The process for making the hats starts at the hands of Ecuadorian farmers and artisans in Cuenca and Manabí, Ecuador, where the Toquilla Palm grows and the home of the well-known Panama Hat. Carefully picking the leaves of the Toquilla Palm tree, farmers peal and separate the the leaf fibers, blanch them in hot water and hang them to dry.
Once dry, artisans, primarily women, take these dry fibers and begin the weave. Each hat weave, made with skillful detail, takes close to a month to produce based on centuries of tradition. Once the weave is over, the shapeless hats are washed and dried in the sun.These arethen taken to Medellín, Colombia for their ultimate transformation into actual hats- ironing, trimming, sowing, lacquering, designs and the final Pina and Coco touches.