How To Make Straw Sombreros

The word “sombrero” originated from Mexico and from the Spanish word sombre which means shade.   Sombrero translated in English connotes any type of hat with edge or rim.  Sombreros are described to have a high pointed top with an even wider brim, it has a string to hold the hat in place and it literally shades the entire head including the wearer’s neck down to the shoulders.  Usually small farmers, tenants, and laborers in Mexico wear straw sombreros.  The more affluent people wear felt-made sombreros.  This type of sombreros is made of compacted fabric made of animal wool or fur.  

This article will tackle how to make your own straw sombreros as they are typically used in many different occasions like costume parties, festivals or fiestas, or even if you just need a protection from sun’s heat.  If you want to make your own straw sombrero, it’s quite simple.  Here’s how.

  • Prepare the things you need.  You will need a measuring tape, fine quality straw, pins,  needles, string, water for soaking your straw, and tape.
  • Purchase a fine quality straw.  First thing you need to do is choose the straw to be used.  Generally, rye straw is the best to use for its tough and robust features.
  • Submerge your straw in water.  This step is necessary so as to obtain fluidity when you start making your straw hat.  Soak it overnight or you can just pour hot water over it to fasten the process.  Once this is done, lay the straws flat on a firm or solid surface and put tape on the edges to ensure that they are locked together.
  • Begin to braid.  Get your first horizontal or level strand of straw; bend it, cross it on top of the two other straws and beneath the last two straws.  Get the next upright straw; bend it again and cross it on top of the two vertical or upright straws then go beneath the two perpendicular straws.  Next, hold your 2nd horizontal or level straw; interlace it on your other two level straws.  Grab a hold of your 2nd vertical straw, and unite it with the other 2 straws next to it and go beneath again the two upright straws.   Just keep doing this until you’ve interlaced all straws together.

    Note:  If the straws go dry just soak them again in water and you’re good to go.

  • Secure your braids.  Once you’ve reached the appropriate length, put a tape or better yet, sew up the edges.  Get your needle and drawstring and start pulling softly but tightly till the edges curl about but with a small loop at the center.  You can use your iron and press the braid to dry it up.  Continue stitching to securely lock the opening end and threading using your needle and string until it is coiled outwards and about.
  • Fit it to a tee.  Continue doing the previous step ensuring that the top is pushed flat.  Now in order to see if it fits your head, get a hard piece of paper or cardboard, cut it to make a form of an edge or border.  Try it on to make sure it fits.  Once the braid has circled to about 6 rounds, get the second string and place it on the base border of your crown.  Draw the braid up suitably fitting the hole of the cardboard edge.  Press it till it has dried up then take out the cardboard edge.
  • Finishing it up.  Keep on doing the previous steps until the border of the hat forms right into shape.  The front should be a little broader than the rear.  Once you reached the last twist, stitch the end securely.  To finish the hat, stitch the braid underneath the external boarder.  You can add ribbons or beads or other decorative materials that you desire.

Now you have your very own self made straw hat!  Show off your own unique design and stand out among the rest.  


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