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Panama Hat Thread

fedoralover

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,006
Location
Great Northwest
Vintage Monti

Picked this up off ebay a while back. Vintage Monticristi, not a super high count on the weave, around 400wpsi. but I like it and the price was right. $26.00

DSCN0738.jpg


It looked like this when I bought it. The vintage ribbon is one I took off an old boater that was trashed and had Mike Miller in Eugene Or. put the ribbon on and reblock it for me. It turned out pretty decent.
monticristi.jpg

fedoralover
 
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Steve327

New in Town
Messages
14
Location
Florida
Hopefully this works, as it is only my second post on the lounge. Here is my Panama from the Panama Hat Company of St. Augustine. 2.5in. brim, woven in Ecuador and blocked/finished in store. Its what I consider my first "real" hat and is perfect for Florida weather.
 

new2hats

A-List Customer
Messages
301
Location
SC
I have some panama hat maintenance questions, if anyone can give some words of wisdom?

1. some broken straw ends on the bottom outer brim of the hat- (I think this where the backweave ends, or is that on top?). Should I cut them? I have been pushing them down and pressing them into the hat. Contemplating pounding it with hammer lightly. Or, what do you do with broken ends in general? I wonder if some of the broken strands on the inner crown make my head itch. Ive seen some clearish tape on one of my hats, how to get?

2. Is it possible to shellac lightly or coat the hat? I know they are supposed to be airy, some of the hats I own have a light coating. Not sure if that will need to be replaced.

3. When out and around, is it best to put the hat upside down on the crown, or hang it? If I try to hang it, it seems that the hanger will need to be thick or padded so it does not poke through the hat?

4. How many years do the hats last about? Will they dry out (hence question #2), or crumble over time? I notice that as careful as I am with the hats, they do seem very fragile, especially if I bump my head in the car or when I don/doff the hat.

5. It seems that some of the strands on my older hat are turning dark. Wonder why that is?!

Thanks for any input!
 
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new2hats

A-List Customer
Messages
301
Location
SC
I have some panama hat maintenance questions, if anyone can give some words of wisdom?

1. some broken straw ends on the bottom outer brim of the hat- (I think this where the backweave ends, or is that on top?). Should I cut them? I have been pushing them down and pressing them into the hat. Contemplating pounding it with hammer lightly. Or, what do you do with broken ends in general? I wonder if some of the broken strands in the inner crown are making my head itch. Ive seen some clearish tape on one of my hats, how to get?

2. Is it possible to shellac lightly or coat the hat? I know they are supposed to be airy, some of the hats I own have a light coating. Not sure if that will need to be replaced.

3. When out and around, is it best to put the hat upside down on the crown, or hang it? If I try to hang it, it seems that the hanger will need to be thick or padded so it does not poke through the hat?

4. How many years do the hats last about? Will they dry out (hence question #2), or crumble over time? I notice that as careful as I am with the hats, they do seem very fragile, especially if I bump my head in the car or when I don/doff the hat.

5. It seems that some of the strands on my older hat are turning dark. Wonder why that is?!

Thanks for any input!
 

wandering-trader

New in Town
Messages
38
Location
Michigan
I have some panama hat maintenance questions, if anyone can give some words of wisdom?

1. some broken straw ends on the bottom outer brim of the hat- (I think this where the backweave ends, or is that on top?). Should I cut them? I have been pushing them down and pressing them into the hat. Contemplating pounding it with hammer lightly. Or, what do you do with broken ends in general? I wonder if some of the broken strands in the inner crown are making my head itch. Ive seen some clearish tape on one of my hats, how to get?

2. Is it possible to shellac lightly or coat the hat? I know they are supposed to be airy, some of the hats I own have a light coating. Not sure if that will need to be replaced.

3. When out and around, is it best to put the hat upside down on the crown, or hang it? If I try to hang it, it seems that the hanger will need to be thick or padded so it does not poke through the hat?

4. How many years do the hats last about? Will they dry out (hence question #2), or crumble over time? I notice that as careful as I am with the hats, they do seem very fragile, especially if I bump my head in the car or when I don/doff the hat.

5. It seems that some of the strands on my older hat are turning dark. Wonder why that is?!

Thanks for any input!
1. I just apply a thin bead of medium cyanoacrylate glue, and spread to where it's barely visible while holding the loose strands together. I made a real seamless pinch repair this way.

2. Don't use deck water sealer. I ruined a really cheap modern panama this way by warping the straw. Not sure about shellack though.

3. I always prefer to use a hat hook when available, but will put it upside down on the crown when no hook is available. Keep in mind my panama is ~15 WPI.

4. With proper care, any hat can last for tens of years. In the case of panamas, the straw can dry out. Best thing to do is coat the body and brim in a specific way which was done to mine after production, so I don't know what this method was. Regarding brittleness, panamas are the most flexible straw hat type.

5. Not sure why certain strands of straw turn dark in older panamas. It may be due to differences in the natural fiber that was processed.

Hope this helps. Anyone else feel free to correct me where I wasn't sure.
 

DNO

One Too Many
Messages
1,815
Location
Toronto, Canada
I have some panama hat maintenance questions, if anyone can give some words of wisdom?

1. some broken straw ends on the bottom outer brim of the hat- (I think this where the backweave ends, or is that on top?). Should I cut them? I have been pushing them down and pressing them into the hat. Contemplating pounding it with hammer lightly. Or, what do you do with broken ends in general? I wonder if some of the broken strands in the inner crown are making my head itch. Ive seen some clearish tape on one of my hats, how to get?

2. Is it possible to shellac lightly or coat the hat? I know they are supposed to be airy, some of the hats I own have a light coating. Not sure if that will need to be replaced.

3. When out and around, is it best to put the hat upside down on the crown, or hang it? If I try to hang it, it seems that the hanger will need to be thick or padded so it does not poke through the hat?

4. How many years do the hats last about? Will they dry out (hence question #2), or crumble over time? I notice that as careful as I am with the hats, they do seem very fragile, especially if I bump my head in the car or when I don/doff the hat.

5. It seems that some of the strands on my older hat are turning dark. Wonder why that is?!

Thanks for any input!

Regarding #4: I wear a Cuenca that is at least 50 years old and it is as good as the day it was made.
 

nice hat dude!

One Too Many
Messages
1,168
Location
Lumby,B.C. Canada
Thinking of purchasing a Panama when I go to Cuba in February,yes I know true Panamas are made in Ecuador.
Just curious if anyone has any knowledge of a decent shop in Havana or Varadero,and apprx cost for a decent hat down there?I realize they range from around $150.00 to $25000.00 for the top of the line B Brent Black hat here.
 

memphislawyer

Practically Family
Messages
771
Location
Memphis, Tn
Love my Panama Bob. Got me an Ebay special and I get compliments galore. Probably a wider brim then I think I look good in, but hey, it is for sun protection so probably is better for me.

The brim has gonna lost its shape. Any ways to kinda get it to snap more like a fedora than the 'umbrella effect"?

Also, as far as a not so dressy fedora, something I can pack in a suitcase or not have to baby it, any suggestions? Does Bailey make a crushable or packable one?

Ok, second dress fedora in a Panama Bob. I got the ebay one for like $29 shipped so this time around, any suggestions on what to look for?
 

jlee562

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,837
Location
San Francisco, CA
Thinking of purchasing a Panama when I go to Cuba in February,yes I know true Panamas are made in Ecuador.
Just curious if anyone has any knowledge of a decent shop in Havana or Varadero,and apprx cost for a decent hat down there?I realize they range from around $150.00 to $25000.00 for the top of the line B Brent Black hat here.

I don't know that there's really a hat industry in Cuba. I certainly don't remember seeing any hat stores while I was there,granted that was 11 years ago and I wasn't looking for a hat store.

There's a restaurant called La Mina by the Plaza de Armas in Old Havana that as pretty tasty though!
 

RBH

Bartender

nice hat dude!

One Too Many
Messages
1,168
Location
Lumby,B.C. Canada
I don't know that there's really a hat industry in Cuba. I certainly don't remember seeing any hat stores while I was there,granted that was 11 years ago and I wasn't looking for a hat store.

There's a restaurant called La Mina by the Plaza de Armas in Old Havana that as pretty tasty though!

Thanks for the tip on the restaurant will check it out in Feb.Doing the touristy thing with the wife in Varadero but will be doing a side trip into Havana.
 

danofarlington

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,122
Location
Arlington, Virginia
4. How many years do the hats last about? Will they dry out (hence question #2), or crumble over time? I notice that as careful as I am with the hats, they do seem very fragile, especially if I bump my head in the car or when I don/doff the hat.

How many years a fine Panama hat lasts, in my experience, depends on how old my Stetson Panama hat is. It's an Optimo style with a 2 5/8 brim, more or less, that I bought at a flea market. My local hat man said it was from the 1920s, and so either it's that old, or as late as the 40s. I see men from the 1920s and 1930s movies and newsreels wearing hats like mine. The straw is fine, still supple. I wore it overseas a few years ago, and as it was falling from my lap onto the airplane floor, I grabbed it by the brim and it tore a small rip in it. But later, I grabbed my relatively new Borsalino fine Panama hat by the brim too hard, and tore a rip in it. The hats are as much as 80 years apart in age, but they behave similarly. The bottom line is that there will be wear and tear on any hat; if you baby them, they last longer; Panama hats can live for a long time, probably much longer than my own experience; and you should expect wear and tear on your hats if you wear them a lot, and not be too depressed if they get ruined or damaged somehow.
 

nice hat dude!

One Too Many
Messages
1,168
Location
Lumby,B.C. Canada
How many years a fine Panama hat lasts, in my experience, depends on how old my Stetson Panama hat is. It's an Optimo style with a 2 5/8 brim, more or less, that I bought at a flea market. My local hat man said it was from the 1920s, and so either it's that old, or as late as the 40s. I see men from the 1920s and 1930s movies and newsreels wearing hats like mine. The straw is fine, still supple. I wore it overseas a few years ago, and as it was falling from my lap onto the airplane floor, I grabbed it by the brim and it tore a small rip in it. But later, I grabbed my relatively new Borsalino fine Panama hat by the brim too hard, and tore a rip in it. The hats are as much as 80 years apart in age, but they behave similarly. The bottom line is that there will be wear and tear on any hat; if you baby them, they last longer; Panama hats can live for a long time, probably much longer than my own experience; and you should expect wear and tear on your hats if you wear them a lot, and not be too depressed if they get ruined or damaged somehow.

That is of course if you're not shelling out $25000.00 for the B Brent Black top of the line hat.
 

danofarlington

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,122
Location
Arlington, Virginia
You bring up a good reason not to pay too awful much for a top Panama hat. A really nice one would be good to have, but unless that hat is going to sit on a shelf during one's lifetime, the wearer exposes them to risk, whether damage, theft or other loss.
 

nice hat dude!

One Too Many
Messages
1,168
Location
Lumby,B.C. Canada
You bring up a good reason not to pay too awful much for a top Panama hat. A really nice one would be good to have, but unless that hat is going to sit on a shelf during one's lifetime, the wearer exposes them to risk, whether damage, theft or other loss.

Yea I've chased my straw cowboy hats across many a parking lot when mother nature decided to blow her nose on occasion which she seems to do when you don't seem to have a free hand,but these aren't super expensive hats,under $200.00 they seem to be able to take a pretty good beating though but I'd be pretty choked if one of the better ones got knocked around like that.
 
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