Palaka is Hawaiian Plaid, dates back to days of King Kamehameha the Great.
Originally a type of pattern in England for the sailors, in the late 1900's it made it’s way when Americans ordered the checkered-patterned thick cloth from England to make the uniforms for the field workers.
In the 1920s long-sleeved Navy and white shirt got popular with plantation workers in the pineapple and sugarcane fields.
By the late 1930s, the shirt went from being a kind of jacket to what we recognize today as an aloha shirt.
Eventually, the palaka pattern was used for many other attires: bikinis, board shorts, table linens, curtains, aprons, etc.
By the 1950s and 1960s, the palaka shirt became a badge of local identity. It is indeed a kama‘āina shirt. Wearing the Palaka was more aloha than the aloha shirt, with its history and all those years it has been worn by so many diverse people. It was the most important shirt that Hawaii’s ever had.
Today, like many other designers, we promote this simple yet meaningful pattern. We are rooted for the islands and this wonderful Hawaiian life style.
Leave a comment