How to care for straw hats


A straw hat is delicate, especially genuine Panama hats, so never handle it by its crown. The natural oils in our hands dry out the straw, and when the straw dries it becomes brittle and is more susceptible to cracking. Handle the hat by its brim, yes the oils still affect the straw in the brim, but the brim is much easier to clean and much less likely a spot for cracking to occur. Be sure to store your hat either in the box that you bought it in or in a spot that is away from sunlight. Never store a hat on its brim as this will affect its shape.

Genuine panama hats are made in Ecuador, from toquilla straw, and each hat is made with great care and by hand, using no mechanical implements. Each one of them is unique, as the process to make them is extremely labour-intensive. 

Here are some of our rule-of-thumb tips on how to keep your panama looking great for years to come:

1. Only buy a panama hat with a sweatband, which helps keep your hat in place and prevents it from stretching out. It also prevents it from scratching your forehead.

2. Don't wear it in the rain; water can cause the straw to lose its shape.

3. Only handle the hat by its brim.

4. When resting your hat on a table, rest it on its crown (upside down), rather than its brim. As well, when hanging it up, make sure the peg rests on the sweatband, not the straw.

5. To clean it, simply use a soft bristled brush.

6. When you're not wearing it, store it in its box or in a dry, cool place.

7. What if your hat is misshaped and not just how you’d like it to be? Check out our tips on how to re-shape your straw hat!


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How to roll a Panama hat for travel

The finer the weave in your Panama, the more supple the straw for regular rolling.
Please note: Do not leave your hat rolled for long periods of time, mainly for convenient travel purposes.
If the straw has become brittle due to intense heat, steam or mist your hat with warm water before rolling.

1. Turn down the brim all the way round.
2. Hold the hat with the crown running from left to right.
3. Fold carefully along the centre ridge of the crown, pushing one side of the hat into the other.
4. Gently roll the hat loosely into a cone-like shape – you can put a band or scarf around to keep it held loosely in place.


Help your fellow hat wearers and share more of your tips below. Thanks! 

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