Panama Hats are 100% handwoven in Ecuador. The straw comes from a palm that only grows in Ecuador, specially on the coast. It is know as Carludovica Palmata or toquilla palm.
The process begins when the toquilla palm leaves are carefully selected and harvested, also by hand.
The palm is cut into thin fibers, the thiner the fiber the finer will be the straw used for the weave
The cut leaves are boiled until they reach a soft texture and the chlorophyll evaporates, turning the green fiber into beige straw.
After boiling, the straw is hung in the open air, under the shade to dry. Once ready, the straw travels to Cuenca and Montecristi, the regions where most of weavers live.