How to Hand-Shape a Panama Hat

A Panama hat is a brimmed hat made from plaited leaves from the toquilla straw plant. President Theodore Roosevelt made the hat popular after he picked one up during the construction of the Panama Canal.

Create steam. This will help you hand-shape your Panama hat. You can use an iron steamer, steam from a traditional iron, or steam created on the stove from a pan of water or tea pot.

Don't burn yourself! It is easy to burn yourself with steam, so be careful.


Surround the hat with steam, yet do not get it wet.


When the hat is soft and manageable, patiently reshape. Re-steam if necessary.



About the Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.