The Hat Bible
|Preface||Straw Types||Trimming||Care and Repar||Glossary|
|History of hats||Felt Manufacture||Hat Displays||Finishing||Global Hat Directory|
|What is a hat||Hat Manufacture||Selling Hats||The End?||Home Page|
|Straw Manufacture||Hat Design||Carriage||Hat & Head size|
The manufacture of straw hoods is labor intensive and time consuming. Straw weaving and plaiting which is the basis of all straw hood manufacture is little practiced in Europe, the majority of straw is woven in China, the Philippines also manufacture straw hoods, as well as supplying China with manila hemp which is the base materiel for most straw hood weaving, South America is also well known for production of Panama straw. There are three main forms in which straw is woven.
One fact that is often overlooked is that almost without exception straw is plaited or woven by hand. To put things into perspective a good quality SISAL straw will take a straw weaver anything up to twenty five hours of work. This time does not include an additional four hours preparation of the straw which include the selection and separation of the fibers starching the fibers together to form a workable strand up to four feet in length.Many thousands of these strands will be woven into each sisal hood, the correct amount is then selected and the weaving starts from the center (button) and the weaving continues, working to the outside required diameter. After the straw hood has been woven, all of the excess ends are trimmed away, then bleaching takes place.
The next process is to wash and scrape the straw, this is to ensure that it is clean and supple, the straw is then thoroughly dried, then it is quality checked and any minor repairs are carried out if required the hood is then hydraulically pressed into a basic shape, finally the straw is graded.
This example is for a fine quality sisal straw, although all woven straw hats are made this way, the coarser the weave or the thicker the straw used, the quicker and cheaper the hood is to make.
Virtually all straw plait braid or
woven straw hoods are manufactured by home workers with the straw hood factories carrying
out the finishing procedures.