Long ago the Polynesians discovered Hawaii and brought with them some garments made from tapa bark from
the Mulberry plant and dyed them with pigments from plants they found in the environment to give them color.
They also made use of beautiful colored bird feathers to add designs and color to their garments.
In the 1800's outside traders from America and Europe introduced cotton cloth that was colored and
printed with a few simple designs. As the years went by Hawaii began to develop and soon had developed
sugar cane and pineapple plantations as outside developers took control. The workers from the sugar cane and
pineapple plantations as well as cattle ranchers or paniolos, (Hawaiian Cowboys) wore cotton palaka shirts
which are criss-cross checkered looking print patterns with straight cut bottoms so they did not have to tuck
in their shirts while working under the hot Hawaiian sun. They also cut off the long sleeves to help stay cool. And
an increasing variety of colors and variations of these prints began to grow. Around the time the tourism industry
was just starting around the 1920's and 30's one tailor named Ellery Chun put together a flower print shirt on
a brightly colored background and became the originator of what we call Aloha Shirts today and the Aloha print
industry was born with ever increasing colors and print designs turning out.
By the early 1040's this new fashion of the islands was established as the Alohawear industry. This industry
began to grow with steady demand over the years. Today Alohawear is made of many materials with cotton
as the most popular followed by silk and other synthetics like polyester & rayon. The print designs today
typically reflect the scenes you find around Hawaii with Tropical Flowers the most popular. This is the reason
that almost all the Hawaiian fabric products you see here from Rainbow Gifts Hawaii are tropical flower designs.