The Panama is a traditional brimmed hat of Ecuadorian origin that is made from the plaited leaves of the toquilla straw plant. Straw Hats woven in Ecuador, like many other 19th and early 20th century South American goods, were shipped first to the Isthmus of Panama before sailing to their destinations. For some products, the name of their point of international sale rather than their place of domestic origin stuck, hence “Panama hats”
There are two main processes in a Panama hat’s creation: weaving and blocking. The number of weaves per square inch determines which category the Panama fits in to, beginning with Brisa, Fino, Superfino and the Montecristi Superfino.