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Cheap tourist Panama hats, and how to avoid them

Cheap tourist Panama hats, and how to avoid them

When I first arrived in Ecuador in 2007, and bought a new Panama and was terribly disappointed. Within a week it had shrunk and no longer fitted. The brim was all wonky and fraying, and I was bewildered as to why all this was all happening.

I had collected Panamas for decades, but somehow these beautiful hats had fallen into disarray. I assumed it was the quality, so I bought a fino version, but the same thing happened.

Later that year a weaver told me why - all the best Panamas get exported, which is exactly what I was doing. There is a lot of engineering and design that goes into making a beautiful Panama that last and always looks good. Learn how this is done:


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