This is where the distinction comes from. We boast a broad selection of intricate hand embroidery styles that are preserved by our artisans. The threadwork styles we use are hand-picked to make the decorative details striking and well-defined. This one-of-a-kind feature dramatically adds character to each barong that we make.
Hand embroidery requires a skilled embroiderer, and the process is laborious and time-consuming, making hand-embroidered barongs expensive.
For expensive fabrics such as piña, piña-silk, and abaca-cotton, we recommend hand embroidery or a combination of hand embroidery and machine embroidery if the design has calado, the open thread work similar to lace. Calado is only done by hand. It creates dramatic design depth that pure machine embroidery can't achieve. A type of embroidery thread that's 100% cotton is recommended to match the texture and the vintage appearance of these fabrics. Polyester thread (with visible sheen) in these fabrics makes the barong look inexpensive.
Machine embroidery has two types - hand-guided machine and computerized machine.
Hand-guided machine embroidery is done by a skilled embroiderer using an embroidery machine, while computerized machine embroidery is done by a machine that is run by a computer program.
Calado (or Callado) is a distinctive feature of our Barong Tagalog. This is a well-known Lumban style of embroidery (Burdang Lumban) in which the fibers are pulled out from the fabric to reduce the fiber count, and the remaining intact fibers are then stitched together into a variety of open thread work patterns. Calado creates intricacy and adds texture. It also creates depth that make a specific pattern or design element look prominent and defined.