Do you like Piña Coladas? How about Pineapple Silk?

Do you like Piña Coladas? How about Pineapple Silk? You know the song, but did you know about the fabric? (I didn’t.) Called “Piña” (Spanish for pineapple) in the Philippines, where it originated, this textile has been around for ages and is now experiencing a small – and hopefully growing – revival.

History of Pineapple Silk

Though the Spaniards introduced the pineapple plant to the Philippines, there is evidence that the textile was produced even earlier, with traders bringing it as far as Egypt and Greece several hundred years ago.  It was traditionally worn by the Philippine elite, and is often used for formal and wedding attire.

Do you like Piña Coladas? How about Pineapple Silk?       Do you like Piña Coladas? How about Pineapple Silk?

If you’re a patient and curious type, check out this 1918 silent film about the making of piña lingerie.  How cool is it that this is on YouTube?

Production

Piña production is rather involved, from what I’ve read.  One source says that it can involve up to 30 people to complete the process from start to finish.  It begins with scraping the fiber from the pineapple leaf:

Do you like Piña Coladas? How about Pineapple Silk?

The fiber is then washed, dried, waxed, and bound into yarn before being woven into fabric that is silky and translucent.

Modern Pineapple Silk Fashion

I first discovered piña while perusing the website of the Canadian sustainable fashion brand Elroy Apparel.  The designer makes several pieces of various blends of the stuff, combining the eco-friendly textile with classic silhouettes.

Do you like Piña Coladas? How about Pineapple Silk?

Piña has also graced the runway in Scandinavia and beyond, and Columbian designer Georgina Diaz collaborated with Carma Viva in the Philippines to blend it with other local natural fibers:

Do you like Piña Coladas? How about Pineapple Silk? Do you like Piña Coladas? How about Pineapple Silk?

 

10 thoughts on “Do you like Piña Coladas? How about Pineapple Silk?

  1. Pingback: Sustainable Fashion | Feelgood Style

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  3. Thanks for the article. I have used piña with a couple of my sewing projects. I always like to see how it is used.

  4. My 90 year old mother has some pina fabric napkins, doilies and tablecloths bought in the Philippines around 1940. Some have cute little nature-themed colored embroidered designs (bees, etc). We can’t use them and would like to sell or donate them, we are wondering if they are particularly valuable. If anyone can help me or tell me anything about them, or give me another lead for how to find out, I would appreciate it! Holly, Tucson

    • Hi Holly, I’m afraid I don’t know much about it’s value but you might try contacting Elroy apparel or one of the other sources linked to in the article as a start! That so lovely that your grandmother kept the pieces, hopefully you can find a good new home for them.

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