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A straw hat is a brimmed hat that is woven out of straw or straw like materials from different plants or synthetics. The hat is designed to protect the head from the sun and against heatstroke, but straw hats are also used in fashion as a decorative element or a uniform.
The most commonly used types are:
- Wheat Straw: (Milan Straw, Tuscan, Leghorn),
- Toquilla Straw: (for Panama hats),
- Buntal/ Parabuntal Straw: from unopened Palm leaves or stems of the Buri Palm,
- Baku Straw- 1x1 Woven, made from the young stalks of the Talipot palm from Malabar and Ceylon,
- Braided hemp,
- Shantung Straw: it is actually made out of a high performance paper which is rolled into a yarn to imitate straw, historic it was made of buntal
- Toyo Straw: Cellophane coated Washi,
- Bangora Straw: made from a lower grade of Washi,
- Paperbraids: made from different paper strands from Viscose from different Plants (Swiss Paglinastraw), (Silkpaper, Rice paper),
- Sisal/ Parasisal (same as Sisal but 2x2 woven),
- Seagrass (Xian),
- Visca Straw: an artificial straw made by spinning viscose in a flat filament capable of being braided, woven, or knitted and used especially for women's hats,
- Rush Straw: a thick, stiff straw, often used to manufacture inexpensive casual sun hats, made from rush grass (Juncus effesus, Juncus polycephalus), from the bulrushtypes sedge grass (Schoenoplectus lacustris, Cyperus papyrus, Typha (Typha domingensis, syn. Thypha angustata) (bulrush or cattail)} and other types seashore rushgrass (Sporobolus virginicus) or reed
- Abacá: (for Sinamay hats)
- Artificial, Synthetic Straw, PP Straw: made from Polypropylene, Polyethylene or from different blends from Acrylic, PP, PE, Polyester, Ramie and Paper
- other straw fibers that are mostly used in Asian conical hats are made from different palms (Corypha, Rattan, Trachycarpus, Phoenix), grasses Cane, Bamboo and rice straw (Kasa (hat))
- Chip Straw: from White pine, Lombardy poplar, or English willow, has historically often been used, but has become less common.
There are several styles of straw hats, but all of them are woven using some form of plant fibre. Many of these hats are formed in a similar way to felt hats; they are softened by steam or by submersion in hot water, and then formed by hand or over a hat block. Finer and more expensive straw hats have a tighter and more consistent weave. Since it takes much more time to weave a larger hat than a smaller one, larger hats are more expensive.
Straw hats have been worn in Europe and Asia since after the Middle Ages during the summer months, and have changed little between the medieval times and today. Many are to be seen in the famous calendar miniatures of the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, worn by all classes,but mostly by men.
Types of straw hats
Straw hats are commonly blocked into shapes found in felt hats.
- Boater hat — a formal straw hat with a flat top and brim.
- Conical hat — the distinctive hat worn primarily by farmers in Southeast Asia.
- Panama hat — a fine and expensive hat made in Ecuador.
Straw panama hat (1960s) from the International Hat Company, in the United States
Artwork produced during the Middle Ages shows, among the more fashionably dressed, possibly the most spectacular straw hats ever seen on men in the West, notably those worn in the Arnolfini Portrait of 1434 by Jan van Eyck (tall, stained black) and by Saint George in a painting by Pisanello of around the same date (left). In the middle of the 18th century, it was fashionable for rich ladies to dress as country girls with a low crowned and wide brimmed straw hat to complete the look.
Virgin and Child with Saints George and Anthony by Pisanello
Mädchen mit Strohhut by Friedrich von Amerling
Walk on the Beach by Joaquín Sorolla
Fillette au chapeau de paille, by Berthe Morisot (1892).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Straw hats.|
- A Dictionary of Costume and Fashion:, Mary Brooks Picken, Courier Corporation, 24.07.2013
- The Fairchild Encyclopedia of Menswear, Mary Lisa Gavenas, Fairchild Books, 2008, P. 327
- The Chronicle of Hats in Enjoyable Quotes:, Ida Tomshinsky Xlibris Corporation, 20.05.2013, P. 28
- Paglinastroh Retrieved 03.14.2016
- Rush straw Retrieved 03-18-2016
- Bulrush hat Retrieved 03-18-2016
- Typha hat Retrieved 03-19-2016
- Reed hat Retrieved 03-18-2016
- Historical Common Names of Great Plains Plants Volume I: Historical Names , Elaine Nowick, Lulu.com, 01.10.2014, P. 355
- Information for use in determining whether to continue designation of certain headwear of straw as articles eligible for duty-free treatment under the generalized system of preferences:, Jackie Worrell, United States International Trade Commission, 1982, P. 5
- PP Straw Retrieved 03-16-2016
- Hats and Headwear around the World: A Cultural Encyclopedia:, Beverly Chico, ABC-CLIO, 03.10.2013, P. 115, 259
- Hatatorium: An Essential Guide for Hat Collectors, Brenda Grantland, P. 56
- Chip straw Retrieved 03-16-2016
- Walsh, Richard; William Lloyd Fox (1974). Maryland--a history, 1632-1974. Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society. p. 425. OCLC 1217352.
- "The Hat Story". British Hat Guild. 2003. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012. Retrieved 2016-03-14.