Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Designated Purchase Fund, 1983
Not on view
The production of pineapple cloth is specific to the Philippines and West Indies. Woven by hand from the leaf fiber of the pineapple plant, and embellished with intricate embroidery, this highly valued fabric was fashioned into clothing and accessories that were a part of the traditional Filipino cultural heritage for centuries. More recently, both traditional garments and items for export were made of the distinctive pina cloth. This rare mid-19th-century man's shirt was probably a luxury item and may have been made for the Western market. The ornate floral stripes coupled with the sheerness make a statement about the status of the wearer. Only a member of the leisure class would own a garment of such a fragile and high-quality fabric.