What Is Capiz?

Ekansh Agarwal

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Are you curious to know what is capiz? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about capiz in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is capiz?

Capiz is a remarkable material that has been captivating artists, designers, and nature enthusiasts for centuries. Known for its captivating translucent quality and versatility, capiz shells have found their way into various forms of art, design, and décor. In this blog, we will explore what capiz is, where it comes from, and how it is used to create stunning pieces of art and everyday items that grace our homes and surroundings.

What Is Capiz?

Capiz, pronounced “ka-PEEZ,” is a thin, flat, and translucent shell that comes from the Placuna placenta, a mollusk found in the coastal waters of the Philippines and other parts of Southeast Asia. The scientific name may sound curious, but capiz shells are anything but. These shells are abundant in the region and are harvested for both their beauty and practical applications.

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Harvesting Capiz Shells

The process of harvesting capiz shells is a labor-intensive endeavor. The shells are collected from the ocean floor, where they are found in abundance. After being collected, the shells are thoroughly cleaned and polished to remove any impurities or debris. The final result is a translucent, paper-thin shell with a pearlescent appearance.

Versatile Uses Of Capiz Shells

Capiz shells have a wide range of uses, from decorative to functional. Here are some of the most common applications:

  1. Lampshades: Perhaps the most iconic use of capiz shells is in the creation of lampshades. The translucent quality of the shells allows light to pass through, creating a soft and warm glow that adds a touch of elegance to any room.
  2. Home Decor: Capiz shells are also used in various home décor items, such as mirrors, picture frames, coasters, and wind chimes. These pieces often incorporate the shells in intricate patterns, adding a touch of sophistication to interior spaces.
  3. Furniture: Some designers use capiz shells to embellish furniture, such as coffee tables and side tables. The shells can be inlaid into wooden or metal frames, creating unique and eye-catching designs.
  4. Fashion: Capiz shells are occasionally used in jewelry and accessories. The natural luster of the shells adds an exotic touch to necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.
  5. Architectural Elements: In architecture, capiz shells can be used as decorative accents in doors, windows, and wall panels, adding a touch of luxury to buildings and interiors.
  6. Art Installations: Contemporary artists often incorporate capiz shells into their art installations, creating visually stunning and immersive experiences.

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Environmental Considerations

The popularity of capiz shells has led to concerns about overharvesting and environmental sustainability. Responsible harvesting practices are crucial to protect the mollusk populations and their natural habitats. To address this, many regions have implemented regulations to ensure the sustainability of capiz shell production.


Capiz shells are not just beautiful; they are a testament to the exquisite craftsmanship and artistry that can emerge from nature. Their versatility, elegance, and unique properties make them a cherished component of art, design, and décor worldwide. When used responsibly, capiz shells offer a glimpse into the exquisite beauty of nature, transforming everyday items into works of art that elevate our living spaces and bring a touch of coastal charm to our lives.


What Do Capiz Shells Come From?

Capiz Shell is the inside lining of an oyster that is abundant in Southeast Asia, especially around the Philippines and Indonesia. So much so in the Philippines that there is a Province of Capiz and capiz shells were used as windows before glass was available there, hence the nickname “windowpane oyster”.

What Kind Of Shell Is Capiz?

Named for its abundance in the province of Capiz, the capiz shell is the lining of a marine mollusk. Before glass was available in the Philippines, this shell was used to create windows because of its translucent qualities, earning the mollusk its nickname, “windowpane oyster.”

What Is Natural Capiz?

These stunning surfaces are made of capiz shell, a thin almost translucent shell found in the Indo-Pacific. It is also known as the windowpane oyster and has been used as a glass substitute for generations. This translucency and durability now lend themselves to the subtle elegance of these pieces.

Are Capiz Shells Fragile?

Capiz shells can have delicate and fragile, but you can balance this by complementing them with bold colors or patterns.

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