The sheer pineapple fiber cloth, or pinya (Filipino for pineapple) is the finest of all the handwoven fabrics of the Philippines. Like the jusi, it is also the choice fabric for the Barong Tagalog. Similarly, it is also embroidered with intricate designs.
The pinya fiber is derived from wild pineapple plant of Aklan province where most of the pinya fiber in the Philippines is woven. Wild pineapple is preferred since its leaves are noted for their strenght and durability than commercially farmed pinaepples.
In Catholic (Spanish colonial) Philippines, stone altar figures of Mary and Jesus are often displayed in richly embroidered clothing and antique pinya lace or embroidery are often used or incorporated in the clothing of these richly decorated religious statues.
More recently due to changing tastes and commercial demands, a mixture of silk and pinya (the so called ‘pinya-seda’) has appeared in the market.
Long live pinya cloth!