Panama hat making a slow comeback
Saturday, April 22 2006 @ 05:31 PM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
'We have been working with the Dorfzaun family for decades,' said Klaus Rock, sales manager of the company Mayser in the Bavarian town of Lindenburg. Seamstresses in the Mayser factories give the final touch to some 10,000 prefabricated Panama hats per year.
The name Panama hat comes from the times when the headgear was stored in the central American country of the same name prior to being shipped all over the world.
The hats can be wide, skinny, slack or firm. The hat ribbon can be classic in black material or casual from leather. Women's hats are often decorated with a hand-made flower. The palette of colours is huge, ranging from light and beige hues through to green and bright red.
Men prefer the classic Panama hat and the prices range from 50 to 1,000 euros.
'It is all a question of quality. The finer the fibres, the more expensive the hat,' explains Katt Schweizter-Nacken of the federal hat-makers guild. The customers are usually men aged over 30 but the clientele could change with the hat already being worn as part of the 'gangsta-look' adopted by artists such as reggae musician Daddy Yankee.