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. 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 not recommended, 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 order a custom lauhala hat?
- Email with your name, hat size, and style of lauhala hat for a price estimate. Prices start at $350 (US) for a small simple hat, such as a 20 inch Trilby or Fedora, and goes up depending on head size, brim size, style, and special patterns (if any).
- There will probably be a wait list of orders ahead of you. You'll be given an approximate time frame and price estimate.
- Confirm your name and hat order for the wait list. No deposit is required.
- You will be emailed a link to your hat when it is ready for purchase. Please purchase your order within 3 days of receiving the email. If you take too long to purchase it, the item will become "visible" in the shop and others will be able to buy it.
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.
Cancellation of orders: Custom hat orders can be cancelled via email at any time. If you change your mind, your situation changes, or you find a papale elsewhere (please support ALL lauhala weavers), it is no problem to cancel your order. In fact, it will help other people move up the wait list faster.
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.