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A Brief History of the Panama Hat – An Ecuadorian Craft
Selling Panama hats is our family's business. All of our Panama hats are made and handwoven in Ecuador by master artisans and family, then finished by us in Seattle, Washington. These hats are works of art that will bring many years of wearing pleasure. If you would like to view our hats in person, please visit our showroom in Lynnwood, WA. Directions are on our contact page. We Stand Behind Our Products If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your order please let us know so we can make it perfect.
Authentic, classic Panama hats are not made in Panama. They are, and always have been, made in Ecuador. So why are they called Panama hats if they really come from Ecuador? Good question. The main center for the Panama hat trade in Ecuador, and indeed the world, is the lovely colonial city of Cuenca pronounced Kwain-ka in the Andes Mountains. The largest manufacturers and exporters of hats have their offices and factories here. The weavers and dealers in and around Cuenca produce thousands of hats each day.
An elegant accessory for the modern age, both rich in history and the craftsmanship that goes into them, the erroneously-named Panama hats are actually made in the country of Ecuador. The Panama hat might come across to some as bold-looking, yet it remains humble in origin; for it was in the small towns that currently dot the Andean and coastal regions of Ecuador where the hat itself was born…. Fun Fact: the Panama hats are of Ecuadorian origin. Photo Credits: Colin Capelle. It all began when, down on the coast, the unassuming little town of Montecristi in the province of Manabi found itself busy creating a modest but steady output of these finely-crafted and straw-brimmed hats. At the time, it was a practice that was slowly but surely being passed down from generation to generation once its potential as a small business was glimpsed.
1. Why Is a Hat from Ecuador Called a “Panama” Hat? inhabitants of the coastal areas were already wearing a curious type of headwear made of woven straw.
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The Extraordinary Panama Hat
At the turn of the century, the men whose strength and fortitude, tested under a tropical sun, sliced the continent in two, used as protection the elegant fibre hats from Ecuador, and in so doing inadvertently "christened" them with a name which belies their origin., You have straw hats you want to sell.
So why, then, are they called Panama hats? There are several theories as to why, and it is probably true that each theory has contributed to its reputation in some way. At the time, Ecuador did not see much tourism or trade, so it exported its hats to Panama to sell from there. When thousands of North Americans on the east coast went in search of gold in California, many traveled by boat through Panama to get there, as it was a quicker option than traveling across the United States via land. Many of these American travelers bought the straw hats while passing through Panama and returned to the United States with their new accessory. When asked where they got their fine woven hats, people said Panama. In , the year project to build the Panama Canal began.
Unlike the plethora of hat style choices in the winter, there is really only one classic summer hat that has stood the test of time: the Panama hat. Although the name implies that the origins of this world famous hat lie in Panama, original Panama has always been made in Ecuador. We have grown and changed a lot ever since and the original word article is now words long. Also, our content standards have become a lot higher. Therefore it was time to redo this guide, I am sure you will enjoy it!