Why I like Palm Leaf Hats

Laura Ingalls Designs uses high quality palm leaf hats in our designs. The hat bodies are made in both Mexico and Guatemala where the palm trees grow.

 Palm leaf hats are indestructible, cool in hot weather, repel rain beautifully and are in my opinion superior to straw hats.  In addition to being very comfortable to wear since they are breathable they offer sun protection.  Did you know the hats have been given a rating of UPF 50+?

 Harvesters cut slender, unopened palm shoots from young trees.  The fronds are opened and the outer edges of the leaves which are dark green are torn off.  The inner leaf that has been untouched by the sun is a pale yellow color.  The leaves are opened up like fans spread out to dry and be sun bleached.

 The dried palm is split into strips and then it is braided into a flat plait.  Most of my hats are “Mexican Fine Palm.”  A fine palm has 14+ strands of braid per inch.  One hat with a 4 inch brims requires 250 – 300 feet of braid.  As a comparison, a hat that uses 7 strands of braid per inch uses 150 feet of braid. The braid is then sewn in a spiral overlapping the braid as it is sewn. 

 Once the hat body is sewn, it pressed in heated molds.  The “golden” and “scorched” hats are toasted in the heated molds to give them their color.  They are all very soft.

 You can be assured that when you purchase a Laura Ingalls Designs hat, you are getting a great quality hat.  My distributor who I purchase the plain hat bodies from keeps tabs on the production of the hat body ensuring the best grade of palm braiding and construction of the hat.

 What time of year can one wear a palm leaf hat?  This is a frequent question and my recommendation is spring, summer and early fall.  And if you are in a warm climate, then wear your palm leaf hat all year long!