The grade of a Montecristi Panama Hat

This is a simple explanation of what grade of a Montecristi means, when we talk about hand-woven Panama hats from Montecristi in Ecuador.

The grade is a measure, this measure quantifies the density of the weaved of a hat and in our case it also assesses the quality of the execution of that work.

To take that measurement, we find a place on the crown of the hat and carefully measure one square inch, for that we use a tool called a thread counter.

Next we count how many times the straws are crossed in that square inch. This measure is made vertically, horizontally and is repeated in two more areas of the crown of the hat.

We take an average of that measurement and that is the measure of the grade of that particular Montecristi handwoven panama hat.

Different grades of Montecristi Panama Hats woven by Domingo Carranza Hats

Why too many different methods?

The measurement of the degree has historically been a source of controversy, since the interests of the intermediary merchants who bought the hats were different interests and opposed to the interests of the artisans.

Taking into account that this measure determined the price of the hat, the buyer used to calculate a lower grade.

This is the reason why today there are so many measurement methods and so many forced explanations to justify them. Here we answered a question about grade.

The grade of a hat is visible to everyone, but very often it is a factor that goes unnoticed for those who do not know about the world of fine Montecristi hats.

For this reason it is often incomprehensible to understand how a hat from a beach store looks appreciated to a hat of this level. The answer is simple, one is made in china with a machine that cuts thousands each day and the other is hand woven by an artisan for months.

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