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The $10,000 dollar Panama hat - Page 2

post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan View Post
I like Panama hats but I'm not sure I would spend thousands of dollars.

There's some serious debate over at Fedora Lounge regarding whether anyone ever should. I don't have enough knowledge to offer an opinion, but $10,000 (or even $1,000) is out of my league when it comes to hats, especially when I don't normally wear them. I decided to purchase the Montecristi in part to wear it, but also in part because, having read up on the subject, I really respect the craftsmanship that goes into making them. Also, whenever I picture my "happy place" I'm always on a beach somewhere wearing a Hawaiian shirt and a Panama Hat.
post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Kipling View Post
Now, I feel like ordering one . . .

Me too. I think I may be too young for one, but then again . . .
post #18 of 37
Thread Starter 
Well, I'm too old for one. Not enough time left, for an investment that big. If you're young . . . go for it.
post #19 of 37
At the link good quality Panamas are available for $100 and under. I'd think most anyone here could handle that 'investment' if they were so inclined.
post #20 of 37
For what it is worth one definitely should not go overboard on one of these hats. It is only a hat and hats take a beating in the wearing of them for sure. This is why when it comes to straw I only wear the ordinary ones.

Sure a nice Panama is a great hat but as has been stated earlier they are hot to wear in the finer weaves and also floppy meaning they are subject to being blown around by the wind while wearing unless you have an unusually short brim.


Fine weave Montecristi

I can remember Charles Laughton in an old movie from the thirties wearing one and watching he brim on his hat whipping around the wind so severely that he had to hold on to it to keep it under control. The coarser weaves of Panama's are not so prone to this problem.
post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan View Post
The new BestLife magazine has some nice hats from Kelly Christy in the photos..
Why would you drag an upstart NYC milliner into a conversation about Ecuadorian artisans ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan View Post
I like Panama hats but I'm not sure I would spend thousands of dollars.
One doesn't need to spend thousands on a Brent Black hat when they can the same hat from Panama Bob for a fraction of price.
post #22 of 37
Thread Starter 

Shoe-nut, if you can . . . watch THE LETTER. Superb crime drama with Bette Davis, and Herbert Marshall. Lots, and lots of Panama hats, great looking clothes, lush locations. Set in Malaya.
Tomasso, thank you for your expertise.
post #23 of 37
Thread Starter 

another shot, from The Letter. Great film.
post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Kipling View Post

Shoe-nut, if you can . . . watch THE LETTER. Superb crime drama with Bette Davis, and Herbert Marshall. Lots, and lots of Panama hats, great looking clothes, lush locations. Set in Malaya.
Tomasso, thank you for your expertise.

Looks interesting I will have to do that soon. I do love those old movies for sure!!
post #25 of 37
Thread Starter 
The Letter, is EXCELLENT. Taut crime drama. Bette Davis plays a cold blooded murderess. Possibly her best performance. Lots of atmosphere. High style clothes and decor.
post #26 of 37
I purchased a 500 wspi English Optimo for myself and a C crown for my father from Panama Bob. Both are great hats. I don't think I would purchase a finer weave. My Optimo is already head and shoulders better than my Christys straw. I also agree that a finer weave probably would not breathe as well. It is amazing how fine these hats are. Great vale for the price.
post #27 of 37
Thread Starter 
I believe you. Thanks for your insights. I may order one, for my birthday.
post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing View Post
I have an older panama hat that today would probably be priced at the $1000 point. Not quite the best, but still a nice one.

I understand that the pricing has to do with how fine the weaves are, but I'm not too sure on details.

If you consider the gruelling process it takes to produce one real Panama-Hat, the price is not at all outrageous!
The Indios cultivate the Carludovica Palms, then cut the still closed leaves at the right moment. For that they have to climb up steep slopes through deep, slippery mud, then transport the bundles back to where they live.
The leaves are split with their long thumb nails into thin, thinner, the thinnest strips who are then boiled, separated, dried and stored in many complicated steps. The thinner the fibers, the longer it takes to weave the hats - up to six months for a fino-fino. The fibers are called Paja Toquilla.
The weaver stands on his feet, torso bent over a stand, the emerging hat on another stand below him, weaving round and round, steadily adding more fibres, weaving in steady patterns, that have names and are different from each other.
After the desired size is reached, the hat is then given to other weavers, mostly women, to weave back the hanging strands and make a flat ending, cutting off the overhanging straw.
Still others dye the hats (often before the backweaving), after which the hats are transported back and finished.
The next step is to pound sulphur powder into the hats to make them soft. The pounding is done with simple stones on the floor.
The hats are then either steamed and blocked in Ecuador, ironed with antique looking, primitive irons that they say are best for this purpose and sent all over the world or are sent as rawlings to hatters internationally to be finished there.
Of course buyers snatch them up as soon as they are finished. I´m not sure who makes the biggest profit, the buyers or the retailers who finally sell the hats.

I have been there - it´s really overwhealming. I felt really sorry for the people, working under these circumstances, without proper medical care or basic hygiene.
But there is no other work to be had far and wide and they are glad for this opportunity. The weaving profession is almost dying out, though, not surprisingly. Youngsters often leave the area to go to the cities or to the United States if they are lucky - I doubt if they are better off there...
post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoe-nut View Post
For what it is worth one definitely should not go overboard on one of these hats. It is only a hat and hats take a beating in the wearing of them for sure. This is why when it comes to straw I only wear the ordinary ones.

Sure a nice Panama is a great hat but as has been stated earlier they are hot to wear in the finer weaves and also floppy meaning they are subject to being blown around by the wind while wearing unless you have an unusually short brim.


Fine weave Montecristi

I can remember Charles Laughton in an old movie from the thirties wearing one and watching he brim on his hat whipping around the wind so severely that he had to hold on to it to keep it under control. The coarser weaves of Panama's are not so prone to this problem.

I can't really say I agree with this opinion anymore than I would, "Why buy custom shoes when you're just going to get them dirty on the sidewalk? Famous Footwear is fine."

A fine Panama is a work of art and very comfortable, like linen. If it's not your cup of tea, fine, but to dismiss them out of hand is incorrect. they age wonderfully as well.

N.K.
post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan View Post
The new BestLife magazine has some nice hats from Kelly Christy in the photos.

I like Panama hats but I'm not sure I would spend thousands of dollars.

Oh come on Artisan, anyone who would spend 10,000 bucks or 30,000 bucks on a panama hat would have to be deranged. I love panamas and have one I paid about 400 bucks for. It looks great and rolls up into a tube and shades my head from the sun. 30,000 dollar panama hats is what gets consumerism a bad name.
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