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MyCubanStore Panama Hats 

By  Alexis Martin

Panama Hats are not made in Panama, like many other products the Panama hats take their name from the place they became famous and were commercialized. The Panama hat is actually hand made in Ecuador, these hats are hand woven from the toquilla fabric which are fabrics from a palm tree of the Ecuadorian coast.

This toquilla fabric is boiled to remove chlorophyll and dried for bleaching. Using this fiber, weavers produce the pattern, the crown and the brim of the hat and complete the process by washing, bleaching, oven treatment, ironing and pressing. Weaving a hat can take from days to eight months, depending on its quality and finesse. This hand woven of the Panama hat was added by UNECO to the "Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity ".

In Cuba guayaberas and hats had always been hand by hand in the early 20th century many these hats were called  Jipijapa hat, the name was given because the hats were usually imported from the Jipijapa Town in Ecuador. These Jipijapa Hats or Panama Hats were the favorite hat worn by Cubans at that time, these hats are super light and very stylish plus it was a hand woven item. 

Start weaving the toquilla fabric to make a Panama Hat

Start weaving the toquilla fabric to make a Panama Hat

Women weaving the Panama hats

Women weaving the Panama hats

This is an art that may be lost if there is not enough market for these hats. At Mycubanstorec.om we are proud to support local weavers and marketers from the small town of Cuenca Ecuador. We pay fair prices and sell the hats are very good price points to make it more accessible and promote this dying art of hand woven toquilla fabric.  

MyCubanStore Panama Hat

MyCubanStore Panama Hat

When you buy a Panama Hat from Mycubanstore you can rest assure its 100% authentic, and you are helping promote and preserve this one of a kind traditional. 

Alexis Martin


I'm a first-generation Cuban immigrant. I have a passion for everything Cuba. I love to share our culture and my expertise in the world-famous Guayabera Shirt. On December 18, 2002, I sold my first Cuban Guayabera shirt online. I fell in love with the process and the fact that this is a business, you always have to be willing to learn. Many things have changed since then, new software services, new concepts. At Mycubanstore.com, we had been able to ride different market waves. We are always humbled and grateful for this privilege of building a future in this great country.

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  1. Gracias! Muy interesante!! I greatly enjoyed the video. I believe that I mentioned before that I bought 3 Panama hats when I visited Panama in 1999 but now only have 1 left. The video has inspired me to make a purchase soon. They were a lot less costly in Panama, but seeing all the work that goes into making them and the cost of importing them I understand better. Thanks again.

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