Friday, February 15, 2013

Hawaiian Aloha Shirts

  

Just what is a Hawaiian or Aloha shirt? It is a button-front shirt, short sleeved with a collar usually made of cotton or silk, also known as a Camp Shirt. A few are pull-over styled, but still made of a woven fabric.
 
In Hawaii, the Aloha shirt is worn as business, and even occasionally as formal wear. 
 
Ellery Chun of Waikiki is often given credit as the Father of the Hawaiian shirt. Around 1935, he started selling shirts made out of old kimono fabric that wasn't selling. Hawaiian shirts had actually 
been around for a number of years - he was just the first to really market them and he trademarked the term Aloha shirt. 
 
Traditional designs generally covered the whole shirt evenly, and the colors were muted. Wahini (hula girls), hibiscus and other flowers, birds and native tapa are traditional patterns. 
 
Often they were sewn using a technique called Reverse Printing - the shirt was sewn with the printed side on the inside of the shirt. This is still popular today and often worn tucked in for business wear. 
 
Modern Aloha Hawaiian shirts come in bold colors, and have many designs. Some will have a non-Hawaiian theme, such as golf or Mickey Mouse. As well as the more traditional cotton or silk, Terivoile is sometimes used. 100% terivoile (pronounced terry foil) fabric is made in a special process in which polyester fabric is woven to feel and drape like silk, but easy to care for.
The terivoile fabric's unique weave makes it breathe, keeping you cool even when the weather is hot!