Pineapple fashion

Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is the common name for an edible tropical plant and also its fruit. It is native to Paraguay and the southern part of  Brazil . Pineapple is eaten fresh or canned and is available as a juice or in juice combinations. It is used in dessert, salads, as a complement to meat dishes and in fruit cocktail. While sweet, it is known for its high acid content (perhaps malic and/or citric). Pineapples are the only  bromeliad fruit in widespread cultivation. It is one of the most commercially important plants that carry out  CMA photosynthesis.

When European explorers discovered this tropical fruit, they called them pineapples (term first recorded in that sense in 1664) because of their resemblance to what is now known as the pine cone. The term pine cone was first recorded in 1694 and was used to replace the original meaning of pineapple.

ornamental pineapple

In the scientific binomial Ananas comosus, ananas, the original name of the fruit, comes from the Tupi (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) word for pine nanas, as recorded by André Thevenet in 1555 and comosus means “tufted” and refers to the stem of the fruit. Many languages use the Tupian term ananas. In Spanish, pineapples are called piña “pine cone” in Spain and most Hispanic American countries, or ananá (ananás in Argentina )  They have varying names in anarosh (Bengali), and in Malayalam, kaitha chakka. In Malay, pineapples are known as “nanas” or “nenas”. In the Maldivian language of  Dhivehi , pineapples are known as alanaasi.

The Spaniards had introduced this fruit at an early date in the Philippines in the early 1570’s during the Manila -Acapulco galleon trade. The fruits were brought during the galleon trade as a sourced for food and to some extent Vitamin C  . The top portion of the fruit were the source of the planting materials .

According to some historical books, some pineapples were found growing in semi-naturalized areas in Palawan and in many parts of the country by 1640’s.

Local people who already knew how to extract natural fibers from local plants had a new sourced of fiber derived from the leaves of the pineapple.

Manila Cathedral with pineapple design

So important that the pineapple in local culture that pineapple design and motif was included in architecture like the pineapple design on the facade of  Manila Cathedral, the pulpit of San Agustin Church, candle holder, fruit trays, stamps  and the most important use of the pineapple fabric is  in the Philippine national costume.

These pineapple fabric and embroidery were very important that  the most important pieces are given to royalties like Queen Isabel 2 of Spain, Queen Victoria of England , foreign dignitaries, the pope among others.

Piña a Spanish word which means pineapple, are growing anywhere in the country like Tagaytay in Cavite, Calauan , Quezon and in Daet , Camarines Norte  although Southern Philippines produces the most.  One of the largest Pineapple plantation and producers in the world, DOLE, owns roughly half the overall pineapple farm proving the climate makes the best type of fruit. Pineapple textiles are most commonly called Piña in the Philippines.

ladies fashion made from knitted pineapple fabrics


Piña textiles are from the pineapple leaves and fibers, often mixed with silk to produce a great couture clothing with nice and elegant touch.

Aklan is the main and the oldest manufacturer/weaver of Piña cloth in the  Philippines which are being exported to various parts of the world most particularly North America, and Europe.  While Lumban in the province of Laguna, Taal in Batangas are center for embroidery of pineapple fabrics.  Piña weaving is an age-old tradition .

Piña and Jusi are the traditional fabrics used by the bordadoras. Piña is a soft, fine, flexible, and durable off-white fabric about two to four inches in length. It is derived from the finest mature leaves of the red Spanish variety of pineapple. During the Spanish period, piña was the most expensive and highly sought fabric worn for barong Tagalog by the illustrados on very rare special occasions It is a very delicate material, too difficult and expensive to embroider. Jusi (the Chinese term for raw silk), on the other hand, is a lightweight, flimsy, and ecru colored fabric regarded by the bordadoras as the best material for embroidery

Pineapple silk is considered the queen of Philippine fabrics and is considered the fabric of choice of the Philippine elite. During the 1996 edition of APEC in the Philippines, world leaders donned a pineapple silk Barong Tagalog  the traditional group photo.

Miss Precious Lara Quigaman in a pineapple inspired national costume

Photo courtesy : http://www.missosology.org

a local Filipino company Nooks company , Ltd. had made new innovations from the pineapple fabrics into everyday casual wear from jackets , knitted  hats among others. The company is now exporting these fashion items from all over the world .

Nooks Co. Ltd exhibit booth during the 50th Manila F.A.M.E.

Nooks Co. Ltd. is a manufacturer of sweaters/knitwear. It is a collaboration between Ms. Emeretha Daniel, Elizabeth Lee, Martyn Standen and people whose talents in this industry remain unmatched. The company also hosted a fashion show last October 21,2009 in SMX center where new product line were introduced to the local and international market.

The company’s social responsibility helps  farming communities from Zambales and Aklan by purchasing their pineapple fabrics and properly cultivation of pineapples.

For more information:

Address:
Unit H, 5th Flr., Westgate Tower,
Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila,  Philippines
Contact No:
842 5877
Fax No:
842 5877

Contact Person :

Mr. Francisco Tacio

Sales & Marketing- Dept. Head
Unit H, 5th Floor, Westgate Tower,

Investment Drive, Madrigal Business Park,

Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa City, 1780, Philippines

Tel./Fax No. 00 63 2 842-5877 /  00 63 2 807-0557

Mobile No. 09084995989

Planting tips:

Pineapples are very easy to grow from their tops. Since you are going to plant it, you bought it based upon the condition of the leaves. Just cut the top off about two inches down from the top of the pineapple. Let it sit on it’s side for about two  or three days to allow the cut to skin over. Then dust the cut area lightly with rooting hormone and pot it up with the dirt up to the base of the leaves. Go easy on the sun and the water for about one month or so until it establishes it’s roots. The plant will benefit from a daily misting of water on its’ leaves during and after this period. Then it can stand all of the heat and sun you can give it. Be sure not to over water it though.

Most of the pineapple fields were at the 1000-2000 ft. elevation where it is slightly cooler than at sea level. Pineapple may bloom after about 2 years after planting.

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