20 rue des Marchands
        84000 AVIGNON

     Tel.: 04 90 85 39 38
     Fax : 04 90 86 37 31



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The Panama hat is THE hat for the summer for every amateur hat wearer !

Its ivory or whitened colour is a real pleasure to see, and its natural texture is a delight - not only for the look of it, but also to touch, sometimes so close to the material that you forget it is made exclusively of straw and entirely hand made by the Indians of the Equador (South America).

It is very light and provides a comfort and a freshness which is beyond compare. Its mild smell of sulphur and straw reflects its origins and the rituals behind the making of it.

The Mouret House has been a specialist in the sale of Panama hats for several years.
M. Mouret himself goes to Equador on a regular basis to get to know this particular culture and work with the local craftsmen of the Montecristi region (Manabi) and then selects the most beautiful panama styles in the world for you !

 

Panama Borsalino :
Borsalino is the most prestigious make in Europe, the reason behind it being that it has the most beautiful, elegant and refined shapes. Only the most beautiful materials are used to make the Borsalino style - hare skin for the felt hats and Monticristi straw (Equador) for the Panama hats. The style which is designed in white straw is exceptionally light. Its shape is one of the most beautiful Borsalino styles and requires no further explanation. It is also trimmed with a grain of black silk. Please note, this panama hat cannot be folded. To get a bit of the history behind it, Lionel Jospin chose this style when he came to visit to our boutique in Summer !
Sizes 55 to 61 : from 279 € inc. tax



Colonial Montecristi :

The particularly fine woven effect (requires about 3 months to be woven by hand) of this panama is very striking. Its colonial shape, including a fold marked out along the edge means that it can be folded and rolled up. It is sold in a balsa wood box, is extremely light (aprox. 60g) and is particularly popular with experts. Also trimmed with a grain of brown. Its natural colouring has been lightly whitened by a sulphur flame according to tradition.
(Sizes 57-59-61). from 300€ to 700 € aprox. price, as each panama is unique. (varying according to the fluctuation of the dollar in the exchange rate)

 

Panama Cuenca :
This Panama style is generally the one you would start off with. As it is made of slightly courser material and has a very simple shape, it has all the qualities of a genuine panama hat, since it is after all, a panama style! Also completely hand woven (which requires 4-5 days work), it attracts the neophytes by its very low price : (45 € (S-M-L-XL). It is of a very supple texture and although it is able to be folded in Equador (very humid country), it is not advised to fold in up in a more dry country. Trimmed with by black elastic.



Panama Montecristi extra fino :
The Mouret house, specialists in panama hats, would advise you to contact Monsieur. Mouret (+ 33 4 90 85 39 38) for all purchases and enquiries regarding the more elegant extra fine and Ultra Fino panama styles (prices from 750 to 1200 €). He will be able to advise you on prices if you have a budget to stick to, and will also help you choose the best shape to suit you.

© SARL MOURET

PANAMA - TRUE OR FALSE

PANAMA IS A SHAPE OF HAT?
FALSE !
Panama is actually a material : a fibre derived from young shoots of palm trees (carludivia palmita) from Equador, from which we get the name "la paja toquilla". There are several versions available: Borsalino, planter, colonial, western, etc... and also in all the feminine forms : wide brimmed styles, bell shaped... but still in the form of a cap or visor.
It is especially well known in the form of men's hats.

THE PANAMA STYLE ORIGINATES FROM THE COUNTRY PANAMA
FALSE !

The panama, contrary to what its name would suggest, comes exclusively from Equador. The origin of its name is "sombrero fino de paja toquilla". It was the workers who were ploughing the Panama channel in 1881 who discovered the remarkable qualities of these hats and then made the style popular in the United States and in Europe.
Thus it was christened, although somewhat wrongly, "Panama hat", which does not please the people from Equador at all, who continue to call it sombrero de paja toquilla, but given that the other name stuck, they consent to calling it "panama" for the sake of exportation.

A REAL PANAMA HAT CAN BE FOLDED
TRUE AND FALSE !
The more fine a panama hat is, the better it can be folded and rolled up. A panama hat made of coarse straw will quickly get broken if it is folded, but it doesn't mean that it is any less of a genuine article. On the other hand, certain panama styles are specifically designed to retain their shape for years; they must never be folded at all and will even break if proper care is not taken. The panama hat which can be folded must be very fine (generally costing more than 150€), and preferably a colonial style (the fold is already marked out) Even a panama which can be folded should not be left folded or rolled up for more than a week.

A REAL PANAMA HAT IS EXPENSIVE
FALSE !
There is a range of prices for a panama hat, but prices will vary according to the fineness of the straw. The more course the material is, the more quickly it can be woven (aprox. 4 days), and the less expensive it is. The ones which are made from a coarser material are sold from 49€, but it is true to say that the finest panama hats(the ones which come from Montecristi) can cost up to 890€ or more in boutiques in Europe or in the USA. But bearing in mind that it requires about 10 months to weave one single panama hat, it is apparent that it isn't really as expensive as all that!


PANAMA HATS ARE WOVEN BY HAND
TRUE !
The weaving is done entirely by hand. The workers also use their nails to extract the fibres from the leaves of dried palm trees.
A hat is woven by one person, seated (in Cuenca) or standing up, leaning over his work (in Montecristi). When the base is ready, the hat is then handed over to someone else who will finish off the edges, still by hand, and finish it with a woven stitch called 'remate' point.

THE FINEST PANAMA HATS ARE THE MONTECRISTI ONES
TRUE AND FALSE !

If it true, in a general sense, that are the Montecristi styles which are the finest, lightest and which have the tightest and most regular woven stitches, then the term "montecristi" would refer to not only the place of origin, but also the way it is woven. The stitch is not the same as the one used in a cuenca or a brisa style.
We therefore have Montecristi styles which are more coarse than the cuenca fino styles, but this is not very often the case.

SOME PANAMA STYLES ARE IMPERMEABLE !
TRUE !
The Montecristi fino styles in which the weaving is very tight can be impermeable if they are not treated. But be aware that panama hats which have been treated can lose their shape in the rain!

A REAL PANAMA HAT IS NOT FRAGILE.
TRUE AND FALSE !
In fact, the panama which has a very raw finishing is very supple, and even flexible, so it cannot be broken. However, if it is bent too often and without proper care and attention, it can become very fragile. On the other hand, the more defined the finishing of a panama is, the more breakable it becomes, and especially if it is handles roughly when putting it on and taking it off. Certain precautions must therefore be taken in order to ensure that your panama will last:

1/ Do not grip it too tightly (or at least no not exerce any pressure on it) whilst wearing it, and you should pick it up preferably by the edge.
(We have set up a system which allows for your panama to be strengthened at its weak point, and you can request this service before every purchase)

2/ During dry periods, consider spraying it from time to time with a facial mister.

IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO TELL A REAL PANAMA FROM A FAKE ONE
FALSE !
A real panama is hand woven, and so at the top of the body of the hat, you can see the start of the weave in the form of a rosette/rose (the fake panamas do not have this), and on the other hand, the majority of fake panamas are made of cellulose and do not feel like straw.

THE PANAMA HAT IS A LUXURY ITEM
TRUE AND FALSE !
Real panama styles start off at 49€, but it is true that a particularly fine hat will start at the price of 145€. If it is considered a luxury article, this has more to do with its prestige than its price. Worn by well known people world-wide in show business (Mastroianni, Gabin, Noiret,Paul Newman...), or in the world of politics(Roosevelt, Krouchtchev, Gustav V King of Sweden, Churchill,...), it therefore acquired its sense of nobility. On the other hand, all the big names connected to "luxury" have made their mark on certain panama styles (Lanvin, Hermes,...) and have cultivated this luxurious environment from the image of the panama hat. But if the panama hat is held in such high regard, it is first and foremost due to the fact that it is a hand crafted article which is completely hand made, according to an ancient ritual, and a tradition which has remained unchanged since its origin in 1630. The panama is a hat which tells a story. Each hat has its history: the sweat and hard work, the skill and "know-how" of the worker, the sun and the earth of Equador, the culture of a country, the pride and the simple way of life of the craftsmen

The panama is a hat with a soul !