This straw is found in Ecuador and originates from the leaves of the Jipijapa plant, a palm like plant. Since several centuries, the people at the coastal area of Ecuador as well as some areas in the Andes Mountain have specialised in the art of hand weaving hats from dried leaves. Finished hats used to be transported to Panama, before they were send to the final destination in Europe, Asia and United States. In 1904, President Roosevelt visited Panama to inspect the Panama Canal project. He was offered an Ecuadorian straw hat as protection against the sun. Ever since his pictures, while wearing the hat, went over the world, the hat was called Panama hat.
There are various grades/qualities and ways of weaving of womens panama hats. The most refined weave is called Montecristi, and this quality will allow you to roll the ladies Panama hat and pass it through a wedding ring. However, super fine Montecristi has become very rare and expensive (US $ 2,000 – US $ 6,000, -)
At Bronté, you will find a good quality panama straw hat for women at a value-for-money price level. These ladies panama hats have an additional silicon layer inside the crown to protect the dents in the crown.
We advise to handle the ladies panama straw hats with care, like you handle an un boiled egg, and to put it on and off by taking it at the brim instead of touching the crown.
In our winters, the air is often rather dry, due to central heating, which might cause the weave to break. Store the womens panama hat in a large plastic bag, breath into the bag to get a balloon size and close the bag well. The moisture will prevent the ladies Panama hat from drying out.