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How to look after your Barong and TERNO

Our traditional clothing are so intricately fine and delicate that they need the proper care for to last for years. But don't fret as we share how to look after your precious garments.

Barong Tagalog and Baro't Saya are the national dress of the Philippines. The Barong traditionally worn by men (also worn by women nowadays) and TERNO (the evolved piece of the baro't saya ensemble) pieces are made from some of the most delicate sheer silks you can find - pinya (made from pineapple fibers), pinya-abaca, jusi, cocoon, organza and also pure abaca (Manila hemp) fibers.

Looking after your priced pieces of Barong Tagalog and TERNO is definitely something we all need to learn. Here are some tips we have sought from the makers themselves, our Filipino artisans in Lumban, Laguna.

Tip #1 - Dry cleaning is not recommended

Drycleaning is similar to regular home laundering, but a liquid solvent is used to clean your clothes instead of water and detergent. Dry cleaning is recommended when the fabric reacts badly to water. Barong and TERNO fabrics do not exhibit that characteristic, hence not only is dry cleaning expensive, but it can also risk damaging the delicate fibers of your delicate garments.

Tip #2 - Handwash is the way to go

When handwashing your delicate garments, use mild detergent mixed with water. Soak for a few minutes. Do not scrub or squeeze. Hang on a rounded edge hanger or lay on top of an air dryer stand but ensure airdrying away from direct heat or sunlight.

Tip #3 - Stains? No bleach please.

Spot cleaning the stained area by dabbing a soft wet cloth is recommended. Use a mild detergent in treating stains. Bleaching may cause damage to fabric and embroidery.

Tip #4 - Ironing dilemma

To remove creases, you can either steam iron or dry iron in low temperature setting. You can iron inside out to protect the embroidery designs from getting damaged. You may also use a clean pressing cloth (usually a cotton handkerchief or muslin towel) on top of the garment when ironing.

Tip #5 - When storing

Hang your TERNO or Barong using a clean clothes hanger preferably with rounded edge to avoid hanger marks on the shoulder. You may cover it in breathable clothes dust bag and hang in your wardrobe. Avoid crush storing or piling heavier clothing or items on top or in between your delicate garments.

We must "care for our loved clothes to last".

These sheer pieces of Filipino clothing are not only a testament to our rich culture and heritage, but also represents our passionate artisans' skills in the creative world. When you decide to have your own precious Barong Tagalog or TERNO, or if you have one already, we hope that these tips will come in handy to make your loved pieces last! Don't forget to share what you learned! Maraming salamat!

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