Pina is a very elegant and exquisitely fine sort of cambric, manufactured in India and China, from the leaves (it is said) of the pine-apple, converted into a fibrous pith, and then spun and woven, and afterwards embroidered with fine cotton. This beautiful article is not only imported directly from Asia into the Atlantic cities, but is now brought over to California by the Chinese. A dress of it generally costs from three to five hundred dollars; and handkerchiefs from twelve or fifteen dollars to twenty or thirty. If carefully washed, it will last a long time. Its natural tint is that of unbleached linen, and it cannot be made what is called a dead white.
To wash a pina handkerchief, lay it, the day before, in a large basin of very clear cold water, and let it soak till next morning; changing the water several times during the day, and whenever you do so, squeeze out the hand kerchief, but on no account wring or twist it. Keep the basin well covered. Next morning, make, in a clean basin, a strong suds of warm water, and the best white soup rubbed into the water. Then put the handkerchief into this suds, and squeeze it well, opening it out, and pressing it again in your hands, but remember not to rub it. Give it a second squeezing through a fresh lather of white soap and warm water. Next, rinse it through two cold waters, and squeeze it out; but be sure not to wring it. Then stretch and pull it, as evenly as possible, and hang it out in the sun. When dry enough to iron, bring it in, and iron it on the wrong side, pressing out nicely all the scollops round the edge. It should not be starched, as the material is stiff enough without.
A pina dress must be taken apart before washing.
Pina should never be washed except in clear bright weather. At night, by lamplight, it will look sufficiently white.