Panama hats are fine and expensive pieces of headwear with a wide brim and a ribbon accent. Also called the toquilla straw hat, this is the traditional headwear of Ecuador. Although it is name is associated with a completely different country, this has been made in Ecuador for centuries.
One of the reasons this hat style became really popular is President Teddy Roosevelt. The former president had been seen this hat while he was on a visit to Panama. Because of this, the hat gained international fame. Now gentlemen of all shapes, sizes and races wear this hat style proudly.
How It Is Made
These beautiful hats go through a laborious process and one hat can take weeks or even months to finish. The hat is made from a palm-like plant and the straws are hand-weaved to form the hat. This intricate process requires skilled hands.
High-quality Panama hats have tight weaving. The tighter the weave, the more expensive it is likely to sell. The best quality hats are made from Montecristi, but there are also cheaper versions that you can find almost everywhere. The authentic ones, however, are much harder to find.
Why Is It Expensive?
Compared to other hats like the fedora, which looks similar to it, the Panama hat is considerably more expensive. There are cheap imitations but they will not have the high-quality tight weaving that a genuine Montecristi-made hat exhibits.
Because of the process that goes into making one single hat, this accessory is significantly priced high too. One master weaver painstakingly crafted a special hat with an almost impossible 4,000 weaves per square inch and took over 8 months to finish.This kind of hat can sell for more than $25,000!