My Mother’s Pineapple Fibre Baby Dresses

My mother was very sentimental person. She kept in good condition the things that were dear to her, items dating back to her baby years, kept in good condition by her mother, my grandmother. Among the items that I inherited from her that I treasure most are a gold pendant with bite marks and three pieces of baby dresses.

Pineapple fibre baby dressed from the 1920s
Hand-stitched dresses made from pineapple leaf fibre fabric.

The dresses, my mother told me, were made from pineapple leaf fibre fabrics, painstakingly sewn one stitch at a time by hand. I cannot imagine the amount of effort and time put into making them. The sparsely woven fabrics make them appear almost sheer but they are stiff to the touch. The size of each dress is different, giving rise to the assumption that they were made at different times of her young life, most probably for important occassions like her baptism and such.

She was born in 1925. That makes these dresses at least eighty years old. This is all I know of these priceless “artifacts”. I regret that I did not spend time to get to know more of her life, more of the things that she would eventually bequeath to me when she was alive. I am sure hers was a life worth telling, and there are interesting stories behind each and every one of those items.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

3 thoughts on “My Mother’s Pineapple Fibre Baby Dresses”

  1. The dresses are beautiful. All that embroidery along the edges done by hand, WOW!

    My mom was born in 1926. I am lucky though because she is still alive and she’s even healthy.

  2. Wow, these are priceless.They make the filipino traditional barong from pineapple fibre too, especially the expensive ones. They don’t recommend washing them as they tear easily.Fabrics made from pineapple fibres are light and airy. I would vacuum pack them and store in a dry place.

Comments are closed.