Question: The lowdown on Palm Leaf hats...

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Dm101, Apr 11, 2020.

  1. Dm101

    Dm101 A-List Customer

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    Last edited: Apr 14, 2020
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  2. Mustang Mike's Hats

    Mustang Mike's Hats A-List Customer

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    Not all straw hats are palm straws. Palm straws, like Sunbody are extremely durable. I have a couple that are in excise of 15 years old and they still look and wear well, even after a couple of reshapes. Palm and Panama, if I recall, are the only two I'm AWARE of that haves these qualities. Other straws like Shantung or Bangor do not have the same qualities, in fact they're not really even straw. They are man-made materials. With a Palm Straw, if you get enough water on them, they will "wilt" but a quick reshape and drying and they're good to go. They may be other materials like this, but I'll acquiesce to our other members on that. All that said, if a palm straw get left out in the sun for looong periods of time, they can dry out to a point that they lose their ability to be reshaped due to the straw just getting too much heat on it. I have seen in a couple of cases where the material has split. That really does take some work on the users part. Hope this helps!
     
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  3. I agree with Mike. If your hat has a leather sweatband it might not like water, but palm hats like SunBody love water and owners often dunk their hats multiple times a day to help keep cool. A good soaking also enables easy shaping of the hat and it retains its shape well once dry. They can be heavy and warm wearing, but they are sturdy.
     
  4. Dm101

    Dm101 A-List Customer

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    Awesome, thanks for the information guys!
    I'm looking forward to getting this new hat in and shaping it. :)
    Trying to get it shaped exactly like my current vintage Resistol that I'm trying not to sweat through again this summer...lol
     
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  5. Dm101

    Dm101 A-List Customer

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    Hmmm...just noticed that the ad billed the material as "Palm Leaf". That's gotta be the same as Palm Straw....o_O
     
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  6. SunBody also calls their material “palm leaf.” I think you’re good.
     
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  7. Dm101

    Dm101 A-List Customer

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    Awe-some...that's a relief to hear, thank you!
     
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  8. Perry Underwood

    Perry Underwood One of the Regulars

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    Location:
    Taiwan
    Might be helpful:

     
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  9. Good to “see” you, Perry. Hope all is well.
     
  10. Hat and Rehat

    Hat and Rehat Call Me a Cab

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    Traditional "panama" hats" are considered straw hats, though toquilla is not a true palm biologically speaking. Palm and palm-like fronds are torn lengthwise into thin strips, then woven together. How thin the strips are determines how flexible, tight and durable the finished hat is. In hats, the generic term straw can mean many things. It can be grasses, coated, twisted paper, cane and cane like-stalk (hemp, for instance) or plastic., besides palm. I recently saw a coconut palm hat on the Bay. The palm leaf type of straw is the best for durability (unless you like plastic), and maybe the first type of straw used in hats centuries ago. Cane straw breaks more easily and paper hates water --- my experience trying to reshape it with water or steam has several times resulted in what looks like "runs" when an individual straw in the weave, perhaps slightly thinner or thicker than the rest, absorbs more water. If there's a way to get rid of the run I haven't figured it out. Hats made from grass straw are the least expensive because the only labor involved in straw production is sorting for size. Grass straw is thin and flat and the most yellow undyed. It also turns golden with age, rather than fade. The cheapest ones are woven of grass about 1/4" wide, have no sweatband and are popular as inexpensive tourist souvenir hats. The peon straw field worker hats are another example as well as the "hillbilly" hats with a ragged, unfinished brim. Grass straw is also braided, then sewn into various styles and used for inexpensive sun hats more popular with women than men. It is fairly water-resistant in conditions short of a downpour but the straw breaks easily when dry.
    I know that's a lot more data than you asked for, but it might come in handy in the future.
     
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  11. Hat and Rehat

    Hat and Rehat Call Me a Cab

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    I should have used narrow as the opposite of wide and thin with thick but figure I got my idea across.
    Cane fibers also are twisted together, then woven. At one point straw hats were a "black box" to me, but once I wrapped my head around the "family" of straws instead of trying to look from the view of individual genus names identifying them in a general way from observation became pretty easy.
     
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  12. Perry Underwood

    Perry Underwood One of the Regulars

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    Location:
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    Thanks, Brent. Today, Taiwan recorded no new confirmed cases. There was a major holiday about ten days ago with many people travelling. The government is concerned about new transmissions, so things have become stricter. Today's news was good news. Hope things are improving in everyone's neck of the woods.
     
  13. Dm101

    Dm101 A-List Customer

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    Great information, thank you!
    I had one of those "Tourist Souvenir" straw hats when I was a kid. Sold it when I got married for $20 amazingly enough at a pawn shop! Guess it wasn't as cheap and worthless as I thought. Ah well...
    This Cody James piece that's on its way appears to be of high quality. I am going to take Perrys advice from the video when shaping it. Thank you for that video by the way @Perry Underwood , That's the info I needed.
     
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  14. Hat and Rehat

    Hat and Rehat Call Me a Cab

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    Brush clean the hat as well as you can before dunking it. I also use my compressor to blow out all the deep dust and dirt. I you have a leather sweatband it's a good idea to condition it first, and essential if it appears old and dry. Steam will really turn one into toast, but water can make 'em dry and brittle too.
     
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  15. Hat and Rehat

    Hat and Rehat Call Me a Cab

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    Location:
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    One more word of caution. Some hat companies, including established ones like American Hat Co, put a coat of polyurathane on their pre creased hats. Don't try to reshape them .... and don't ask me how I know it's a bad idea.
     
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  16. Dm101

    Dm101 A-List Customer

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    Location:
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    Oh! So I'll be using steam on this one to reshape it. I know everywhere says to dunk it or spray it.
    I don't believe this one is coated in plastic though I've seen a video where one was and the narrator used a HEAT GUN to soften the hat. First thing that ran thru my head was "Geez that's gotta have a lotta plastic in it".
    No fake hats for me...
    If it is covered in plastic when I get it...into the fire-pit it goes. $30 bucks...not worth the hassle. If I can't reshape it...it's dead to me.
     
  17. Dm101

    Dm101 A-List Customer

    Messages:
    498
    Location:
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    Welp...looks like I'm not getting the hat.
    I ordered two things off ebay that day.
    One was a scam and I'm going to have to get Ebay involved to get funds refunded.
    The other (new hat) is lost in N.Carolina somewhere and the USPS has no idea where it's at. After this I'm done with ebay...they can go to hell in a flaming bucket.
    :mad::mad::mad:
    From here forward...it's Amazon, Goodwill, face-to-face, or nothing at all...
     

  18. If USPS accepted it it’s the post office’s fault, not eBays. I’ve had a few hats disappear for days only to later pop back up. I’ve had hats some from Texas to me in California by way of Alaska! I’ve had tracking show a hat to be in a city several states away for a week and then the next tracking update shows it is out for delivery. The post office occasionally screws things up, but they usually arrive. If the tracking shows that the post office never entered the package into their system that’s a different story.

    Sorry for the angst, but give it a few days and see if it doesn’t resolve itself.
     
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  19. Dm101

    Dm101 A-List Customer

    Messages:
    498
    Location:
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    No problem, that's good info to hear.
    I'll let it ride...I guess I should take into consideration the situation with COVID-19. They're probably short on personnel.
    Yeah, I should take it easy...
    But I'm holding off on any purchases during this "World Event" from here on out...
    Nothing is working the way it's usually done.
     
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  20. I know that’s right.
     
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