Most men and women consider the straw hat as a stylish accessory. It’s famous because of the lightweight straw material and comes with few openings, which is apt for ventilation and provides a cooling effect during the warm months. It’s also a utilitarian wardrobe staple. It is usually made of natural and synthetic materials that get tightly interwoven and has the best brim which offers great sun protection. It’s available in multiple variations. If you read a little bit about this hat, you will know that it got worn by people in Europe and Asia, during the Middle Ages and beyond that and it always provided the best style and good sun protection.
Can you count on a straw hat for effective sun protection?
Based on the weave tightness and the hole size, which enables more sun to shine through, the straw hats offer the desired sun protection. Also, when you are checking out this hat to buy one, make sure to hold it against the light once, to check the rays that are passing through. Most straw hats that provide sun protection have a UPF factor. And if you wish to have maximum protection, select a hat that has UPF 50.
Generally, the straw hats with a tight weave enable very little sunlight to pass through and offer great sun protection. And if you find a hat with a tight and fine weave, know that more work has been put into it and as a result it will cost you more.
A brief history of the straw hat
Many people in Asia and Africa used to wear straw hats during the warm summer months. Usually, it got worn by men of all classes. You can find several such hats in the popular calendar miniatures of Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. The mokorotlo, which is a straw hat with a local design, acted as the national symbol for Lesotho and Basotho people. It used to get showcased on the Lesotho license plates. President Theodore Roosevelt made use of his natural ability to get the desired popularity and publicity and posed for several images during the construction of the Panama Canal site. The photos highlighted an able leader wearing the fashionable straw Fedora hat along with light-colored suits. And that made the straw Panama hat very popular.
The fibers that get used
Several fibers get used for the best variant of straw hats. It includes:
- Wheat straw – Mostly known as the Milan straw.
- Toquilla straw – It’s known for its durable and flexible fiber, made into the Panama hats.
- Rye straw – It gets used for the conventional bryl straw hats which gets worn by the peasants in Ukraine, southwest Russia and Belarus.
- Baku straw – It gets made using the young stalks of Talipot palm from Ceylon and Malabar.
- Parabuntal and Buntal straw – It gets acquired from the Palm leaves or the Buri palm stems.
- Shantung straw – It gets made from the high-performance paper that gets rolled to a yarn to the intimate straw.
- Paperbraids – It gets made from multiple paper strands from the viscose of various plants.
- Toyo straw – It includes a cellophane coated Washi.
- Bangora straw – It gets made from a low-quality Washi.
- Rush straw – It is considered to be stiff, thick straw that gets used for manufacturing the affordably priced casual sun hats from the rush grass.
- Visca straw – It is an artificial straw that gets made after spinning viscose into a flat filament that can get knitted, woven or braided and get used for making women’s hat.
- The synthetic, artificial straw – It gets made from Polyethylene, polypropylene and a whole range of different blends that come from Paper, Acrylic, Ramie and Polyester.
- Chip straw – It gets sourced from the white pine, English willow or the Lombardy poplar and got used several times back in history. However, in the recent times it has become slightly uncommon.
The different straw hat variants
Today, when you browse online, you will come across multiple kinds of straw hats for men and women. Some of the popular types include:
- Boater hat – It is described as the formal straw hat that comprises of a flat brim and top.
- Conical hat – It is a unique hat which gets worn by the Southeast Asian farmers.
- Buntal hat – It is an informal or a semi-formal straw hat that belongs from the Philippines and gets made from the buntal fiber.
- Salakot – It is a pointed or conventional conical hat that gets made out of rattan in the Philippines. There are chances of it to get made from tortoiseshell, gourds and various weaving materials and fibers.
- Panama hat – It’s one of the costly and fine hats that comes from the Ecuador.
Once you are aware of these interesting facts about straw hats, you can choose the one that is best for you.