GRADING
Among all manufacturers of Panama hats, there is a discrepancy in the manner in which a Panama hat is graded. Traditionally, Panama hats were graded using simple square tool that looks like a frame for a one-inch picture. The aperture of this frame was 25mm or about 1 inch. The regulator would set this frame about one-inch from the edge of the brim and then count the peaks of the cross weaves called carerra moving in a parallel direction. The tighter the weave, the more carerras were counted. That number would be multiplied by two and reconciled against a grading chart.

At Ultrafino, we have simplified this process by removing the redundant grading chart. We use a 1-inch by 1-inch square tool placed one inch from the edge of the brim. If the brim is shorter than 2inches, the tool is placed at the corner where the brim meets the crown. The number of carreras within this square tool gives us the grade.