Montecristi Hats

Written by James Lyons
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Montecristi hats are a true symbol of quality and craftsmanship. The city of Montecristi in Manabi province, Ecuador is renowned for the weaving of first-rate Panama hats. In fact, an authentic Montecristi may take up to three weeks to properly weave.

Golfers, fisherman, hikers, outdoorsmen, men, women, you all have a reason to wear this unparalleled piece of headwear. Thousands of Panama hats are made every day in the Ecuadoran city, Cuenca, while the people of Montecristi rightfully claim to make the best straw hats in the world. The better Montecristi hats can take up to five months to weave.

What Makes Montecristi Hats So Special?

These hats usually sell for $200 to $750 for a simple Montecristi, with museum-level pieces selling for more than $10,000. The straw used to make these hats is like nothing else on this planet--durable, water resistant, soft, beautiful. The toquilla plant is found in very few parts of the world and is responsible for one of the best hats on the planet.

The production of these hats near the small town of Montecristi consumes the lives of numerous local families. For thousands of years, Ecuadorians have worn woven hats, as displayed in the ancient pre-Columbian ceramic artifacts unveiled in the region. When you look for summer hats remember that the Montecristi is the result of thousands of years of evolving craftsmanship.


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