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Question: The lowdown on Palm Leaf hats...

Dm101

A-List Customer
Messages
496
Location
Maryland
Well...It's finally here.
Arrived today... I set to shaping it immediately. Just dunking it didn't work, I had to sit it in the hot shower for a few minutes to get it softened up. Then I set to shaping it. I'll take updated pics once I get the paracord hatband finished...but here it is as it sits currently!
Cody James - Palm Leaf Plantation Hat.jpg
 

Dm101

A-List Customer
Messages
496
Location
Maryland
I had to add some padding to the sweatband around the forehead area, this hat is REALLY hard!
Like...stiff as a board! I was honestly expecting SOME flexibility in the straw, but as it is...I could take it off and wing it like a frisbee and it might embed itself in the wall.
Now that I think about it, I should have worn it more while it was drying so it fit my L-O shaped head better instead of being more circular...yeah...I better do that today. If I don't...that's a definite headache in the future and a greater chance of the wind taking it.

If I soak it more, will it soften?
Or is this just how straw hats are?
I kinda like the idea of not worrying about it getting out of shape...but if I run into someone with this at church, they're gonna be hurting lol. I can see it now...friendly parishoner loses an eye when going in for a hug...not sure I wanna be the guy.
 

1961MJS

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,354
Location
Norman Oklahoma
Hi, that doesn't look like a Sunbody and if memory serves they're closed anyway. I have several Palm Leaf hats from them and they are pretty hard. Soaking them makes them pliable enough to shape but they dry up pretty quick. Nothing will make them into a Panama.

Later
 

Dm101

A-List Customer
Messages
496
Location
Maryland
Hi, that doesn't look like a Sunbody and if memory serves they're closed anyway. I have several Palm Leaf hats from them and they are pretty hard. Soaking them makes them pliable enough to shape but they dry up pretty quick. Nothing will make them into a Panama.

Later

Oh no....this is a Cody James Palm Leaf straw hat.
Okay, I see...well...I can live with a super stiff brim. Probably why this one has a bound edge. Keep that sharpness under wraps...lol

I think I may raise the crown about 1/2 an inch tonight. It's gotta sit deeper on my head if I'm to keep it on in the wind. That big wide brim is going to catch every breeze, sneeze and gust that exists...lol
 
Last edited:

1961MJS

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,354
Location
Norman Oklahoma
So, I work at the same place as the ex-wife. At work some people do the whole No-Shave November, but I've had a mustache since I was 18, and a beard since I was 23, so I can't help. I started on the Mullet and the ex said I looked Stupid in a Mullet. Duh, I thought that was the point.

Later
 

Dm101

A-List Customer
Messages
496
Location
Maryland
Wow, you're a strong man...
I had to put a whole country-side between myself and my ex.
No chance of paths crossing...
I've got the full beard and bald head, but if it were the other way around...I wouldn't complain not one bit!
 

Keensteen

New in Town
Messages
5
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.

” It also turns golden with age, rather than fade” if only true for people as well!
 

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