How to Care for Your Straw Hats and Bags

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Where there’s summer, there’s straw – hats and bags, of course! Straw accessories are amongst the biggest hits of the season, and that’s a trend we don’t expect to go away anytime soon. Unfortunately, they’re also some of the most fragile pieces you could own.

Savoir Flair turned to designer Stephany Sensi, the talent behind brand-of-the-moment Sensi Studio, for tips on how to care for your straw hats and bags. “Panama hats are delicate, fine, and made using a natural fiber called toquilla straw, which comes from a palm tree that originates in Ecuador. Real Panama hats are completely handwoven. They are quite resistant, but should still be used with care,” she explains. Speaking to us straight from sunny Ecuador, she shared a handful of expert tips on the matter.

Straw hat style caster
Photo: Courtesy of Style Caster

Caring for Straw Hats

“All genuine Panama hats can be folded for travel purposes, but should not be stored folded as they can lose their shape this way, especially the classic press crown. Store your Panama hat on a flat base indoors, avoiding proximity to heaters. You can also stack them one on top of the other if they have the same crown shape. If the hat becomes too dry and brittle, you can finely spray it with water; this will moisturize it, returning it to its original flexibility.

If it loses its shape, spritz it with a little bit of water and then fold it back into shape with your hands. You can also iron the brim on very low temperature, using a cloth between the iron and your hat to help restore its shape.

To clean your hat, gently wipe it with a white cloth and soapy water, then dab dry with a white towel.”

Straw bag Samriles photography
Photo: Courtesy of Samriles Photography

Caring for Straw Bags

“Straw bags are made from the same material – they are also resistant yet delicate, because they’re made using this natural fiber. When storing a straw bag, avoid too much sun exposure and strong light, so that its color lasts longer. Avoid getting your bag wet and make sure you keep heavy items out of it.

Make sure that you store straw bags far from heaters, and avoid areas with too much humidity. If you collect them, you can stack one inside the other.”

Sensi Studio is available at Boutique 1 in Dubai.

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