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How Eric Javits Hats Look and Feel Like Real Raffia

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Raffia is a straw material that is found on palm trees throughout Africa, particularly Madagascar. Not only does raffia provide for sturdy, durable hat construction, but the material is highly beneficial for blocking harmful rays from the sun. The straw is not a product of the plant, but is made from the membrane of the plant. The membrane of the raffia plant is dried and then the fibers are rolled together to make the material used in the hat.

What is Squishee®?

Eric Javits has been designing hats for over 40 years. Over the years, he realized that hats needed a better material to make hats packable and rollable. Lighter straw was often too fragile for everyday use. Heavier straw created a durable hat, but would frequently splinter. Even in contemporary hat designs, straw requires deliberate care and maintenance. In the early 1990s, Eric began work on creating a material that would create a stylish, glamorous hat that was also convenient. The end product, Squishee®, is a manmade material that is both environmentally friendly (made from recycled materials) and is a great material for hats, shoes, and bags. 

Squishee is a great alternative to straw, raffia, and other natural materials that are used in hats. Not only are hats made with Squishee durable and comfortable, but they also reduce strain on the Raffia palm, as some species of the Raffia palm are endangered.

Rated for protection from the sun 

The Squishee material is great for sun protection. If you browse our collection of sun hats, you will find that they carry a rating of UPF 50+. When you see a rating of UPF 50+, this means that only 2% of the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays pass through the material. These hats go through a rigorous testing process, with tough standards set forth by the American Society for Testing Methods and the American Association for Textile Chemists and Colorists. If you are out in the sun for a long period of time, hats from Eric Javits will be sure to protect you from harmful ultraviolet radiation. 

Durability and longevity 

Straw and raffia hats gradually lose their shape over time. If a hat gets wet, it can lose its shape instantly. If your hat doesn't have a wire brim, it will be close to impossible to reshape. Even with a wire brim, it will be hard to reshape. 

Squishee hats are highly rated for their durability. Not only are they packable, but they also are very easy to clean. Squishee is durable, to the point that we have even incorporated it into some of the other products that we sell, such as designer bags and shoes. 

Comfortable and functional  

Over time, raffia and other straw materials become dry and brittle. If your hat is made from Squishee, the materials are not only lightweight and comfortable, but the hat is also designed by hand. In addition to comfort in the sun, each hat band is elasticized for an extremely comfortable fit. 

Natural looking color options 

While raffia and straw hats are available in different colors, the dyes fade over time. Squishee hats are available in a plethora of different colors that will keep their luster, no matter the age of the hat. 

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Which Squishee hats are best? 

If you are looking for a comfortable, stylish Squishee hat, be sure to check out some of these different varieties.


The Champ has been a mainstay in the Eric Javits lineup for quite some time. Over the years, women had a hard time finding a high-quality sun visor. This is the hat if you play tennis, golf, or power walk. It's also a great visor to wear for a casual day outdoors.


The Squishee Instinct is a popular, stylish fedora hat. This hat is functional and will resonate with a woman's unique instincts for casual style. Not only is this hat perfect for everyday use, but combines the function of a sun hat with the classic fedora style. 


This is a Squishee hat that is a combination of a fedora and a visor. You can wear the Suncrest for a walk in the park or a day at the beach. You will also find a breathtaking variety of colors to choose from so that you can embrace this hat, and its generous 4-inch brim, as part of your outdoor wardrobe. 


This is another stylish hat, named for the island in the Caribbean. This is a tropical-styled, warm weather hat that will turn heads, keep the sun out of your eyes, and is easily packed by putting it upside down in your suitcase. 


Other products made from Squishee

Not only will you find great designer hats for both men and women from Eric Javits, you will also find bags and totes. The Squishee material lends itself to the dexterity and comfort required of a fine designer handbag. The Ms. Perfect is a classic shoulder bag made of Squishee. Featuring an outer pocket for easy access to your cell phone and a stylish chain, this bag will perfectly match your cashmere or silk. 

Squishee, the contemporary raffia straw

 After four decades of designing hats, bags, and shoes, Eric Javits took straw and raffia to the next level with the innovation of Squishee. Trademarked in the early 2000s, this material filled the need for a quality, convenient material to make designer hats and bags. Over the years and the fusion of different styles, Eric Javits has continued to produce hats that are contemporarily elegant. Whether you are looking for a classic straw hat design, or something that is unique to you, you will find the perfect hat from Eric Javits that you can embrace as part of your wardrobe. 

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