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How Our Panama Hats Are Made

One of the best accessories to own is a high-quality handmade Panama hat. If they are, on top of that hand-painted with colorful and unique designs that reflect your personality - well, how much better can it get? With inspiration drawn from all that is around us, we have crafted our collection to reflect just this. Colombianas is in love with vibrant color palettes and patterns, as well as the art of making each hat by hand. So it seems just fitting that we fill you in on all the things that make us Colombianas.

Handcrafted Panama Hats


Origins Of Our Hats

First, let’s take a closer look at the origins of these kind of hats. The Panama hat has its origins not in Panama but in Ecuador, where artisans started creating its specific weave and design as early as the mid-1600. However, the name Panama hat became popular for all hats of this design of the entire region, as Panama became the biggest trading hub for those hats. But to be correct our hats are actually called Aguadas, named after the city in Colombia, where our artisans are based. Now that you know a little more about the history of these hats, and where they originally came from, let’s take a closer look into how we make our unique version of the Panama hat.

How Our Hats Are Made

Our journey to discovering the origins and makings of our hats lead us to the small picturesque town of Aguadas, the so-called sombrero capital of Colombia in the mountain region of Caldas. Coffee and hats - that’s what this place is about, and although the smell of freshly brewed Colombian coffee may let you forget about everything else, the hats are what we came for. So we started visiting the artisans who are dedicated to bringing the finest quality of straw hats to the world and put Colombia on the map for excellent craftsmanship of hat-making.

Iraca is the name of the local palm trees, which leaves are used for the original Aguada hat. Watching the artisans - mostly ladies - weaving the Iraca straw into actual hats, just makes our heads spin - it’s incredible at the speed they are able to produce a totally even weave, and still talk to us the same time. We tried it, and well, we decide we’d better let them do the job. A lot of people in this town live from making these hats, so by sourcing directly from those communities, we are able to pay fair prices and ensure the fine quality of our products.

So that’s it about the craftsmanship of our hats, now let’s get down to the artistic part, the part that adds our unique spin to these timeless fashion items.

Why our hats are a unique piece of art

One of the first things that Colombianas decided was that we wanted to find a way to showcase the Colombian culture to the world. The journey of our brand started with a holiday in the Northeast of Colombia with a mix of the beautiful Caribbean vibe of the streets of Cartagena, and the wild jungle of the national park of Tyrona. It was very clear that our first collection needed to reflect this mix of colors and images to capture the feeling of this tropical paradise.


To find the right artists now, to reflect this style in our hats, we decided to go all the way to Barranquilla, which is the Carnival city of the region and known for its colorful designs and creative artists.

We decided that we needed someone who would be able to bring a unique perspective to our designs. After searching all around us, we were beyond pleased when we finally found the team which would craft our vision in such a way that would reflect everything we believe it.

Once the team was found we straight away started creating designs that would be on our beautiful hand-crafted hats, et voilá there we were creating our first collection for Colombianas. Each and every hat of our collection is hand-painted, hence every product is truly special and a piece of wearable art. So, browse the collection today and experience these stunning Panama hats for yourself. 




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  • kelley bowden

    Was in Columbia and found a “inexpensive hat” that was not a nice by any stretch but…
    I thought I would make them in the USA and sell them. I got soooo many compliments on the hats.
    Do you sell wholesale?

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