Instead of asking “what country makes Panama hats,” the real question is why does Panama make Panama hats famous. The origin of Panama hats may surprise you.
At the time, there were plenty of reasons for foreigners to mistakenly conclude that the hats came from Panama instead of Ecuador. Many Americans went through Panama to get to California during the Gold Rush of the mid-1800s. Thus, Panama is where they first encountered the delightfully lightweight and stylish straw hats that would help guide them on their journey to prosperity. This wrongful assumption of the origin of Panama hats would only be reinforced many years later after Theodore Roosevelt was photographed many times wearing the attractive straw hat while inspecting the Panama Canal.
Perhaps the most definitive moment of Panama hat history occurred when Panama hats were showcased at the 1855 World Fair in Paris. At that time, nobody knew what country makes Panama hats for sure, and so this event would have been the perfect opportunity to clear up the misconception once and for all. However, nowhere was the country of Ecuador mentioned in the World Fair catalog, and so people continued to wonder what country makes Panama hats after all.
By the time that people began to realize that the hats were made in Ecuador instead of Panama, it was too late, and the name had already grown too familiar to change.
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Panama Straw: Raw body (150 sts. per sq. inch)
Color: Faded gray denim
Crown Height: 4 inches
Brim Width: 4 inches
Trim: Distressed silk dupioni ribbon, navy/black flower and top printed feather.
Head size: 22.5 - 23
Black pressure sensitive hat spacers are included with each purchase.