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Journey of the Barong Tagalog, 20th Century Philippines Part 28: The Pintuck Barong

Entrepreneur Yau Shin found a less labor-intensive and less expensive way to sew designs onto barongs - pintucking. A pintuck is a fold of fabric that has been stitched to hold it in place, and this fold creates a ridge or pleat on the other side of the fabric.

In 1982 he patented his version of the pintuck barong. As a result of the patent, Shin’s company JASM Garments became the sole manufacturer of these barongs, which became widely sold in department stores in Metro Manila and in the provinces of the Philippines.

Other fashion designers have incorporated pintucks into their barongs, but it is Shin that sought patent protection and manufactured his pintuck barongs on a large scale. Of course, he was able to do this on a large scale because the pintucking method allowed for money-saving automation and mass production. Plus, his use of inexpensive fabric - chiffonille, a translucent fabric likely made from synthetic material like polyester - also kept the production costs low.

 

These barongs became so popular that JASM began to export them for sale to other countries like Puerto Rico. JASM also produced a more expensive version of pintuck barongs that had calado hand embroidery between the pintucks.

Dodo models JASM’s short sleeve pintuck barong

Dodo models JASM’s short sleeve pintuck barong. This Barong features a covered full button-down design, two columns of diagonal pintucks on each side of the button placket that turn outward towards the bottom to cover the tops of the front pockets, side vents and a pointed fold-down collar.

 Alex Arcos models a JASM long sleeve pintuck barong

Alex Arcos models a JASM long sleeve pintuck barong, which features a full button-down design with covered button placket, two columns of diagonal pintucks on each side of the placket, side vents and a pointed fold-down collar.

Yau Shin models his own JASM long sleeve pintuck barong

Yau Shin models his own JASM long sleeve pintuck barong, which is the same as the one in the 2nd pic.

All pics are likely from the 1980’s and are from Visitacion R. de la Torre’s 1986 book The Barong Tagalog: The Philippines’ National Wear