Origin Story: Toquilla Straw

Origin Story: Our Toquilla Hats

Behind the scenes with our very first product.

In 2011, we created our very first product: The Panama Hat. A reflection of Ecuadorian culture, our Panama Hat iginated our very own tradition—partnering with skilled artisans to create quality toquilla hats for years to come. Today, each hat we create tells a story of lasting design, quality materials, and responsible production.

The Craft

The art of weaving toquilla straw is passed on by many generations of majority female artisans in two cities–Montecristi and Cuenca. Hat weaving evolved as an industry along the coast of Ecuador during the 1600s, and in 2012, it was added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists. The enduring tradition is now an important part of our supply chain.

Image of different hat brims overlapping

The Materials

Our hats are made by hand from toquilla straw, a sustainably-harvested, renewable resource. The straw is made entirely from palm fronds, which grow among the Andes Mountains. Once the straw is harvested and gathered, it is then prepared to be woven into an intricate, braid-like texture and crafted into a versatile and durable hat.

Image of Palm Fronds hanging up to dry

The Process

Each square inch of woven toquilla straw consists of between 1600 and 2500 hand weaves. It takes Ecuadorian skilled artisans eight hours to weave a single hat by hand. Every toquilla strand is woven meticulously and tightly, allowing the hat to maintain its like-new condition through countless wears.

Group of women weaving hats together

We’re proud to share the story behind our toquilla hats—a testament to the role of craftsmanship in design, quality, and sustainability. This is fewer, better.

Stack of Cuyana Panama Hat and Summer Hats together

Discover our toquilla hat collection. From wide-brim to a classic silhouette, our array of styles is thoughtfully curated to suit any look.

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