The Caleb is a small-wing Drop hat made of Panama Brisa, a type of straw made by weaving simple threads that give the hat great lightness. These characteristics are excellent considering an attractive price/quality ratio. Our craftsmen process the hat, i.e. the shapeless semi-finished product from Ecuador, with the sole help of water vapour and heat.
The hat is made by hand on wooden moulds so that it takes the desired shape of the crown and brim. It is handled delicately throughout the process so that it retains the traditional and unmistakable elasticity of panama fibres.
This drop hat has a head in the typical Doria shape, i.e. teardrop, hence the name of the hat. It is made in the colour white (typically called blicciado when it comes to Panama), with a grosgrain belt in the colour black and enriched with leather and 'Deco-D' piping details. The hat also has holes on the circumference of the head positioned above the belt, thanks to which it is cool and bright. The presence of these holes on the semi-finished product is called 'Panama Brisa Semicalado'.
Panama Hat: History
The material used for this hat is Panama and has an incredible history. It is woven from threads of "paja-toquilla", a straw made from the leaves of the Carludovica palmata plant, typical of tropical America. These threads are collected in the towns of Montecristi and Jipijapa by artisans scattered in small villages and then sold as plaits in the city of Cuenca.
The tenderest shoots of the plant are washed, boiled, dried in the sun and then left to rest in the night breeze. This process produces the natural colour typical of Panama. The final step is to dye the straw in baths of natural tones, allowing the chapel to have the desired colour.
Panama's craftsmanship is completely handmade and is an important part of Ecuador's cultural heritage. Its ancient production techniques were recognised in 2012 as a UNESCO Intangible World Heritage Site. Depending on the type and degree of weaving given to the straw, Panama takes on different names and qualities. The finest quality can involve up to eight months of manual labour by local weavers.