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Sugar Cane

Sugar Cane ‘Union Supply’ Palaka Check Blouse

Sugar Cane ‘Union Supply’ Palaka Check Blouse

Regular price £350.00 GBP
Regular price Sale price £350.00 GBP
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In the eighteenth century, shirts came to Hawaii by way of sailors’ long and loose shirts which seem to have translated into the ‘Palaka’ - a heavy cotton jacket in white lattice pattern on a dark blue background; very reminiscent of the Japanese kasuri.

The jacket was worn by immigrants coming to Hawaii (often from Asia) to work in the fields and mills in order to protect them from the sharp sugar cane leaves, or the spiny pineapple tops.

By 1900, most plantation workers were wearing the palaka jacket, and within a few decades the style evolved into a shirt. It became lighter weight and worn for casual wear by teenagers and adults who were not doing physical labour, and came to represent the roots of ethnic identity in Hawaii.

By the early 1920’s there were three small-scale factories producing palaka shirts, jackets, and work clothes, with UNION SUPPLY (founded in 1922) the most famous as a clothing maker in Hawaii.

*This item has already been washed so pls buy your true size by collar.

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