The mystery behind Shantung straw
The History: Korean Buddhist monks learned the Chinese technique and introduced it to Japan who perfected it in 610 AD and named it Washi. Originally it was made from plants, and more modernly it has been produced with the Manila hemp plant native to the Philippines. Washi was renamed to Shantung to compete with Panama style hats.The Details: Shantung is Japanese Glazed Rice Paper and because of the glaze, you will often find Shantung only in natural or grey colors - its almost impossible to dye the straw after its been glazed. / BU or the grade is measured by the width of the fiber, the smaller the fiber, the finer the weave, the higher the number, the lower the quality / It takes approximately 1-5 days to weave each body. They are hand woven by master hatter / Very durable with a high-tear strength and can absorb up to 30% moisture without having the feeling of wetness/ High UPF Rating to protect from the sun and do best in dry heat climates.
I love the stiffness of Shantung style hats and I don't feel like I need to be as careful handling them as I am with my toquilla straw hats which can crack over time with heat or mishandling. If you live in the West or Southwest where it's generally dry almost year round, Shantung straw is great for you!
Huge thank you to our Production department for gathering all our sources on Shantung