~Piña is a stiff fiber obtained from the leaves of the pineapple plant. When woven with silk it creates a lightweight cloth perfect for hot weather...in the mid-19th century [it] became a very popular material for summer clothing...this gorgeous piña cloth dress was made in Switzerland circa 1880~
Day dress ca. 1880. Silk & alpaca. Long bodice in cream with blue striped silk. Faux vest, stand collar, and shaped cuff of straw-colored dobby weave. Heavy blue silk braided front laces, faux back laces and cuff decoration; flannel lining. Slightly trained full skirt with back ruching. Stiffened hem has deep ruffle trimmed with 3 dobby bands. Lined in glazed cotton. Whitaker Auctions
Dress (Tea Gown). Date: ca. 1880. Culture: American. Medium: silk. Dimensions: Length at CB: 68 1/2 in. (174 cm).