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Darken a Panama Toquilla

loboroco

New in Town
Messages
1
Location
NYC
Hi there,
(First time poster here)

I have what is probably an "average" quality panama hat that is "natural" in color. My preference is for a darker "caramel" kind of color.
Anybody have any thoughts on how one might achieve this? I'm under the impression that the hat can be wetted (dyed?) without harm, and then just be reshaped. But I'm nervous and hesitant to try such a thing. I've heard that possibly Ammonia or rubbing alcohol may naturally oxidize the straw (i.e. speed up it's natural darkening). But again, I'm hesitant.
I've googled till the cows come home, but have found no really useful information; thought I'd give you folks a shot. ;)

Best.
 

fedoracentric

Banned
Messages
1,362
Location
Streamwood, IL
I know they used to sell dyes just for straw hats for those who wanted to change their look. So, it seems like it is possible.
Or you could wear it at night and it would be darker! LOL
 

Lean'n'mean

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,057
Location
Cloud-cuckoo-land
Or you could wear it at night and it would be darker! LOL

:D


Is it straw or palm leaf ? if you've had it some time it may not dye uniformally but that's fine if you don't mind blotched or speckled......you could try tea dying it which will darken it a hue or two but there are no guarantees how it will turn out.
If you like the colour of it when wet then rubbing something like linseed oil very sparingly over it then really wiping it off before it seeps to far into the fibres may be an option.

Other than that go to a hardware store, get a tin of alcahol based wood dye, a colour slightly lighter than you're hoping to end up with, paint it on, let it sink in, then quickly rinse under the tap to remove any excess surface dye.
 

HSS

New in Town
Messages
9
Hi All -

I hope that I don't get tarred and feathered for asking this question and many may consider the thought bordering on blasphemy but please let me explain before you come to any conclusions.

I currently have a Stetson Centerdent Panama in Natural straw color which I absolutely love and wear weekly to synagogue on Saturday throughout the Summer. I would love to get another one of the same hat but was hoping to find potentially a black or dark gray straw for some variety. However, all the colored straw hats I have been able to find seem to be of inferior quality.

I was considering purchasing a second Stetson Centerdent Panama and then I was looking into options of coloring the straw myself. I would only be interested in doing this if it will be done "the right way" in a way that will look nice and be permanent and not that the color will run or chip.

I have googled and searched all over about painting straw hats and only found one youtube video of a guy spray painting his straw cowboy hat white to cover stains. I have seen people putting designs on hats with acrylic paints but that isn't really what I'm looking for, and I see people soaking straw hats in vats of dye which also scares me because I think it will ruin it.

What do the esteemed members of this forum think? Is there a way that I could properly color a panama straw to a darker color either gray or black?

Thanks in advance for your help, and hopefully for not banning me for asking this question. :)
 

jlee562

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,918
Location
San Francisco, CA
I am just spitballing here, but I would think you'd want to dye the hat body before it became a finished hat, because a finished hat will have some amount of stiffener applied.

then if you dyed a body, you'd need a block to shape it back uo, or have it professionally reblocked.

I know the struggle of looking for a black straw...Tesi makes a black parabuntal. I'm waiting for a Worth and Worth sale to grab one of theirs.
 
Messages
16,220
Location
Nederland
I'm sure it can be done, because I have one that is actually painted. Don't know when and how it was done though. In this picture you can see the difference between the outside of the hat (underside: painted) and the inside (above: natural straw). In this case it's white, but there's no reason it could not have been another colour. It does have an effect though, because it probably did harden the hat further.
panama legit_5.jpg
 

HSS

New in Town
Messages
9
I'm sure it can be done, because I have one that is actually painted. Don't know when and how it was done though. In this picture you can see the difference between the outside of the hat (underside: painted) and the inside (above: natural straw). In this case it's white, but there's no reason it could not have been another colour. It does have an effect though, because it probably did harden the hat further.
View attachment 123292
Getting me excited... :D

Anyone have any ideas how I could do it? I was thinking of just spray paint and then a layer of clear coat to seal it?
 

HSS

New in Town
Messages
9
Gotcha. Yeah, that one's not cheap. But There are other ready-made deals out there, I'll bet. I would pay a few bucks more for a factory-dyed product.

If I can't find a reliable method that someone recommends I don't think I'll try... Having an extra Panama for that price can never hurt... But I'm still hoping someone on here can help me out :)
 

HSS

New in Town
Messages
9
Hi All -

I hope that I don't get tarred and feathered for asking this question and many may consider the thought bordering on blasphemy but please let me explain before you come to any conclusions.

I currently have a Stetson Centerdent Panama in Natural straw color which I absolutely love and wear weekly to synagogue on Saturday throughout the Summer. I would love to get another one of the same hat but was hoping to find potentially a black or dark gray straw for some variety. However, all the colored straw hats I have been able to find seem to be of inferior quality.

I was considering purchasing a second Stetson Centerdent Panama and then I was looking into options of coloring the straw myself. I would only be interested in doing this if it will be done "the right way" in a way that will look nice and be permanent and not that the color will run or chip.

I have googled and searched all over about painting straw hats and only found one youtube video of a guy spray painting his straw cowboy hat white to cover stains. I have seen people putting designs on hats with acrylic paints but that isn't really what I'm looking for, and I see people soaking straw hats in vats of dye which also scares me because I think it will ruin it.

What do the esteemed members of this forum think? Is there a way that I could properly color a panama straw to a darker color either gray or black?

Thanks in advance for your help, and hopefully for not banning me for asking this question. :)


So I did it today... Let me know what you think of the results. :)

a.jpg
 

HSS

New in Town
Messages
9
How you do that??
Spray paint??
B
Yup! Spray paint! It really is not hard at all to get good results. If I wanted it to be perfect I would recommend removing the band and having it reattached, instead I spend a long time and a lot of hassle with painters tape to cover the band and I ended up creasing it and getting some paint on it in one spot.

This is what I used:
carbon-mist-rust-oleum-universal-craft-spray-paint-261413-c3_1000.jpg
 

AbbaDatDeHat

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,057
Yup! Spray paint! It really is not hard at all to get good results. If I wanted it to be perfect I would recommend removing the band and having it reattached, instead I spend a long time and a lot of hassle with painters tape to cover the band and I ended up creasing it and getting some paint on it in one spot.

This is what I used: View attachment 127183
Good job man. Takes some nerves for that. It will be interesting to see how it ages with wear/weather. Would you update us from time to time?
Does it smell?
Bowen
 

HSS

New in Town
Messages
9
Good job man. Takes some nerves for that. It will be interesting to see how it ages with wear/weather. Would you update us from time to time?
Does it smell?
Bowen
Thanks, I still don't know if I have enough nerves to wear it yet... lol

I gotta give it a few days to fully dry and maybe even a week or so to see when the smell goes away before I would think about wearing it....
 

HSS

New in Town
Messages
9
Yup! Spray paint! It really is not hard at all to get good results. If I wanted it to be perfect I would recommend removing the band and having it reattached, instead I spend a long time and a lot of hassle with painters tape to cover the band and I ended up creasing it and getting some paint on it in one spot.

This is what I used: View attachment 127183

Truthfully I am pretty satisfied with the color choice... I didn't want black but I wanted a really dark gray which I think this qualifies for...
 

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