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Origins of the Panama Hat

The Panama hat got its name during the building of the Panama canal at the beginning of the last century, when hat merchants from Colombia and Ecuador sold their hats to the passing trade.  What is now known as the Panama hat was widely adopted by workers on the canal. 

The hats are hand woven from the narrow fibres of the Iraca palm and then steamed and moulded to shape.  Genuine folding Panama hats are also known as "jipijapa" and ours are made near Cuenca in Ecuador by craftsmen that Tumi have worked with for many years.


Caring for a Panama Hat

We want your customers to enjoy their hats for many years.  Therefore we suggest that you pass on the following care instructions:

  • Avoid pinching or crushing the delicate natural fibre. Treat the hat as if it were cloth.
  • When folding, carefully flatten the hat along the ridge over the crown and roll slowly and loosely (see photos).
  • Do not leave your hat permanently rolled or boxed. This method of storage is for travel only.
  • A Panama hat may be easily cleaned with a damp cloth & may be reshaped using steam from a boiling kettle.
  • As a rule, Panama hats don't like to get wet. If yours does get wet, please leave it flat and let it dry on its own.  When totally dry, you can shape it into its original form.

 

Choosing the right size

 

  • The measurement of the hat is based on the circumference of your head hence 57cm is the smallest and 62cm the largest. You can measure your head by using a flexible measuring tape or piece of string.
  • If your head measurement is in between sizes you should choose the larger size, because it is possible to make a hat smaller, but not bigger.
  • You can make your panama hat smaller by removing the hat band.  Where the band is joined together, move the piece covering the join and take in the hat band by sewing it, making it tighter. Cover the join again and replace the hat band.


PLEASE NOTE: THESE HATS ARE NOT MASS PRODUCED. EACH ONE IS INDIVIDUALLY AND UNIQUELY HAND CRAFTED. SLIGHT VARIATIONS ARE THEREFORE TO BE EXPECTED.

Sizes range from 57cm to 62cm. These correspond to British hat sizes as follows:-

British Hat Sizes    Our Sizes

6 3/8                        54
6 1/2                        55
6 5/8                        56
7                              57
7 1/8                        58
7 1/4                        59
7 3/8                        60
7 1/2                        61
7 5/8                        62