Home > Hat Information > Hat Resources > Hat Materials > Straw Types
Straw Hat - Types of Straw Category Header
Types of Straw
There are many varieties of straw used in hat manufacturing, some of which you will be quite familiar with, below you will see a description of each of the most popular straws used and many of which are used to make the hats we sell. View our full collection of straw hats and find your perfect summer hat.
Thumbnail Swatch of Visca Straw
Visca Straw
This type of straw is very similar in appearance to parasisal straw, visca is a man made straw and originates from Japan. You will usually find visca straw being used for low priced summer hats as its often mass produced and is easily styled and blocked. Although it is generally coarse when new, visca straw will soften and tends to lose its shape, hense the lower end price, many people will only get wear for one season.
Thumbnail Swatch of Parasisal Straw
Parasisal Straw
A fine, high quality straw often used in place of sinamay for some of the most expensive hats and fascinators. A very delicate straw but durable. Parasisal straw is made using a two over two weave, it also takes dye well. Often used in millinery.
Thumbnail Swatch of Panama Straw
Panama Straw
Panama straw originates from Ecuador, the straw is made from the plaited leaves of the Carludovica Palmata plant or locally known as Toquilla Palm. A lightweight, naturally breathable straw which is normally available in its natural colour, bleached or sometimes dyed. Panama straw is mostly used to produce mens summer hats and is handwoven in Ecuador.
Thumbnail Swatch of Rush Straw
Rush Straw
A thick, stiff straw often used to manufacture casual sun hats in bulk at the lower priced end of the market. Hats made from rush straw will be stiff with the crown and brim both pre-shaped. Due the the thickness of the straw you will quite often see a section with a wide open weave to allow air circulation. Usually left in its natural colour.
Thumbnail Swatch of Sisal Straw
Sisal Straw
Less popular than parasisal, sisal straw consists of a one over one weave and is just a little coarser. Not so popular in the millinery market but often used in mens summer hats as another high quality alternative to panama straw.
Thumbnail Swatch of Wheat Straw
Wheat Straw
A natural straw which is thick and coarse, usually left its naturally golden brown colour but this straw can easily be dyed. A hard wearing straw which is easily blocked and and firm to touch.
Thumbnail Swatch of Seagrass Straw
Seagrass Straw
A natural straw which is very popular for beach hat production. Seagrass straw tends to be stiffened and usually left in its natural colour, a light brown.
Thumbnail Swatch of Jute Straw
Jute Straw
A naturally soft straw, similar to a thick string. This particular type of straw has to be varnished to help retain its shape after blocking. A lightweight straw which is cool to wear as the air easily passes through the weave. Often left in its natural colour although it can by dyed with pastel colours.
Thumbnail Swatch of Toyo Paper Straw
Toyo/Paper Straw
One of the most widely used straws today. An imation of panama straw, toyo is woven from Japanese toyo paper usually seen in white or cream but it of course can be dyed. Easily packed and rolled without damage making it a perfect straw to make hats for holiday wear. Low price point due to bulk production prodominatly in the far east.
Thumbnail Swatch of Sinamay Straw
Sinamay Straw
Widely used today in millinery with the majority of ladies formal headwear being made from Sinamay. Made from Abaca fibre this material has to be stiffened before it can be blocked. Sinamay hats are made from a number of layers which will vary and usually will be 4 sheets minumum they are then blocked and trimmed accordingly.
Thumbnail Swatch of Raffia Straw
Raffia Straw
A widely used straw for casual summer headwear. Superior grades of this straw are often used for ladies sun hats, however it is often used for a wide range of styles in a more cost effective grade. A heavy straw to look at and rough in texture, it can be rolled for packing without damaging the straw.
Thumbnail Swatch of Buntal Straw
Buntal Straw
A natural straw which is made of the finest buntal fiber which is extracted from buri palm tree. It is often used in millinery for both hats and fascinators. Easily dyed and blocked, a thick, coarse straw.