The Espanola Hat is a wide brim flat top straw hat featuring a hand-loomed Macrame Hat Band.
Have you noticed that you can actually buy a hat for something crazy like $5.99 made in a third world country that falls apart a few days after you buy it? You can! Well, boo to fast fashion! Boo to companies that don’t know how much workers at the factories they manufacture are making or what the working conditions are!! We wondered if anyone was still interested in quality items. Does anyone still care about the people who make the products they use? If you are a Nena & Co. customer, we know for sure you care. We know for sure you are interested in the people who make your products. We know for sure you believe in quality. With that said, let me tell you my adventure and quest to find our real hats. Not one made from plastic, or fake crochet, or imitation palm leaves, no, not like that, but a real hat.
It was last summer that we decided that we needed hats to go with our bags, the two perfect beach accessories, but we wanted real hats. I had met Santos a few years ago while scouting for other products; back then, he told me about his family business and how he has been a hat maker since he was very young. For some reason, I didn’t keep his contact information #fail, so, on a very hot muggy day, we left Antigua Guatemala, and headed out to the highlands looking for Santos, The Hat Maker.
Trying to find a place and a person relying solely on your memory and without Google maps proved to be an adventure! But after much asking and following leads, we finally found him! Just as Santos did a few years prior, he was delighted to tell us about his real hats.
We learned that his hats are made from real palm leaves, palm trees that grow along the coast in Guatemala, he enlightened us on the colors of the leaves; how our higher quality white palm hats get to be white because they are made from palm trees that grow by the sea…and how the salty air bleaches the leaves naturally! I can almost feel a breeze on my face just listening to him.
Santos demonstrated how the value of a hat comes from the width size of the braided strand that wraps around your head dozens of times; the narrower a strand is, the more valuable a hat will be. The men cut the palm leaves, and the women will break down each leaf into fine strands and roll into balls, much like yarn balls, they then take two to four strands and braid them, in the same fashion as braiding hair. Each braided strand is then sewn into hats.
Santos takes pride in his heritage, in his work and the work of his employees. And we love the fact that these real hats provide a sustainable income for the artisans and craftsmen that have made this art their livelihood. Now, the story behind our hand weaved hat bands we’ll save for another time!So, next time you decide to buy a hat, ask yourself, is this a real hat? Introducing our newest member of the Nena & Co. team; The Palm Hat.
Macrame Hat Band
The Fedora Hat is a medium brim straw fedora featuring a hand-loomed Macrame Hat Band.
The Florista Hat is a wide brim round top straw hat.
The Mafioso Hat is a short brim straw fedora.