Scarf Length, mid 1800s

Fine fibers culled from the leaves of the pineapple plant give this scarf length its gossamer appearance. Some believe the pineapple was introduced to the Philippines from the Americas in the 1500s by Spanish sailors working trade routes connecting Manila and Acapulco, Mexico. Already skilled at making textiles out of abaca, or banana-leaf fiber, Filipinos created luxury piña-cloth garments and textiles for a wealthy local clientele. Piña textiles were also exported across the world, sold as an alternative to lace. By the 17th century, Chinese and Indian immigrant artisans added new embroidery techniques and design motifs, seen in the exquisitely worked traditional Indian flowering tree motif that graces the central field.

(From the object label in the Exhibit “Insnared with flowers, I fall on grass", June 10, 2014-March 8, 2015)

Piña - (Spanish, Filipino) the Spanish word for pineapple in the Philippines, it is also became the name of the cloth made from leaf fibers of the red pineapple plant. The plant is mainly cultivated in the Visayas, and it may come directly from America or through the Portuguese who introduced it to India, Malacca and China during the sixteenth century (Crawfurd, 428; Medina, 1; Foreman 376.(Castro,70)

Source :

Castro, Sandra B. (2018).Textiles in the Philippine colonial landscape : a lexicon and historical survey. Quezon City : Ateneo de Manila University Press

Castro, Sandra B. " Nipis", Intramuros Administration. N.D. www.//

Annotation: Piña textile was added for additional information
by: Noel Jordan Racca

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