Traditional Filipino clothing, known for its intricate designs and rich cultural heritage, holds significant value for Filipinos worldwide. Whether it’s the elegant Barong Tagalog for men or the colorful Terno for women, proper care and washing are essential to preserving the beauty and longevity of these garments. This article will guide you through how to wash traditional Filipino clothing, ensuring they remain in excellent condition for years.

How Many Types of Traditional Filipino Clothing Fabrics

Before delving into the washing process, it’s crucial to understand the fabrics commonly used in traditional Filipino clothing. These garments often feature delicate materials like piña, jusi, or sinamay for the Terno, while in the Barong they usually make Tagalog of piña, piña-silk, or jusi. Each fabric requires specific care to prevent damage during washing.

1. Piña

They make piña fabric from pineapple fibers, and people know it for its sheer and lightweight qualities. It’s a delicate fabric and, therefore, requires gentle care when washing.

2. Jusi

Jusi is a silk-like fabric made from banana fibers. People often use Jusi fabric to create an elegant Barong Tagalog because of its glossy texture.. because of its silk-like nature, it needs careful handling during washing.

3. Sinamay

People commonly use Sinamay, which is derived from the abaca plant, in making Filipino dresses and Terno gowns. When washing sinamay, it is important to treat it carefully because of its slightly rough texture.

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Step-by-Step Guide How to Wash Traditional Filipino Clothing

Now, let’s take you through the step-by-step guide to washing traditional Filipino clothing:

1. Check the Care Label

Before washing, always check the care label on the garment for specific washing instructions. Follow any recommendations or precautions provided by the manufacturer.

2. Spot Clean Stains

If your traditional Filipino clothing has stains, avoid using strong chemical cleaners. Instead, opt for a gentle stain remover or spot clean with a mild detergent and water. Test the cleaning solution on an inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t damage the fabric.

3. Hand Wash with Mild Detergent

Hand washing is the safest method for delicate fabrics like piña, jusi, and sinamay. Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Gently submerge and swish the garment for a few minutes to cleanse it.

4. Rinse Carefully

The clothing needs to be rinsed with cold water until all I removed the soap after washing. Avoid wringing or twisting the fabric, as this may cause damage. Instead, press the garment between two clean towels to remove excess water.

5. Drying the Garment

Lay the garment flat on a clean, dry towel to dry traditional Filipino clothing. Gently roll the towel to absorb excess water. Then, reshape the clothing and lay it flat on another dry towel in a shaded area with good air circulation. Avoid direct sunlight, as it may fade the colors.

6. Ironing Tips

If your clothing requires ironing, set the iron to a low or silk setting. Always iron the garment inside out to protect the delicate fabric and intricate designs.


Traditional Filipino clothing represents the rich heritage and artistry of the Filipino culture. Following these washing and care tips ensures that your Barong Tagalog or Terno remains vibrant and well-preserved for generations.

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FAQs About How to Wash Traditional Filipino Clothing

Can I machine wash my traditional Filipino clothing?

It’s best to avoid machine washing delicate Filipino garments like Terno or Barong Tagalog, as it may cause damage to the fabrics and designs. Hand washing is the safest method.

How often should I wash my traditional Filipino clothing?

Washing frequency depends on how often you wear the clothing and whether there are any stains. Consider airing it out between wears if it still needs to be soiled.

Can I use bleach on piña fabric to remove stains?

No, bleach is too harsh for delicate piña fabric. Stick to mild detergents and gentle stain removers.

Is dry cleaning suitable for traditional Filipino clothing?

Dry cleaning may be an option for some garments, but choosing a reputable dry cleaner experienced in handling delicate fabrics is essential.

How do I store my traditional Filipino clothing when not in use?

Store your garments in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Use acid-free tissue paper to preserve their shape and prevent creases.