About Panama Hats from Panador Hat Company

About Panama Hats

Panama Hat from The Panador Hat Company™ in the Fedora Style

These elegant straw hats are known throughout the world as Panama hats, but in Ecuador they're simply called sombreros de paja toquilla — hats woven from the straw of the toquilla palm.

Ironically, the Panama hat is not from Panama. Panama hats have always been made in Ecuador. The misnomer stuck after the Ecuadorian straw hats were worn by workers building the Panama Canal for protection against the heat and sun.

Ecuador has been making these hats for centuries, at least since the 16th-century Spanish Conquest, and possibly longer.

Finding an authentic, hand-woven Panama hat is easier if you know what to look for. Let us give you a brief introduction to these beautiful hand-made straw hats so you can choose yours with confidence.

Artisan making an Authentic Hand-Woven Panama Hat

Aristans at Work

Authentic Panama hats are hand-woven. It takes years of practice to perfect the art. ... read more

It's About The Straw

The toquilla straw used to weave a Panama hat is abundant in Ecuador, but is found almost nowhere else in the world. ... read more

Adding The Finishing Touches

The final steps form the hat into that classic Panama hat style. ... read more

Identifying An Authentic Panama Hat

Many inexpensive hats that look like Panama hats are actually made in China. They're not made by hand. And they're rarely made of straw. ... read more

The Ultimate Panama Hat

The Panador Hat Company has a few hats that improve on perfection. These hats are still hand-woven, but we've added extra UV protection, a special waterproof coating, and an enhanced hat band. ... read more