Creating Fabric with Pineapple Fiber

StartUp FASHION - piña - pineapple fiberDid anyone hear about the Oscars Designer Challenge? Fashion designers competed to have their design worn by the “trophy girl” (the woman who hands the award to the presenter) at the 2010 Oscars Award Show. It was a nice idea and I’m sure the winner, Rania Salibi, was very excited to know her work was going to be seen by millions. I’m really not sure how much it was advertised as I hadn’t heard too much about it, however I did stumble across an article written by the Asian Journal that made reference to the contest. (One of the finalists is Filipino) Anyway, I’m sure by know you’re wondering why I am telling you all of this. Well, upon reading about this finalist, Oliver Tolentino, I was thrilled to find out that the garment he created was a “green”, eco-friendly gown made out of piña fiber, otherwise known as pineapple fiber! According to the article, Oliver wanted to “promote [his] home country’s native fabrics …and see the reaction of Westerners when [he] tells them that piña is pineapple fiber.” Well this Westerner is excited, inspired, and curious. So of course I immediately Googled it and learned that the piña fiber is hand scraped and the filaments are then knotted by hand and woven into a lightweight fabric similar to linen however it is softer and more lustrous. I have that same feeling of enthusiasm now that I did many years ago when I first discovered Tencel, which is made from wood pulp and takes on the qualities of cotton and silk. I’m thinking this could be a fun and unique new material to start working with. Now a bit more research on the process and suppliers…

Nicole Giordano

Nicole is the founder of StartUp FASHION, an online resource and community supporting for independent designers around the world with building their businesses. A deep love for the craft of fashion paired with an adamant belief that success is defined by the individual, led her to found StartUp FASHION, where she helps independent designers and makers screw the traditional fashion business rules, create their own paths, and build businesses they truly love. More than anything else, she’s in the business of encouragement and works every day to remind makers and designers that they have something special to offer the world and that they can, in fact, do this thing!


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