Traditional weaving of the Ecuadorian toquilla straw hat - Ecuador
The toquilla straw hat is woven from fibres from a palm tree of the Ecuadorian coast. Farmers cultivate the toquillales and harvest the stems before separating the fibre from the outer skin. This is boiled to remove chlorophyll and dried for bleaching. Using this fibre, weavers produce the pattern, the crown and the brim of the hat and complete the process by washing, bleaching, oven treatment, ironing and pressing. Weaving a hat can take from one day to eight months, depending on its quality and finesse.