Learn the material we use and share with us the passion for hat making.
When you think about summer hats you think about straw. The material has long been used by humans for different purposes. In general, straw is a generic term used for dried cornstalks, leaves and fibre plants, which serve as bedding, a source of nutrients for agricultural land or even as animal feed. Straw is also used as fuel or for craft or artistic purposes. These include the weaving of straw, as in the production of straw hats, which are divided up into four main types: Panama straw Raffia, paper straw and hemp.
In our opinion, the best material for a summer hat is the Panana straw. Maybe we are not too original, but why do we need to reinvent the wheel when Panama straw is our perfect ally for summer hats?
Many people believe that Panama is a type of hat, they refer to the classic Fedora with black gros-grain band. But in reality, Panama is a type of straw!
The Panama hat is known worldwide as a quality straw hat made of Carloduvica Palmata, a weaving with palm toquilla straw which is a very widespread plant in Ecuador, the native country of Panama. Handmade and from artisanal manufacturing, the quality of the weaving depends on the fineness of the straw and the way it is woven. There are two major grading systems used for Panama straw, fine, extra-fine, etc, and a number grade. Therefore, there are several types of weaving quality, ranging from the most classical to the most luxurious - the Panama Montecristi.
With a very fine straw and weaving, the hat becomes lighter and pleasant to wear; it dries much less and becomes more resilient while going more and more flexible
Another material that has been used for millennia and now has a revival is the raffia: like a straw is made from palm leaves making this material environmentally friendly. It is often crocheted, and it is durable and easy to dye.
Toyo, is another popular material for summer hats. Frequently referred to Toyo as Toyo straw, it is not made from straw at all, but rather from a shellacked rice paper that is then woven into a hat. This material comes from Japan, and it has been used for centuries.
Toyo is shinier and smoother than the straw it is for a more refined profile. The Toyo, made from viscose, has multiple assets and reunites several material characteristics such as flexibility, waterproofness and resilience.
Another type of straw from which hats are made is hemp with its three sub-categories of Abaca, Sinamay and Sisal. Abaca is extracted from the fiber banana and is particularly kind to the skin and hard-wearing. Sinamay straw is a particularly dimensionally stable yet elegant-looking straw. Sisal, which is created from the leaves of the Agave sisalana, is more refined and lustrous than the other hemp fibers and is used primarily to create elegant occasion wear hats or hair accessories.
Another popular kind of straw is corn straw and the unforgettable Florence straw: created at the beginning of the 14th century, it was used merely as sun protection until the 18th century, so much so that in the 16th century there was a category of professions exclusively for straw hat producers. But the hat is an accessory, and from the 18th century on, in Florence, spring wheat started to be used, a cereal that was typical of the Signa area, which is sown very thickly and harvested whilst very young in order to take advantage fully of its shine and thin width. The shape could either be fioretto, which means with a very large brim to protect the ladies from the sun, or a truncated cone shape.
So from as early as the 18th century, before Gucci, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Cavalli e Tuscany has always been a city of fashion victims!
Also from the 18th century, the product started to be exported. It became known as Leghorn, the English name for the town of Livorno, because from Livorno it was exported all over the world.
Buying a straw hat in Florence, will not only enhance your image but will also prove your good taste and your love for exclusive and peculiar accessories and high-quality sewing, which is what makes Florence’s straw hats unique products throughout the world.
Since Cleopatra’s time, linen has been used as fabric for clothing. Linen is woven from flax, an incredibly durable fiber, much stronger than cotton. The inherent strength of Linen allows for a fabric that is light enough to breathe while retaining its durability. This translates into a fabric well suited for the construction of hats worn in warmer climates.
If you are looking for another natural fiber other than cotton, linen should be suitable for you.
Cotton is one of the natural fibers used in making hats. Soft and breathable material makes cotton one of the best choices for summer hat lovers. Besides, cotton is hypoallergenic. So many of our clients with skin conditions chose our 100% cotton hats.
Cotton is also excellent when it comes to controlling moisture and insulation. Their ability to absorb moisture makes them suitable for making the headbands of caps.
Which kind of material do you prefer in the summer?