Panama hat & toquilla straw shawl
A Panama hat (toquilla straw hat) is a traditional brimmed straw hat of Ecuadorian origin. Traditionally, hats were made from the plaited leaves of the Carludovica palmata plant, known locally as the toquilla palm or jipijapa palm, although it is a palm-like plant rather than a true palm.
Panama hats are light-colored, lightweight, and breathable, and often worn as accessories to summer-weight suits, such as those made of linen or silk. Beginning around the turn of the 20th century, panamas began to be associated with the seaside and tropical places.
The art of weaving the traditional Ecuadorian toquilla hat was added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists on 6 December 2012.
We work closely with communities in the provinces of Manabi and Azuay to produce the toquilla straw for the handbags and the Panama hats. Through a closely collaboration we provide feedback, provide fair rates and assure the quality of the products.
The weaving of Paja Toquilla hats has been known since the Spanish conquest in the 16th century.
Indeed, since 1630, Panama Hats have been hand-woven in Ecuador - made of selected and natural fibers called Palmata Carludovica.
In 1906, Theodore Roosevelt, American historical president, wore a typical Ecuadorian hat while visiting the Panama Canal construction. His picture traveled all around the world and since then started the mistaken name Panama hats to refer to Ecuadorian handmade sombreros.
This timeless piece has covered many personalities’ heads such as Ernest Hemmingway, Winston Churchill, Harry Truman, Paul Newman and Alberto Santos Dumont.
An everlasting accessory was born…decades later it is still a fashion must-have all across the world.