When shopping for straw hats, you might feel confused by the widely varying prices for the same type of hat. If you are in the market for buying straw fedora hat womens, the price band of hats of different makers and brands would seem baffling to take some well-informed decision. Hats that look pretty similar in texture and style can have a widely varying price, making it hard to decide which one to buy. Indeed, one of the hats is better than the other, which causes the price difference, but unless you know how to distinguish between the good and average straw hat, you will be at your wit’s end to make the right choice.
It is essential to update your knowledge about the features of straw hats that influence the price so that you know what you are paying for and whether the price is justifiable. Since straw hats are woven hats, the quality of weaving can be different. The finer is the weave better is the quality of straw hats. Besides this most important feature of straw hats, you should also pay attention to other features like the evenness of the weave, the color of the straw, shaping, and finishing, and the hat size.
Fineness of weave
The weave itself is the highest impacting feature of straw hats that affects the quality. Finer weaves produce finer hats that cost more. Finer weaves result from the thickness of the straw used for hat-making because thinner is the straw, finer will be the weave. Weaving hats with finer straws take a longer time and more labor that increases the cost. Weaving a finer hat will take many days that increase the cost of production; hence the price of the hat goes up. To reduce the width of each straw by 50%, the amount of work involved in completing the work goes up four times.
Now you understand why a hat that looks slightly finer than another can cost significantly more. To achieve that slight fineness, it would require thousands of weave intersections that would take several more weeks to create the splendid hat. It took much more effort and time to weave the hat that pushed up the cost.
Evenness of weave
Whether the weaving will be even and uniform or have some uneven spots depends on the quality of straws, especially its thickness. The more consistent is the thickness of straws, the more even the weave will be. Uniformity in straw thickness affects the appearance of the weaving. If there are holes and gaps between the woven rows and knots and bumps visible at some places, it shows that the straw quality is not uniform, affecting the evenness of the weaving. Ideally, every straw in a hat must have the same finesses and width so that during weaving, each straw fits perfectly with another with no holes or gaps. Bumps and knots would also not be visible. The weave would have immaculate rows that have perfect diamond shapes visible throughout.
As straw hats are handwoven, it would be too much to ask for flawless hats, and it is better to concentrate on hats with minimal flaws that represent better quality.
Color of straw
The color of hats is a subjective matter as some might like the natural color of straws that have a faint yellow strain, while others might like the hat color to be swan-white. There is nothing good or bad about it because, in the end, it is about personal choice and style preference. While it is easy to retain the natural color of straw hats, the white hats require special processing like bleaching the straws by soaking them in peroxide for many hours. The drawback of the process is that if overdone, it can weaken the straw and reduce the hat’s life. Moreover, the peroxide processed straw loses the natural sheen and finish and looks artificial, and gives a rubber-like feel when you rub your hand on it. To meet the different requirements of customers, some hat makers partially bleach the straws, and some even dye them purple.
Shaping and finishing
The shape of hats impacts the style, and the finishing determines the hat’s appeal. As most hat makers are now using technology to shape hats in a machine known as hydraulic hat press, it has become easier to maintain uniformity in the standard, which used to be very difficult for hats shaped by skilled craftsmen. After shaping the hats, some manufacturers stiffen the straws by rubbing a glue-like substance on them. But the fitting of the leather sweatbands, ribbons, and bows is still a manual process and sewn by hand. Since hats are still available, hand blocking or shaping will cost more as it takes more time and labor to complete the task.
Lastly, the hat size impacts the cost, and it needs no explanation.