The Panama hat is a finely woven hat made out of toquilla palms on Ecuador’s Pacific coast. The finer the weave, the finer the hat. A hat that is considered to be of Ultrafino grade contains at least 600 weaves per square inch and takes about 6 months to make. When the company was started in 2003 the first hat ever sold was an Ultrafino grade Panama Hat. The name Ultrafino had a certain feeling of excitement, uniqueness, and quality. We wanted all of our products to radiate the same feeling of owning an Ultrafino grade hat. And so began Ultrafino Panama Hats.
Ultrafino means ultra-fine in Spanish and it has become the raw definition of the company. Everything we do is aligned to the name. We strive to provide ultra-fine service while providing ultra-fine quality hats.
However, we do this without putting social responsibility aside. Ultrafino purchases directly from the weavers, cutting out the middleman and allowing us to pay the weavers more to support their families. We strive to provide fair wages and conditions for those who make our hats, to treat them as the valuable part of the company that they are. We do not see them as workers, we see them as talented artisans. And we see us as promoters who help share their art with the rest of the world. It is one of Ultrafino’s goal to create a company where everyday purchases can have a positive impact on the world. Especially, to the Ecuadorian communities where the artisans live.
The core values of Ultrafino are trust, integrity, quality, and social responsibility. We believe it is important to know where your money is going and who is benefiting from your purchase. Our goal is to provide high-quality headwear while improving the lives of those who made the product.
Weaving is an art that is unfortunately dying. We at Ultrafino feel passionate about the conservation of this art. The introduction of automated machines and the push for lowering cost is what is destroying this art. By continuing to show demand for handwoven Panama Hats, Ultrafino gives incentives for the weavers to continue weaving and continue showing younger generations how to weave. Effectively, this is the main reason hand weaving is still around and why it will continue to be around.
Ultrafino was founded on the idea that every hat has a history, and if you listen closely it will tell you of the hands that carefully crafted it. We do not sell hats, we sell works of art with stories and rich history behind them