 8 PANAMA.
The Ecuadorian Panama Hat Collection
Scala EDGEWOOD Panama Hat
The PALMER Panama Hat
The TEMPE Panama Hat
The MESA Panama Hat
Scala The NORMAN Panama Hat
To order or for additional information:
French Quarter Haberdashery
3301 17th Street Unit 6555