It is important to remember that lauhala is first and foremost a natural plant fiber. It is the leaf of the pandanus tree. With proper care, your beloved lauhala item may last for years or even decades.
How do I care for my lauhala hat? Keep it dry and well ventilated. Store it on a flat surface. Otherwise your hat may eventually sag with gravity and its shape will change. If the front brim dips downward, you could let that part hang over the edge of the shelf to maintain that shape. Wipe dust off with a slightly damp cloth. Because I live in a very humid place, instead of a damp cloth, I clean dust from my lauhala using a microfiber cloth or I carefully vacuum them using the brush attachment. If/when the fibers seem dull or brittle, gently wipe it with a small amount of mineral oil on a cloth to restore its luster. Do not soak the item with oil. Although it’s rough on the fibers, hats may be re-blocked or shaped carefully using water spray-mist and a clothing iron to press it into shape. Be careful not to scald the fibers.
How do I care for my lauhala accessories? Keep them dry and well ventilated. Wipe dust off with a slightly damp cloth. Lauhala will eventually sag with gravity or lose its shape if not properly supported. Do not stack things on top of purses, or if you must stack purses please stuff the purse with acid free paper or cloth to help it maintain it’s shape. If/when the fibers seem dull or brittle, gently wipe it with a small amount of mineral oil on a cloth to restore its luster. Do not soak the item with oil.
How do I know my head size? Lauhala hats are measured by inches ("head size" or circumference) and not the standard American hat size. If you know your hat size, it can be converted to inches. If you don't know your head size, you can find it with a tape measure wrapped around your head above your ears where a sweatband would go. The circumference in inches is your head size. If you don't have a tape measure, use a piece of string to wrap around your head, then measure the length of the string. Some people may tell you a lauhala hat can be sized up or down by "tightening or loosening the string." While it's possible to do that, it's not desirable. If pulled tight or let out too loose it will cause the brim to pucker or warp. The best fit happens when the hat is woven to the wearer's head size.
How long does it take to make a lauhala hat? It depends on the weaver and the hat. Time lines are approximate. Each hat takes a minimum of 20 to 40 hours of weaving time. This does not include the hours spent gathering, cleaning, softening, and stripping the lauhala. The preparation of the lau is also challenged by surprises like centipedes and other creepy crawlies. Sometimes Cherie runs ahead of schedule, sometimes behind. Sometimes she runs out of lau and has to gather. Sometimes she has to wait for the lau to be dry enough to gather. Mother nature has its own schedule.
Shipping Policy: Shipping is free in Hawai'i and the rest of the United States. Items are shipped via First Class Mail or (usually) Priority Mail with USPS (United States Postal Service). Orders are shipped within 1 to 3 days from payment.
Exchanges: Not available. Each lauhala hat is uniquely handmade.
Returns Policy: COVID-19 concerns: Due to the pandemic and the nature of wearable hats and sweatbands, returns are not accepted until further notice.