Take time out to enjoy..

Take time out to enjoy..
Relax, renew, regain, regrow, reflect

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Got my panama hat and my silver hip flask.. where am I off to?

Be content with where you are TODAY.. and the same time keep your dreams alive - never settle for anything less than the best! 
Does your panama hat have this label inside?...  worth visiting Ecuador to buy one of these genuine hats I'd say?... 
Hand crafted.. finest of fine straw.. just beautiful.. think of the heads that will turn when you strut down the road wearing this beauty?...
You must have heard about the iconic Panama Hats. Yes then, as many others, you may think that the Panama Straw Hats are made in Panama. Is this true? Actually it’s not. The fact is the Panama Hat is not from Panama but from Ecuador. The finest of all the Panama Straw Hats comes from the town of Montecristi. All the authentic, skillfully craft Panama Straw Hats are made in Ecuador but why name it Panama Hats. Well the name got twisted with history and the story goes like this.

The Panama Straw Hats were crafted in Ecuador but were sold in Panama. The buyers didn’t know where the fine quality Straw Hats were made so, they named it after the place where it was sold. The
Panama hat became popular and in great use during late 1800s. However, most likely responsible for the misnomer is the construction of the Panama Canal. The durability and high quality of the straw hat made it quite popular with the workers who arrived for the project. The name struck when President Theodore Roosevelt dubbed the name as the ‘Panama Hat’.

The main center where the Panama Straw Hats are traded is in Cuenca and Montecristi, in Ecuador. Scattered in the place are many Panama Hat weavers and shops. People from the small town of Montecristi are mostly all, involved in growing, harvesting, weaving and selling the fine Straw Hats. In Montecristi, there are very few master weavers who hand weave excellent quality Straw Hats. The finer the
Montecristi Hats, the fewer will be the number. Since each of the Montecristi Hats is handmade, one by one, it takes months to weave a single hat. Hat aficionados look at the number of weaves per square inch of a Straw Hat in order to establish the quality of a Montecristi Hat. Though, the name does not give full credit to the people of Ecuador but they don’t seem to mind. They are more happy to meet the challenges of weaving the hat and finishing it with the finest touch.

Here's proof, made by hand..

This style is beautiful for the beach or the bush..
Famous people have worn Panama hats as well..Sean Connery.. mmm! Akka James Bond!
Ah, nothing beats the feel and comfort of this silver hip flask..
An antique one that I'm certain has given years of good service and joy, to the owner..

Of course, you can't have a Panama hat, hip flask without a cigar case!!! This one is a beaut! 
1. The Panama hat doesn't originate from Panama at all, it comes from Ecuador. The hats are made from the plaited leaves of the toquilla straw plant, grown on huge plantations in western Ecuador.
2. It's called a Panama because, like many South American goods made in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the hats were sent to Panama for shipping to the rest of the world. Soon, Panama became synonymous with the hat.
3. They are also known as a Jipijapa, after a hat-making centre in Ecuador.
4. The test of a high class Panama hat is the quality of the weave. The way to test that quality is to count the number of weaves per square inch. The most expensive could have up to 2,000, fewer than 100 would be considered fairly low quality.
5. Folk-law states that the best Panama hats can be folded for storage and also hold water.
6. Sales of the Panama hat really took off after American president Theodore Roosevelt wore one on a visit to the Panama Canal construction site in 1906.
7. The famous American hat-makers Stetson do a line of Panamas.
8. The hat-making industry in Ecuador is struggling due to competition from paper-based imitations made in China.
9. The seventh Doctor Who, played by Sylvester McCoy, was a big Panama hat fan.
10. There are three main styles of Panama - the Optimo, the Fedora and the Monte Carlo. All three have featured in films. Sydney Greenstreet wore an Optimo in Casablanca, Anthony Hopkins a Fedora in Hannibal, and Clark Gable a Monte Carlo in Gone With The Wind.


  1. What a beautiful article. I love the silver flasks..the old ones are the absolute best. Well done!

  2. Thanks for visit and great comment Leah.. I have many passions.. I look so forward to meeting you one day..