Friday, January 1, 2021

Panama Hat

Panama Hat 
A Panama hat, also known as an Ecuadorian hat or a 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.

Ecuadorian hats are light-colored, lightweight, and breathable, and often worn as accessories to summer-weight suits, such as those made of linen or silk. The tightness, the finesse of the weave, and the time spent in weaving a complete hat out of the toquilla straw characterize its quality. Beginning around the turn of the twentieth century, these hats became popular as tropical and seaside accessories owing to their ease of wear and breathability.

Beginning in the early- to mid-1600s, hat weaving evolved as a cottage industry along the Ecuadorian coast as well as in small towns throughout the Andean mountain range. Hat weaving and wearing grew steadily in Ecuador through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

One of the first towns to start weaving the hats in the Andes is Principal, part of the Chordeleg Canton in the Azuay province. Straw hats woven in Ecuador, like many other 19th and early 20th century South American goods, were shipped first to the Isthmus of Panama before sailing for their destinations in Asia, the rest of the Americas and Europe, subsequently acquiring a name that reflected their point of international sale—"panama hats"—rather than their place of domestic origin.










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