The quality of a Panama hat is dependent on a number of factors. These include how fine the fibers used in the weave is; the quality and regularity of the weave, the colour of the straw and the quality of the shaping (blocking) of the hat. Each of these factors is largely independent of the others –you can have a hat that has been woven well from extremely fine fibres but is ruined by poor blocking.
Each of Borges & Scott’s has been hand woven by highly skilled weavers in Ecuador and selected by us.
Although it is impossible to reduce the subjective quality of a hat to a number, we do apply a system to grade our hats into various price points. The starting point for this is to assess the fineness of the weave. The following chart shows the various types and qualities of weaves used in our hats.
Please note that unless you are looking at a high quality Monticristi hat (which will cost over £200) "grade numbers" are not really a useful guide. Apart from high end Monticristi hats, there is no standardised system for grading hats. So one persons grade 4 will be another's grade 6. That's why we only mention grade numbers when talking about our Monticristi hats. A true Monticristi will cost in excess of £200 so be particularly wary of "Monticristi" hats that are offered at lower prices.
Please note that this chart displays the minimum weave quality you will receive when buying one of our hats. For example, if you buy a Grade 22 Monticristi hat – you may receive a grade 22, 23 or 24.
The measurements shown on the above chart only begin to describe the quality of a hat. In addition to this we carefully examine every Borges & Scott Panama hat to ensure it meets our high standards. This process is more artistic than it is scientific, and involves inspecting the consistency of the colour of the fibres and the actual quality of the weave.
This page only contains a short summary of the standards we apply and the factors that combine to determine the quality of a Panama Hat. If you’d like to talk in more detail, then please get in touch and we can guide you towards your perfect Borges & Scott Panama.