I saw a pineapple fiber fabrics listed on a millinery supply website.  Has anyone heard of these fabrics?  Do you block them?  Do you sew them?  

A sophisticated array of delicate, elegant, lightweight fabrics hand made from pineapple fibre. Woven to an uncompromising standard, these zero carbon fabrics give your creation a finishing touch of class. We stock a plain translucent fabrics and a similar one with regular dashes of silk, accompanied by a further 'Pina' lightweight mini check design fabric. To add interest to this unique range we have introduced a fully squared structured fabric and also a most distinctive woven fabric supporting cocoons of real silk.

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Sounds fascinating, but I have never heard of it before.

Is this Paris cloth found on Torb & Reiner, expensive but look interesting. Where is the one found that you are referring to?

It's at Parkin Fabrics.  

I think you may be talking about silk abaca. This is sais to be like Jinsin, I have read about this on Torb and Reiner, and they state that because of the amount of silk in the fabric it is softer than Jinsin. If you go to the Torb and Reiner you are able to ask questions on the fabric. It looks exciting, good luck.

Spot on Bronwyn - it is Silk Abaca that Torb & Reiner stock in Melbourne.

What can you do with it?  

Anything you do with JinSin can be created with this - basically scultpturing. There have been discussions with Milliners around the world about how jinsin fades so quickly so not sure how Silk abaca goes - will hang coloured piece in sun for few days & let you know.  Not cheap component so cuts profit margin and not my preferred Straw ...but saying that there are people who love it.  

Did you note the red headpiece of Phillip Treacys = jinsin. It is very architectural in its form + dramatic. 

What is your preferred straw?

Up until 1995 I used parisisal  and Swiss straw but with the arrival of Sinamay I use more of that commercially as it is easy & quick to use and cheapest to make a profit. As I mention throughout lessons designability is all about what you add or take away from basic straw shape. Clients ask for combinations of swiss &  sinamay or sinamay & pari. Whatever I create I have one goal to make the woman feel feminine.  With new lessons for Hatinators which can be very scultptural I aim to keep that feel of femininity. At 66yrs I was told I was "oldfashioned" recently ...but my pieces keep selling and that is best outcome we all want.

Hi. Silk Abaca is made from Banana fibres & silk interwoven together. I introduced it to the milliners at Wagga earlier in the year. My claim is that it is a fabric in between Jin sin & paris cloth. It is finer than Jin Sin, but not as soft as Paris Cloth. It has a definite silk sheen to it & when dyed, does not lose the sheen. It is used alot with sculptural pieces (wondering if that is what was used in Phillip Treacy's latest collection - red piece?), however I have blocked it and made flowers from it as it does not fray as easily& quickly as Jin Sin. I attended Lina Stein's course in Wagga where we pleated sinamay & then covered with fabric. I used that silk abaca & got beautiful results. If you would like to try some or have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me & I will try to assist. By the way, I checked out the Pina fabric & it looks like it is something different again.

Gaylene Thomas

Thanks for that Gaylene - Sinamay & JinSin come from the same banana like plant. Pina fabric might be the product advertised by suppliers as Pinokpok?? Let us know if you experiment with it. The fraying of jinsin is its weakness and how it fades is a challenge. Just the lights in a display case @ Qld Museum removed colour from it which disappointed the student so much.


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