Taal embroidery is a craft that dates back to the early 1900's in the Philippines. It is one of the oldest crafts of the Philippines. The art involves a very intricate form of embroidery that was originally all done by hand on very delicate material. Although machine-made Taal embroidery is sold, the original is very valuable and sought after by visitors.
The craft originated with women in wealthy families in the area of Taal, Batangas. Taal is a city of about 51,000 located in the province of Batangas, which is in the northern part of the Philippines. Taal is known as the Barong Tagalog Capital of the Philippines.
Taal embroidery was used predominately to decorate barongs, or tagalogs, the shirts worn by men. It is a formal garment that is usually made of fine material such as pina fabric made from pineapple leaves, or jusi made from banana silk. It is also used on linen, ramie and cotton.
Women's dresses also display the beautiful Taal embroider, particularly the traditional ternos, a long formal gown with big, puffy butterfly sleeves. Tourists who travel to the Philippines in April will be able to see much of the craft displayed in the costumes worn at the annual El Pasubat Festival.
The art of Taal embroidery has dwindled considerably over the years due to its labor-intensive nature which makes real Taal embroidery very expensive and hard to find. But it is well worth the investment. There are many machine-made versions of the craft, so it is best to ask around to find out where you can obtain authentic Taal embroidery.
|Models wear Taal embroidery designs during Philippine Fashion Week|