logo
panama hats
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email

The elegant Ecuadorian straw hats or Panama hats

 The elegant Ecuadorian straw hats or Panama hats

Our traditional toquilla straw hats

Despite the often misleading name, the famous Panama hats or fedora harts are original from Ecuador and are an icon of the country.

In other words, these hats have always been made in Ecuador (Chordeleg and Sigsig, near Cuenca in Azuay and Montecristi in Manabi) and then exported and sold worldwide.

panama hats

The name

The history of these hats dates back to Pre-columbian times, according to evidence.  The hats are made from a light straw material ideal for sun protection, therefore the name. Moreover, according to legend, the toquilla straw hat was exported to Panama when the canal was on construction, and from that time forward, they started being called “Panama hats.”

instagramShare your pictures with our community, tag #VisitSAmerica

Manufacturing

Straw hats are made with Carludovica palmata, a plant native of Ecuador, and this technique has been passed along several generations.

First of all, artisans collect the raw material(carludovica palmata) that is mainly found in the country’s Coastal region.

Then artisans cut the stems, divide them, and clean them.  After this, they boil the threads, and the last step is to let the threads dry.

 

panama hats

 

panama hats

 

panama hats

The weaving process takes around one week for each hat, and the time depends on the thickness desired and quality of the hat.

That is, the thinner the threads and weaving, the better the quality.

Facebook

Where can you get a Panama or Straw Hat?

  • Visit a workshop in Cuenca.

If you are in Cuenca, you can visit some of the straw hat or Panama hat factories and get an elegant souvenir from Ecuador!

 

panama hats

 

The hat design that I personally recommend is Homero Ortega. The company produces and has over 40 years of experience exporting to 32 countries on five continents.  Moreover, during your visit, you will see the whole manufacturing process and learn more about these traditional Ecuadorian hats.

Besides, you will be able to buy a genuine Panama hat, including a certificate of authenticity.

Where: Hermano Miguel 6-84 y Presidente Córdova

Price: Free entrance

Online

  • Order online

There are different fedora models and prices available online. Beware, there are fake or cheap copies made from rice that will be ruined at once.

 

If you want the real original Ecuadorian Fedora hats, I give you two great options below.

 

 

If you are looking for the authentic Classic Fedora Straw Panama Hat

 

 

 

The Genuine HAVANA Retro Panama Straw Hat Classic Ultrafine.

 

 

Other great options

Genuine Ecuadorian Rolling Panama Hat by Homero Ortega.

Original Panama Hat – Classic Fedora – Black Band – Toquilla Straw – Handwoven in Ecuador 

The “True” Panama Hat Handwoven in Ecuador, Fedora Style, Natural or White Color, Grade 2, Manufactured Since 1975.

 

 

 

Best place to retire

Furthermore, one of the best places to retire in the world is Cuenca. So, if you are planning on retiring, consider this colonial charming city in beautiful South America. Besides, to get more information about the city, I recommend reading Cuenca: 101 Questions Answered.

Conclusion:

When in Ecuador, make sure to get a beautiful handwoven straw hat. It is not only an icon of Ecuador but also its technique an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. 

 

PIN IT FOR LATER

the-elegant-ecuadorian-straw-hats-or-panama-hats

If you want more in-depth information and a guide that you can bring along during your trip, I recommend the travel guide Lonely Planet Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands.

This is a great source of information and tips, maps, and all you need if you plan on visiting Ecuador. I personally like the option of having a hard copy version where I can take notes and have them at hand.

Don´t just dream it. Make it happen. Plan your South American trip with a local!

Take a look at this list of travel resources to plan your trip and travel in South America.

Daydreaming about your trip to South America? Order here your Free Ebook. I share with you some useful tips & resources for a memorable trip!

Finally, I would like to invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Besides, you can subscribe to YouTube.

Send email to get help planning your trip: info(at) visitecuadorandsouthamerica(dot)com.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save