It is only in certain areas that straw suitable for making plaits is produced.
The most valuable straw for plaits is grown in Tuscany, and from it the well-known Tuscan plaits and Leghorn hats are made.
The straw of Tuscany, specially grown for plaiting, is distinguished into three qualities - Pontederas Semone being the finest, Mazzuolo the second quality, from which the bulk of the plaits are made, while from the third quality, Santa Fioro, only "Tuscan pedals" and braids are plaited.
Tuscan plaits and hats vary enormously in quality and value; the plait of a hat of good quality may represent the work of four or five days, while hats of the highest quality may each occupy six to nine months in making.
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