Freya straw hats are handmade by women artisans in Ecuador using straw which grows from the Toquilla palm tree.  The palm is flexible and durable and has been used for over 3,000 years by the indigenous people of the region to form hats for protection from the harsh equatorial sun.  Freya hats are certified at UPF 50+ which is the highest certification available for UV protective clothing and blocks 98% of the sun's harmful UV rays.  
We think it's fair to call this, the original sunscreen.
The straws of the palm are cut, boiled and dried before they are woven into hats.  The dyes used in all our colored hats are certified organic, and their hue may evolve over time as they are exposed to the sun and elements.
No two hats are identical, which we believe adds to their authenticity and beauty.  With proper care, your Freya hat should last a lifetime.  Hats may be wiped clean with a tightly woven cloth.  We recommend protecting the hat from rain and excessive moisture.  If the hat does get too wet and loses some of its shape, a handheld steamer along with some targeted manipulation will help you restore misshapen areas of the crown and brim.  A hair dryer can be helpful in hardening the softened fibers into place.  An iron can also be used following the steamer for a bent brim.  
Please email us at if your hat has a bad day, and we'll see what we can do to help you resurrect it to its former glory.
Your hats should be stored upside down with their crown down (with the exception of a few of our soft, flexible hats).  The best storage option, of course, is our travel hatbox.  Please never pack a hat in a suitcase.  We promise that never works!  If you don't travel with a hatbox, wear it or carry it until you find a safe spot to rest your hat and your head during your travels.
Bon voyage!