what are sun hats made of

What Are Sun Hats Made Of? Discover Sun Hats and Materials

What are sun hats made of?

When the summer sun is blazing, a stylish sun hat is more than just a fashion statement, it's a must-have accessory. But have you ever stopped to wonder, what are sun hats made of?

The materials used in a sun hat play a crucial role in its effectiveness, durability, and style. So, let's uncover the fascinating world of materials used in sun hat construction.

The Diversity of Sun Hat Materials

The world of sun hat materials is surprisingly diverse, offering a wide selection of options to suit different styles and needs.

From natural fibers like straw and cotton to synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon, each has its benefits and drawbacks.

Straw: A Classic Choice for Summer

Straw sun hats are synonymous with summer style, evoking images of breezy beaches and picnics. This natural fiber, often harvested from wheat, rice, or raffia palms, brings lightness, breathability, and a timeless charm to any sun hat.

Straw sun hats, including popular options like bucket hats, add a touch of natural beauty to your summer wardrobe while providing effective protection from the sun's harsh UV rays.

However, it's important to remember that the quality and tightness of the straw weave can influence its effectiveness in blocking UV rays. Some straw hats may have a tighter weave, offering better sun protection, while others prioritize style and ventilation over maximum UV blockage.

Cotton: A Soft and Breathable Option

Known for its softness, breathability, and affordability, cotton is another popular choice for sun hat materials. Cotton sun hats provide comfort, particularly in hot and humid climates, thanks to the natural fibres absorbent qualities. 

While cotton is a great material, some prefer a more durable option, like polyester. This synthetic material offers long-lasting and resilient construction. Polyester hats also tend to be lighter and easier to pack, making them perfect travel hats.

Synthetic Materials: Durability and Performance

Synthetic materials, such as nylon and polyester, often hold an advantage when it comes to durability, water resistance, and packability. Many synthetic sun hats boast a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating, which indicates their ability to block harmful ultraviolet radiation.

Just like with sunscreen, the higher the UPF rating, the more protection it provides.

Many sun hats these days combine both natural and synthetic fibers to capitalize on the benefits of each. For example, a straw sun hat might have a polyester lining for increased UPF protection or water resistance.

Beyond the Wide Brim: Other Sun Hat Components

Besides the main material that forms the hat’s shape, other components contribute to its style and functionality. Some have adjustable chin straps to keep them secure, even on breezy days.

This feature ensures hats stay firmly in place, especially during outdoor activities like hiking or boating.

Other hats feature decorative trims like ribbons, bands, or embellishments, adding a touch of personal flair. You can see what those trims and styles might look like from Tio y Tia, Cuyana, or Janessa Leoné, but ultimately each brand adds its own special elements.

Finding the Right Sun Hat: Key Considerations

Choosing the ideal sun hat isn't just about picking your favorite color or style. You'll want to ensure you’re getting one that offers adequate sun protection.

As you ask yourself what are sun hats made of, consider these key factors.

Brim Width and Style

For maximum sun protection, look for hats with wide brims, typically three inches or more. Wider brims shield your face, neck, and ears from direct sunlight, providing essential shade for these sensitive areas.

However, those who prefer a sportier style may go for baseball caps. These popular options provide shade to the face but offer less protection for the neck and ears. The Skin Cancer Foundation does an incredible job advocating for healthy sun protection strategies.

Ultimately, a beach hat, of any material, is better than no hat when spending time in the sun. 

UPF Protection

Opt for sun hats with a UPF rating of 50+, meaning the fabric blocks 98% of the sun's UV radiation. Many sun hats now include information on their UPF rating, so make sure to check the tag or product description before making your purchase.

Material and Construction

Consider your lifestyle and the intended use of the sun hat. If you plan to wear it for outdoor adventures, choose durable and weather-resistant materials like wool felt.

Cotton and natural straw might be more suitable for everyday wear. For ultimate peace of mind, a hand-made upf sun hat with high-quality construction, as seen with companies like Tilley, ensures both durability and ethical production.

Style and Comfort

Ultimately, the perfect womens sun hat should combine style, protection, and comfort. With so many durable materials and perfect sun hat styles available, you can find one that fits your personality. Make sure the hat sizes fits comfortably on your head without feeling too tight or loose.

Sun Hat Care: Keeping Your Style and Protection Intact

Taking good care of your sun hat will ensure you stay sun-safe while maintaining the style of your hat for seasons to come. Gentle spot cleaning with a damp cloth can keep straw hats in top shape. Washing synthetic materials like nylon is straightforward; hand-washing is ideal, or use a gentle cycle if washing it in a machine.

If in doubt, refer to the care instructions provided by the manufacturer.


By now you should have a much better understanding what are sun hats made of. From the airy weaves of straw to the robust reliability of synthetics, sun hat materials are surprisingly diverse. Each material brings its own benefits, blending style with functionality.

By considering these materials and following some simple care tips, you can choose an ideal sun hat that complements your summer adventures for years to come.

shipping delivery Eric Javits

Free shipping

Free shipping over $150 USD

Eric Javits newsletter


Subscribe to get special offers, free giveaways, and once-in-a-lifetime deals.