Sunday, September 22, 2013

Montecristi, Ecuador

Historic train

Demonstration of authentic hat making techniques.
The genuine Panama hat has it's origins in Montecristi, Ecuador.

The hat makers generally work to weave the toquilla straw strands for up to one hour at a time before resting.

The following are additional steps to be accomplished after the hat is woven.

 The value of the hat is determined by the fineness of the fiber woven into the hat, as well as the design, the exactness of the construction, etc. It is said that the gentleman who is the premier hat maker does his work late at night, so that the fiber does not dry out as quickly. Depending on the maker, the hats can sell for between $20 and $1200, or even more.

Manta, Ecuador, is the home of the Bototagua button making factory. The buttons are made from  corozo (vegetable Ivory or Ivory nut) and from coconut. The corozo can only be found in Ecuador (and parts of Columbia) I understand.