This is one of the most common questions we get asked - can I roll my Panama?
We've tried to include a black and white, yes or no, answer in the details of each of the product pages that show our range of fine Panamas. However, the longer answer to this question should always be "Yes, but..."
Before going into this at great length, it’s probably helpful to explain that pretty much all genuine Panamas (and we only supply real handwoven Panamas) are rollable to a degree. However, none of them, even our most expensive models, will spring back to a perfect shape. Cheap plastic/polyester hats that you might pick up for a few pounds or dollars at your local market might well do. But they will also leave you sweaty and have none of the style or craftmanship of a genuine Panama.
Real Panamas will not always look "as new". If rolled to join you on your adventures, they will all develop ‘character’ and become worn looking - it’s just the nature of a Panama. And a major part of their enduring charm. We often like to tell people to search online for images of “Prince Charles Panama Hat”. You’ll soon see he has a couple of very beaten up hats he likes to wear. We can assure you, he's not scrimping on his clothing budget. Nor is he accepting a faulty hat!
Panama’s should be thought of like a cricket bat - made from natural materials and keeping the marks of a useful life. They are not like your graphite golf driver that should always be kept in a protective cover and will always look as smart and shiny as it did when you first unpacked it! Panamas are for life, for exploring and for travel.
So we try to guide customers as to which are more suited to rolling, and which are less suited, by saying on the website that some of them are not rollable – as these models tend to suffer more quickly when rolled. Really it’s a sliding scale, and any of them might be rolled for short periods. Just be prepared for them to age!
We always include instructions for rolling with our Panamas. These will not prevent your hat from developing it's own unique look. But following them will ensure the latest addition to your wardrobe stays in as good a shape as is possible. The first instruction (which is really important) is that the hat should be ‘worn in’ before being rolled – it is really important to wear the hat for as long as possible before you roll it for the first time.
We hope this is helpful - but if you have any more Panama related questions, please feel free to get in touch with our friendly team.
Below you can see Gordon Scott of Borges & Scott proving a well worn Panama still has plenty of life left!