Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Keeping the Traditional Philippine Wedding Gown Alive

One of the Philippines’ most famous products is the piña fiber. Born during the Spanish occupation, the piña fabric was a symbol of a defiant race against the rule of Spaniards that Filipinos were forbidden to have any imported fabric next to their skin. Now, it has become part of the identity of Filipinos worldwide.

This ivory-white colored fiber is made from pineapple leave fibers and manually loomed by expert weavers. Being labor intensive, it has become one of the most luxurious indigenous fibers in the country. This indigenous material is commonly used to make traditional Filipino wedding dress and formal attires. But before a designer is able to create a masterpiece using this fabric, it takes about one whole week to weave piña fabric enough for a bridal gown. After that, it takes approximately two months to complete a fully hand-embroidered piña wedding gown. With the introduction of Western fabric and other alternatives like silk and cotton, Filipino wedding fashion designers have slowly shun away from using the piña fiber.  Read more ...