6 Fibers Used To Make Modern Filipiniana Wear | Tygie Blog

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6 Natural and Synthetic Fibers Used To Make Modern Filipiniana Wear

by joshSeptember 18, 2019
6 Natural and Synthetic Fibers Used To Make Modern Filipiniana Wear

What natural and synthetic fibers are used to make modern Filipiniana wear?

  1. Natural Fibers
    • Piña Cloth/Silk
    • Hinabue
    • Jusi
  2. Synthetic Fibers
    • Organza
    • Shantung
    • Chiffon


Filipiniana wear has evolved throughout the ages. Generations of Filipino craftsmen have passed down the traditions of hand-sewing and beadwork.

These expert weavers continue to explore different types of natural and synthetic fabrics. The goal is to create various comfortable yet stylish garments. They also aim to preserve the uniqueness of Filipina wear.

So, what are modern Filipiniana dresses and lady barongs usually made from? Read on!


Natural Fibers

Natural Fibers

Natural fibers such as piña cloth, silk, and cotton come from animals and plants. Pieces of clothing made from natural fibers are lightweight yet stiff. Natural fibers are also used to make sheer fabric. The fabric is see-through and transparent.

Clothing brands that aim to promote modern Filipina wear make use of these natural fibers to keep centuries of traditions. Such companies include Teodora Gonzales’ Tygie. This includes their terno dress, the lady barong, and modern Filipiniana tops.

Here are some key natural fibers used to make modern Filipiniana wear.


Piña Cloth/Silk

Fibers refined from pineapple leaves are what makes Piña cloth. These fibers are hand extracted and woven on a loom to create the well-known fabric.

In the Philippines, the oldest and internationally renowned manufacturers of piña cloth come from the province of Aklan. Other popular provinces that have their own ways of making piña cloth are Iloilo and Antique. Their traditions have been going on for more than a hundred years.

The making of piña cloth is one of the oldest surviving crafts within the country. As such, piña fabric garments are being passed on as an heirloom.



The hinabue fiber is a combination of piña and cotton. It is used to create pieces of clothing that are sheer, just like those made from pure piña fibers. At the same time, its cotton component makes it soft yet durable.

Take a look at Tygie’s Denzel Lady Barong Dress. This piece can complete your refreshing beach look. The piña fibers embody the beloved translucent look of Filipiniana wear. At the same time, the cotton fibers can be used to create a dress that can flow with the wind. The combination of the two natural fibers will also be able to create a weatherproof piece of garment.



The traditional jusi fiber is made from raw silk from the fibers of butterfly cocoons. Nowadays, banana leaves make up the modern version of the jusi.

Garments made from jusi are known to be more affordable while still retaining the classic and refined look. It is also incredibly soft to the touch compared to others made of a different type of natural fiber. Lastly, pieces of clothing made from jusi are also considerably more opaque.

These are just three of the natural fibers that are used to make Filipiniana wear. Modern clothing brands also make use of synthetic fibers to diversify their choices.


Synthetic Fibers

Synthetic Fibers

Synthetic fibers are entirely man-made. They are made in laboratories through chemical reactions involving a number of components. Fabrics created with synthetic fibers include rayon, polyester, and many others. Pieces of clothing made from synthetic fibers are more durable than those made from natural ones.

Here are some key synthetic fibers used to make modern Filipiniana wear.



Organza is a man-made yarn made of comprised of either rayon or polyester. Created as a substitute for silk, rayon is a synthetic fabric made from purified cellulose taken from select plants. Polyester, on the other hand, is a long line of combined polymers.

Organza fabric is a thin and lightweight weave. It gives a piece of clothing more volume. Organza, like most Filipina wear, requires a certain method to keep it clean. It must be dry cleaned first and creases should be straightened out with a warm iron.



Shantung is another type of synthetic fiber that is incredibly silk-like. It can be dyed a variety of colors and is soft enough to sew beadwork on. A unique property of the shantung is that it is stain resistant and also incredibly durable.

Check out Tygie’s Plain Medium Chemise Shantung Dress. This piece is soft enough to show off a woman’s curves. At the same time, its texture is significantly less stiff compared to those created from natural fibers. Another piece we can look at is Tygie’s Roxanne Shantung Blouse which is predominantly dyed black. It is designed with beadwork that contrasts the looming dark color.



Chiffon is a synthetic fiber that can also be made from cotton and silk. It can be dyed to any desired shade, except for the types made of polyester. It is a lightweight plain-woven fabric that has a transparent appearance. This type of fiber can give an elegant gown the illusion of it floating.

These are just some of the natural and synthetic fibers used to craft modern Filipiniana wear. Try it out for yourself to see what type of fabric you prefer to wear in your daily life!


Key Takeaway

Both natural and synthetic fibers have their own distinct look and texture. Provinces across the Philippines have developed their own ways of weaving various fibers.

Tygie has a quest to highlight Filipina wear. It aims to combine traditional and modern processes to create its signature pieces. These create comfortable clothing that also shows off years and years of Filipino craftsmanship.

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