domingo, 21 de febrero de 2016

The panama hat

Hats seem to be out of fashion, but in reality, while the sun is shining, who would it be like the head covering and few hats have the elegance of Panama.

The hat is also known as Panama straw hat or scarf jipijapa. Perhaps the correct name is the straw hat-scarf that is how it is known in the place where it is from, Ecuador. The fact to be known incorrectly as Panama's because it was widely used by the workers (Panamanian and U.S.) who worked on the construction of the Panama Canal.

You will find imitations of Panama made throughout Spanish America, but if we want a good Panama, really good one you have to buy the Canton Montecristi in Ecuador (where the name jipijapa usual), although in the Ecuadorian city of Cuenca is where more copies and also of good quality are produced.

Weaving the Panama

The raw material of Panama is the braided palm leaf straw shawl (Carludovica palmata) and the entire manufacturing process is completely handmade and therefore no two equal panama.

Carludovica palmata

How to know if a good Panama?
The touch that gives this palm leaf shutout is inimitable, but not all have the same quality Panama. The best trick is to have (and not easy) fibers per square inch. If it is less than 300, is of low quality if very good can overcome 2000. Another detail is to see if the edges are cut or if the cuffs are intertwined with the warp itself, but only in very high quality and price. And last, but probably will not let you do it in a store. If Panama is authentic, but not far exceed the 300 fibers, power has passed by rolling a ring.
Detail of the warp. Observe the final edge.

When in 2012 Unesco declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, I think it was not wrong.

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