CAMISA DE CHINO
At certain, likely fluid moments in the last four hundreds years, the naked torso of the indigenous man was gradually sheathed in a full skirt, exchanging half nudity for a collarless garment with long, cuffless sleeve. Many colonized indios discovered the clothing possibility in what was to be called, in Spanish, the Camisa. Tailored out of light usually translucent materials such as sinamay, piņa cloth or cotton, the camisa became standard wear of those social strata who had to labor in the enervating warmth of the tropics. In due course, the camisa was devoted to the local weaver's many decorative skills. Fine embroidery, supplementary weft floats (suksuk), cut-openwork embroidery (calado and doble calado) and such details as pleating pockets, in time indigenized a shirt cut which was generally thought to have originated in China. And, in the nineteenth century, the Camisa de Chino would
metamorphose - with the addition of the collar, cuffs and elaborations such as shirts and pleats - into the Filipino Barong Tagalog.