The Panama Hat

The Panama Hat

panama hats for men

The name Panama hat came from sailors on the Panama Canal in the early 20th century. The hats are originally made from Ecuador by special craftsmen. The weaving of the Panama is an extreme art form and the hats can cost from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars depending on the grade level of the hat.

The Panama hat can withstand all sorts of distortion without loosing its shape. They are shaped like fedoras but woven from straw or palm rather than from felt. The high end “superfino” Panama hats are rumored to be so tightly woven to the extent that they can hold water and can be distorted to pass through a regular ring and still retain its shape.

Production of Panama hats from Ecuador seems to be dwindling down because of economic hardships in Ecuador and competition from other hat manufacturers. There also seems to be fewer craftsmen with the required skills for weaving the high end Panamas.

Panama hats are perfect for vacations in the tropics because of their lightweight, craftsmanship and styling. They hardly get distorted, most are handmade and can last for ages.


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