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Panama Hat Thread

Genuine Classic Gangster

One of the Regulars
Messages
163
Location
Canada
I would say that and the sweatband are the two knocks on it.

I agree with that.

And another knock may be that they feel really stiff and hard, whereas I've read commentary on other hatters' websites that Panama hats are supposed to feel soft and supple.

However, Panama Hats Direct also addresses this point on their website (or they did at one point) and said they have to use hat stiffener to help the hat maintain its shape over time.

I've only ever owned three Panama hats so far, two of which are from Panama Hats Direct and one of which was a $120ish OTR Magill hat that I had bought many years ago, and all of them have been stiff and hard, so I don't personally have any frame of reference to know whether it's good thing or bad thing, and/or if it's possible for Panama hats to retain their shape over time with little or no stiffener.

But I definitely don't think the Panama Hats Direct hats are soft or supple.

Hopefully someone who knows more about this issue can chime in about that and whether Panama Hats Direct does a good or bad job with how stiff their hats are.
 
Messages
10,605
Location
vancouver, canada
I agree with that.

And another knock may be that they feel really stiff and hard, whereas I've read commentary on other hatters' websites that Panama hats are supposed to feel soft and supple.

However, Panama Hats Direct also addresses this point on their website (or they did at one point) and said they have to use hat stiffener to help the hat maintain its shape over time.

I've only ever owned three Panama hats so far, two of which are from Panama Hats Direct and one of which was a $120ish OTR Magill hat that I had bought many years ago, and all of them have been stiff and hard, so I don't personally have any frame of reference to know whether it's good thing or bad thing, and/or if it's possible for Panama hats to retain their shape over time with little or no stiffener.

But I definitely don't think the Panama Hats Direct hats are soft or supple.

Hopefully someone who knows more about this issue can chime in about that and whether Panama Hats Direct does a good or bad job with how stiff their hats are.
The PHD super fino I just received is both.....the crown is stiffer than my other Panamas but the brim is much more supple. My Panama from Mike at NW Hats is more supple, more refined but then I paid twice the amount of the PHD.
 
Messages
19,005
Location
Central California
I agree with that.

And another knock may be that they feel really stiff and hard, whereas I've read commentary on other hatters' websites that Panama hats are supposed to feel soft and supple.

However, Panama Hats Direct also addresses this point on their website (or they did at one point) and said they have to use hat stiffener to help the hat maintain its shape over time.

I've only ever owned three Panama hats so far, two of which are from Panama Hats Direct and one of which was a $120ish OTR Magill hat that I had bought many years ago, and all of them have been stiff and hard, so I don't personally have any frame of reference to know whether it's good thing or bad thing, and/or if it's possible for Panama hats to retain their shape over time with little or no stiffener.

But I definitely don't think the Panama Hats Direct hats are soft or supple.

Hopefully someone who knows more about this issue can chime in about that and whether Panama Hats Direct does a good or bad job with how stiff their hats are.


My two newest PHD hats are not overly stiff…the weave etc. also goes into how the hat will feel. I agree that the crowns are stiffer than the brims but it’s not in a cheap or nasty way. I think it’s just about right…particularly for how I like my straw hats. My knocks of PHD are their sweatbands (much improved) are still not great and their ribbon work isn’t what I want. I’d also like a taller crown.
 

Short Balding Guy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,750
Location
Minnesota, USA
I would like to contribute to the conversation and show the couple of panama hats I acquired late winter from PHD. I ordered a Montecristi Fino Havana and a Montecristi Super Fino Havana . The updates PHD sent along the construction process, assembly and packaging for shipment I appreciated. I had not ordered from them in the past.

Why these hats: I desired the hats to be working frequent wear hats. I have higher quality vintage panamas that I wish to wear on "special occasions." Additionally the prices were attractive, for me. A gray ribbon on the Super Fino and a black on the Fino.

i-XkC4LVc-M.jpg


The hats arrived safely and on time. The two hats came in a box with them nestled together. This did necessitate me using the hat steamer to correct the brims. Crowns came as expected. They are plenty stiff enough to handle standard wear. As others have noted I wish they used blocks that were taller. A lot of factors go into making the crown higher. I suspect it might be too challenging given their business status (near the closure of on-line selling).

Brims are plenty stiff. The Super is lighter brim weight and moves in the breeze, while the Fino is grand hat in a light-medium wind wind.

As to ribbon work I will have to wear them to find out what I wish to do - replace or wear out and then replace. Either choice I will replace with a higher standard of ribbon and ribbon work. Their is nothing wrong with the ribbons that came on the hats. The people I meet in person will have no idea the ribbons are glued on.

i-d5XQDf4-M.jpg


i-RZHHMtQ-M.jpg


Below is the Super Fino.

i-BwbFS4N-M.jpg


Below is the Fino.

i-hsPfZRH-M.jpg


The brims are well finished.

i-GpqdPGJ-M.jpg


Other posters have commented on the light leather sweats. I expected this quality and therefore am satisfied. One challenge was that the gray Super Fino was bigger than the other by a 1/8". Solved the fit with a small piece of foam. The hats fit and wear light on the head. The Super Fino also has a piece of foam in the front crease adding support to the crease.

I hope my contribution to the thread assists others.

BTW: This morning the "Feel Like Temp" is 33'f. I am several weeks away from wearing the hats outside.

Cheers, Eric -
 
Messages
10,605
Location
vancouver, canada
I would like to contribute to the conversation and show the couple of panama hats I acquired late winter from PHD. I ordered a Montecristi Fino Havana and a Montecristi Super Fino Havana . The updates PHD sent along the construction process, assembly and packaging for shipment I appreciated. I had not ordered from them in the past.

Why these hats: I desired the hats to be working frequent wear hats. I have higher quality vintage panamas that I wish to wear on "special occasions." Additionally the prices were attractive, for me. A gray ribbon on the Super Fino and a black on the Fino.

i-XkC4LVc-M.jpg


The hats arrived safely and on time. The two hats came in a box with them nestled together. This did necessitate me using the hat steamer to correct the brims. Crowns came as expected. They are plenty stiff enough to handle standard wear. As others have noted I wish they used blocks that were taller. A lot of factors go into making the crown higher. I suspect it might be too challenging given their business status (near the closure of on-line selling).

Brims are plenty stiff. The Super is lighter brim weight and moves in the breeze, while the Fino is grand hat in a light-medium wind wind.

As to ribbon work I will have to wear them to find out what I wish to do - replace or wear out and then replace. Either choice I will replace with a higher standard of ribbon and ribbon work. Their is nothing wrong with the ribbons that came on the hats. The people I meet in person will have no idea the ribbons are glued on.

i-d5XQDf4-M.jpg


i-RZHHMtQ-M.jpg


Below is the Super Fino.

i-BwbFS4N-M.jpg


Below is the Fino.

i-hsPfZRH-M.jpg


The brims are well finished.

i-GpqdPGJ-M.jpg


Other posters have commented on the light leather sweats. I expected this quality and therefore am satisfied. One challenge was that the gray Super Fino was bigger than the other by a 1/8". Solved the fit with a small piece of foam. The hats fit and wear light on the head. The Super Fino also has a piece of foam in the front crease adding support to the crease.

I hope my contribution to the thread assists others.

BTW: This morning the "Feel Like Temp" is 33'f. I am several weeks away from wearing the hats outside.

Cheers, Eric -
Friday the temp hit into the low 80's...rare for April here. I broke out the Panama for an afternoon drinking beer on a sunny patio. Alas, the grey skies and rain are back......so back in the box goes the Panama til late June/July!
 

Short Balding Guy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,750
Location
Minnesota, USA
Friday the temp hit into the low 80's...rare for April here. I broke out the Panama for an afternoon drinking beer on a sunny patio. Alas, the grey skies and rain are back......so back in the box goes the Panama til late June/July!

Sounds like a special afternoon. glad you could enjoy the opportunity. I see a ten day forecast with high temps touching 70'f in a week. Felt weather lasts in my neighborhood.
 

AndyR

One of the Regulars
Messages
268
Location
Illinois
I agree with that.

And another knock may be that they feel really stiff and hard, whereas I've read commentary on other hatters' websites that Panama hats are supposed to feel soft and supple.

However, Panama Hats Direct also addresses this point on their website (or they did at one point) and said they have to use hat stiffener to help the hat maintain its shape over time.

I've only ever owned three Panama hats so far, two of which are from Panama Hats Direct and one of which was a $120ish OTR Magill hat that I had bought many years ago, and all of them have been stiff and hard, so I don't personally have any frame of reference to know whether it's good thing or bad thing, and/or if it's possible for Panama hats to retain their shape over time with little or no stiffener.

But I definitely don't think the Panama Hats Direct hats are soft or supple.

Hopefully someone who knows more about this issue can chime in about that and whether Panama Hats Direct does a good or bad job with how stiff their hats are.
I would consider mine soft and supple, especially the brim. Of course I expect some level of stiffness to hold the shape of the crown, but I wouldn't consider it excessive at all. BTW, I would never consider it a roll up either.
 
Last edited:

JC Montecristi Hat

New in Town
Messages
34
Location
Manta, Manabí, Ecuador
Hello everyone.
I bring you some information. If you look at this hat, the first thing you will think is that it is a Cuenca hat. It meets certain conditions; the star at the top of the crown; it does not have 6 rings, and this dyed. But these are generalities; we are not talking about explicit things.
1683079727613.jpg
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1683079727627.jpg


Let's analyze this in more detail.
The star on the top of the crown is not exclusive of Cuencas hats; you can find very similar hats in Peru and Colombia. The trick is to know how to identify the shape of the star; if you have a Cuenca nearby, you can check that the star is not the same. The number of rings is less than that of a Montecristi, but they are too far apart to be from a Cuenca hat.
I dyed the straw in my workshop; there is not much mystery; anyone with access to the materials and recipes can do it; I created my own recipe.

It is known as a simplified Montecristi; they are not usually bought by foreign sellers, for two reasons:
1. You can't sell them as Montecristis because they similar like a Cuenca hat.
2. The price is little higher than a Cuenca, so it is more convenient to buy a Cuenca hat.

I think this technique is superior to the Cuenca llano. The origin of this technique is due to the training given by Cuenca weavers.
 
Messages
19,005
Location
Central California
They will once the glue comes undone that is causing the ends of the bow to stay attached to the rest of the ribbon.

That's what happened to my first hat from them, which had a glued ribbon.


I’ve had a few of them for at least five years and I’ve never had the bow or ribbon come undone. I think it’s cheap, but in my experience it’s held together. Maybe you use your Panama hats harder than I do? I opt for a more durable “straw” hats when I’m going to be sweating a lot or doing anything that requires more robust gear.
 
I bought this Lamson-Hubbard at an estate sale here in town a couple of years ago. It's from a local store that closed in 1960 (after 40 years) and, since it didn't fit, that was why I was hanging on to it. But it spent all its time in a box, so I was thinking of selling it. Then my wife tried it on, it fit and it looks great on her. Win-win!

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1947:

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