World View | Prymal, Ecuador

This is the first instalment of our World Series. Each week we will be bringing you a different Blue Butterfly story from around the globe. First stop, South America! 

Prymal, the Ecuadorian luxury toquillo straw hat company. Prymal’s hats are 100% handmade with straw from the toquillo plant found in Ecuador’s tropical rainforest. As well as Panama hats, their range includes shoppers, totes and clutches and beautiful Ikat scarves.

Every stage of production is done by hand, keeping the artisanal craft of Panama hat weaving alive.

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Once the toquillo leaves are hand-harvested, the straw is then treated and transported to the coastal region. Here, the artisans begin their work, weaving the straw using complex techniques passed down from generation to generation. 

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Each hat is then individually washed, treated using dye made from vegetable extracts and left to dry in the sun. 

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Next, the hat is placed over a wooden form and ironed into shape.  Ribbon and an internal band are the finishing touches to these stunning hats.

Prymal’s sustainable fashion is committed to the ethical treatment of both humans and the environment. Prymal ensures the ancient craft of Panama hats is continued by employing artisans and designers and paying a good wage. Sourcing their materials locally helps keep a low carbon footprint and supports the local economy. The hats are made with raw natural materials, not a pesticide or pollutant in sight. But this isn’t all that makes Prymal environmentally friendly – they promote an awareness of environmental issues through projects in the local community. Each hat is tailor made and these quality products are a piece-for-life, not mass-produced throw-away fashion.

Prymal’s new Rio collection is a modern take on this age-old craft, bringing luxurious modern chic to the Panama hat. Inspired by the Brazil carnival, the predominant colours in this collection are electric limes and denim blues, alongside a stand-out ruby fuchsia. Think beach luxe, sun, cocktails. But now that summer’s over (boo), one of these hats will add a splash of colour to any outfit, whether it’s sauntering off to the market for a little shopping or helping to keep your hair in place on a windy day. Get the Ipanema for a natural look, or the ruby fuchsia Flamengo if you fancy something more daring. 

 

Philippa Jones