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"Your New Hat Is Already Legendary"

A Montecristi Hat is a unique, handpicked treasure of flawless craftsmanship and classic style that is custom designed and fitted to your exact head shape and size.

The straw in Panama hats comes from the leaves of the carludovica palmata or "paja toquilla", a type of palm indigenous to Ecuador. The art of weaving the straw has flourished along the Ecuadorian Coast since the 1600's. Over generations, master craftsmen perfected many of the delicate weaves we see in only the finest Panama hats. The exemplary Panama must be nearly flawless, of good color and consistent weave, exhibiting numerous enjiras, concentric or spiraling patterns radiating outward from the center of the crown. The body must be supple and delicate, yet strong. Unfortunately, the masters of this craft are now passing into old age and due to modern Ecuadorian economy, few are taking their place.

The finest grades of Panama hats are not infinite and are indeed in danger of becoming extinct.

I first visited South America in 1973. I had just finished reading "Cien Anos de Solidad" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and from that wonderful and fantastical novel I took the name Macondo, for the company I established for trading textiles and pre-Colombian artifacts. After two years wandering around Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia in search of product, I stumbled into the humble village of Montecristi, close to the Pacific Coast of Ecuador. There I encountered the intriguing and beguiling Montecristi Panama hat. Understanding and expounding the mystique of this legendary hat has become my life's work.

After three years of wholesaling the raw hats in huge quantities to the titans of the industry, I decided I could do a better job of finishing the material than they and in 1978 I established Montecristi Custom Hat Works. During the 26 years since, Montecristi has acquired an international reputation as the world's finest custom hatter, not only for panama straw hats but for our fine fur felts as well.

Traveling to Ecuador two or more times a year, we personally select from thousands of panama hat "bodies" the few that are worthy of becoming a personalized hand crafted Montecristi custom made panama hat.

Your hat will be a truly unique treasure that you can cherish for many years to come.

To this perfect marriage of the finest weaves and expert hand finishing you may add personal elements such as exact brim width to create your own signature style. Finally, choosing from our wide selection of beautiful hat bands will ensure that your Montecristi Hat will in no way resemble the mass produced hats that other companies offer.

Welcome to Montecristi Custom Hat Works. We guarantee you will find the perfect hat for your needs.

Milton Johnson

Montecristi Hats
322 McKenzie Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501
505.983.9598 - hats@montecristihats.com
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