The Difference Between a Traditional Barong and a Modern Barong
What is the difference between traditional and modern barong?
- Textile Used
The modern Filipiniana barong takes elements from the traditional barong to create a timeless and entirely new item that’s tailor-made for the present. Textiles and techniques from traditional barongs are still used in modern applications today. Over the years, the meaning of the barong has drastically changed. This, alongside its use, created a cycle of evolution for this simple garment. Modern and traditional barongs have key differences and similarities. These differences can be surface level or something deeper. Let’s explore the differences between traditional and modern barong.
Textile is a very important material for many sectors, especially the clothing and fashion industry. The textile can be created from natural and synthetic fibers, either blended or entirely pure. Some textiles still use traditional techniques that are more expensive compared to their modern counterparts, but with a significant difference in quality.
For some modern barongs, organza was the textile mainly used due to its accessible price and easy production. This textile has a slight sheen to it, which can sometimes be overpowered when its picture is taken with flash photography. Organza fabric is the most affordable textile used for modern barongs, so it is a great option for those on a budget.
Jusi is the next textile that’s used for the modern barong. This textile has a minimum sheen, and the texture is more refined compared to organza. Compared to traditional piña textiles, jusi is cheaper and more accessible for those who are on a budget. Both of these textiles also have a wider range of colors to choose from, which is an instant appeal for the modern fashionista.
Tygie is a local company that specializes in the creation of stylish modern barongs. One of the textiles that they utilize is Cocoon Silk, which comes from the cocoon of the silkworm. It takes around 3,000 cocoons to make around a yard of silk material. Another textile that they make use of is Cotton Silk, which is 50% cotton and 50% piña.
For traditional barongs, the main textile that was used was the piña fabric. This textile is meticulously woven by artisans to create a uniquely Filipino fabric. Artisans locally used traditional techniques and incorporated it with western embroidery to create this beautiful textile. The textile is made from the leaves of pineapple plants which gives it an elegant yellow tinge. If you look closely at the fabric, you might see that the interwoven fibers are a bit uneven. This irregular pattern is due to the varying thickness of pineapple leaf fibers. It takes a lot of time and labor to collect pineapple fibers. Combined with the weaving, this instantly becomes one of the most expensive fibers to use.
One might say that the primary difference between the textiles for modern and traditional barongs lies in their accessibility. Depending on your budget, you may want to use blended fabric for a much more affordable option. If your budget allows you to reach luxury, traditional piña fabric will be the perfect investment for you.
There are many variations when it comes to style for the barong. The modern barong is made to accommodate the personal preference of the wearer. The modern barong is regarded as a highly sound personal investment. Most people who purchase a barong nowadays are looking for the right fit, style, color, and fabric. It’s all about the one-of-a-kind experience for modern barong users, revolving around bringing out the personality of the wearer. Any gender can enjoy wearing modern barong because of these personality-oriented choices.
In the past, the traditional barong was created as a garment for males that aims to counteract the environment. It was initially made from rough cotton to protect laborers from the harsh weather and sun. The arrival of the Spanish introduced the high-collar which the male elite used as a dress shirt for gatherings. The traditional barong was mostly used by men, unlike modern barongs. These changes are key differences to the various styles and purposes of barongs in general.
Nowadays, the modern barong has now been upgraded to become a part of women’s fashion as well. Companies that specialize in creating modern Filipiniana wear have created modern barongs that can be worn by women in their places of work. The barong has encompassed an era of set gender roles and is now being utilized to promote gender equality.
The details for the barong, similar to the variation of style, have made it possible for all genders to enjoy this timeless piece. The designs of modern barongs are also able to keep up with the modern age. Many designers took it upon themselves to add their own signature elements to these timeless clothing pieces for the modern wearer. Some even go as far as combining traditional designs and modern details to create a unique story for the clothing.
The barong created by a modern Filipiniana clothing brand such as Tygie makes use of a variety of timeless pieces in order to create its iconic looks. Ethnic patterns are utilized to make their pieces stand out amongst the crowd. Most are created either through hand embroidery (Calado) or machine embroidery. A few special pieces are even hand-painted by local artists.
Both are equally important in their own special way. Modern barongs opened the door to an inclusive barong. More people can now enjoy the timeless style of a traditional barong with a modern twist, perfect for any gender and age. Without the traditional barong, modern barong will never be the same. From its traditional rough cotton phase to the luxurious piña fabric garment it is today, it’s a piece of history that anyone can bring to their closet.
Modern barongs have paved the way for diversity in the fashion industry. pieces by Tygie can make you look and feel dignified and respectable no matter your age, gender, size, race, style, or religion.
While both are unique in their own way, the modern Filipiniana barong borrows important traditional elements from the traditional barong. The traditional barong paved the way to the inclusive modern barong and has then shed any negative connotation. Now they’re both beautiful fashion-forward choices for any event or casual setting.
Wear our INDEPENDENCE
Wear our INDIVIDUALITY
Wear our TRADITION
Wear it every day and in EVERY CELEBRATION
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