Fab Fabrics: …Pineapple?

Kelly pointed me to these awesome wedding dresses made from pineapple cloth, and my interest was piqued!

It turns out that pineapple fabric, or Piña cloth, is a traditional fiber from the Phillipines dating back from the 1800’s! So here’s the skinny on Piña.

The lightweight fiber is often intricately embroidered. It’s traditionally used in high-end garments like wedding gowns called Barong Tagalog (fabric from a Barong is pictured to the right there).

The fiber itself is woven from the leaves of the pineapple plant. It’s sheer but stiff enough to embroider and has a natural sheen. According to Textile Fashion Trends, it’s easy to wash and doesn’t require dry cleaning. That’s great news, since so much formal wear is dry clean only, which means treating the garment with harsh chemicals.

I looked all over for places that sold Piña cloth by the yard but turned up nothing. I’m so intrigued! Have any of you worked with pineapple cloth?

Image Credits:
Pineapple. Creative Commons photo by auntiep
Barong Up Close. Creative Commons photo by brownpau

13 thoughts on “Fab Fabrics: …Pineapple?”

  1. Kirsten – I wonder that, too! I was able to find some info on pineapple production but nothing specifically for producing Piña cloth. If I’m able to dig up anything else, I’ll definitely do a follow up!

  2. I recommend both the sites mentioned by Netfah.

    I’m a Filipina and just got back from 2 months trip from Philippines. My initial plan for the trip is to do an extensive research about the fine art of Philippine embroidery, particularly on pina cloth… but due to severe flooding while I was there, I decided to cancel my plans. However, I’ll still gonna do it on my next trip provided I’ll be there during summertime.

    I managed to buy hankies made of pina cloth though for my stitching/embroidery friends who wanna feel the texture of pina cloth personally. The owner of Heritage Arts & Crafts is very friendly and will accomodate your queries. Too bad I didn’t able to meet her in person while I was there!

    BTW, there are various places in the Philippines that manufacture pina cloth. The biggest one is in Aklan. As for the pina cloth embroiderers, the biggest community (as far as I know) is in Laguna (located in Southern Luzon) which unfortunately got flooded severely by typhoon Ondoy on September 26th.

    Price-wise, pina cloth is expensive as it’s a high end material worn traditionally by prominent people. The best alternative for barong made of pina… is “jusi”.

  3. hellu, I am looking for canadian wholesalers of some organic cotton and hemp but am coming up rather empty. Any help would be greatly appreciated as i am moving my company to a 100% organic production.

  4. lumbanlagunamae

    All of the fabrics in the background are made from pineapple fiber (+hand painting and hand embroidery) Enjoy! 🙂

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