Posted by Elena del Valle on September 22, 2010
Part four of a series
By Hilda Luisa Díaz-Perera
Hilda Luisa Díaz-Perera
So, the shirt that would become today’s guayabera was probably first made sometime in the XVIII Century. It then developed gradually over the XIX Century, not as a design made by one person, but rather as the result of the many shirt variations existing in the island and the efforts of several seamstresses and tailors who complied with shifts in taste and fashion by adding or deleting features to the original prototype.
Someone, we cannot identify who, added the collar. Someone else, who surely possessed very high sewing skills, must have thought of adding the narrow pleats with their minuscule stitches down the front and back of the shirt. Then, at some point during the Cuban wars for independence from 1868 to 1898, the design of the Cuban flag was incorporated onto the back of the guayabera.
Click here to read parts one through four of La Guayabera