The term Panama is often used broadly to define a straw hat. However, Panama is a very specific type of straw hat that should not be confused with a simple hat.
Panama hats are made in Ecuador. They are made from toquilla vegetable fiber. These fibers come from the leaves of a South American palm tree.
Usually known as its wide brim style Borsalino, the panama is braided by hand according to a very precise tradition summarized in three different braiding techniques which can take up to 6 months per hat.
It is this braiding technique and the type of straw used that make it a real panama.
Widely used in the early 1900s by workers to protect themselves from the sun and made famous throughout the world more precisely during the creation of the Panamà Canal.
The qualities of panama, lightness and solidity, made it a hat highly appreciated by all and quickly this fashion also spread to other social classes.
Today the real Panama hat is considered a quality straw hat and has never been so trendy. Often natural in color, there is also a colored version.