The toquilla straw hats are woven 100% by Ecuadorian hands. A hat is woven in 1 to 4 months. The time depends on the degree of tissue. Weavers of Panama hats have fun with this work. More than a job, it is a passion for them.
Mariana Mero (59 years); native of Montecristi. She started knitting hats from 10 years of age. His mother and aunt taught him the techniques to weave a hat. She is dedicated to knitting because of the budget. His family is low income. The hats give sustenance to your home.
“Was 10 years old when I started knitting hats. I am the oldest of 4 brothers; my mother did not have money to support the study of all of us. She sacrificed working long hours to bring the food. For this reason I asked her to teach me to weave hats. In this way it helped with household expenses”, said Mariana Mero.
Each person has a specific function: Some people weave the cup; others weave the base, and other weave the finishing of Panama hat. It is a very extensive and complicated work. A person needs effort and dedication. Are approximately 6 people who make up the team to complete a Toquilla Straw Hat.
Mariana is responsible for weaving the end of hats. This work lasts three weeks for each hat. It is made on a support to keep the body in good standing. In this way it does not affect the chest or column. However she says that because of this work suffers from the spinal column.
The Office Regulatory of Hats shall take precautionary measures for the health of the weavers. This includes giving massages on the affected parts. It also includes oral cleaning due to bad breath. This is done with the aim that the artisans can work satisfactorily.
"Pour water into the hat when it is almost finished. This softens the straw and its strands do not break. The tissue also is pressed to not come loose”, said Mariana Mero.
Just as Mariana, many people weave Panama hats. Many of these people were affected by the earthquake on 4/16. They get up everyday after this tragedy. You can help increase their work. #iSupportEcuador #EarthquakeRelief.