FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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How our hats are made?


Our hats are made from natural fibers of palm braided straw (known as "Toquilla or Iraca"). After a meticulous process of gathering, fiber separation, cooking, washing, dying and drying the artisan is able to hand weave each fiber until a delicate masterpiece begins to form from years of tradition, thus creating a unique work of art with each hat. At Gaviota Hats, we are committed to continue the legacy of craftsmanship of this beautiful art. More importantly, to keep alive this ancestral tradition. Gaviota Hats wants to share with you how our hats are made, with dedication, love, and pride by skilled artisans, living in the beautiful mountains of Colombia. Our Gratitude to them




Taking Care of your Toquilla Straw Hat


A genuine Panama hat is a handmade treasure, and no two hats are alike. Slight imperfections in color, weave, and finish – either by nature or the artisan’s hand – make it unique! We want you to be pleased with your purchase for many years to come. Your Panama hat will continue to look like new if you follow the basic care instructions we recommend below.




How to handle your Panama hat?


Our authentic Panama hat is known for its weave and flexibility and can be formed into whatever shape suits you through hand shaping. For your hat to maintain its original shape, pick up or handle your Panama hat by the brim, or by cupping the crown with an open palm. NEVER PINCH IT BY THE CROWN. When resting your hat on a flat surface, place it facing up (crown down) to maintain brim shape. And most styles of authentic toquilla Panama hats should never be rolled. If you choose to roll your hat, do not leave it rolled or folded for long periods of time as this promotes cracking.
Lastly, avoid wearing your straw Panama hat in the rain. Toquilla straw will withstand light moisture, but a soaking will cause the hat to lose its shape.




How to reshape my panama hat in case of need?


If your hat loses its shape due to heavy rain or an unfortunate mishap (it happens!), try to reshape it a couple of different ways. Hold the hat in steam over boiling water and mold the hat back into shape. A blow dryer – on a low heat setting – can be used to dry the hat as you are reforming its shape. To reshape the brim, use an iron – again, on low heat setting – to give it just the right bend.




How do I clean my Panama hat?


Panama hats are easy to clean. Wipe down the hat with a soft, lint-free, tightly-woven cloth (to prevent catching or snagging). You may also try a moist facial or baby wipe. If your hat is not as clean as you’d like, a small amount of mild soap and water should do the trick.




How to store my Panama hat?


When storing your hat, it’s best to use a hat box. Use the box the hat came in, or invest in a new one. If you own several Panama hats, do not stack them or store them on top of one another. If you must stack them, place the smallest hat on a base that will lift the hat and support it by the crown. Then stack bigger hats on top ensuring that the brims of the lower hats are not weighed down and misshapen




How I know my hat size?


Hand woven hats may vary in size. To find out your hat size click here.




Where can I buy your hats?


You can buy your hat by placing your order here on our online store. Or you can check if you are close to one of our authorized Retailers. To see the list click here.





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