Sinamay is a type of straw/natural fibre made from a plant (musa textilis) of the Philippines. Usually dyed and stiffened, it is used for the production of barong and other traditional wear of Filipinos, such as shawls, ternons and the like.
Along the main road is a small shop in Villa, Iloilo that sells this wonderful material. It is set in an old spanish house, with a small unassuming karatula (sign) that simply says “sinamay“.
I would normally go to to buy sinamay products, owned by Tita Cecille, a friend of my mom’s. Her sinamay products are truly lovely, like these colored beauties (those are shawls, by the way). Aside from the usual barong cloth and shawl pieces, she also sells fans made of this material and those amazing cookies of Mama’s Kitchen. 🙂