Long before the fabric or textiles we use today for clothing, Philippines have a rich history in weaving.
Philippines have mastered the art of weaving. It has become part of the identity of each tribe, which makes them unique and identified to what group they belong to. It differs from one place to another. Culture in the North is different as you traverse to the South. Each has its own identity.
But, one thing for sure that we Filipinos agree with during those period is our love for arts, one of which is weaving.
Here's a list of a few hand woven textiles that we can still be proud of:
Abel Iloco -are the hand-woven textiles of Ilocos Norte. During the time the Spaniards colonized Ilocos Norte in 1572, cotton-loom woven textiles called inabel was already a tradition. The Spaniards began to take interest in the inabel known for its strength and durability and endorsed it as excellent sails for galleons in the same way it was utilized locally in boats, barangays and other sea-going vessels. For centuries inabel has also been used to make blankets.
Balud - is weaved by the Maranao. The name balud means wave, referring to the waving patterns on the weave. The patterns on the fabric are usually creatures from the sea like turtles. Balud are hand-woven using the back strap loom and the intricate patterns are hand-dyed using individual threads and silk rope.
Iloilo's Hablon - refers to the hand woven textile, made of jusi (banana fiber), piña (pineapple fiber), locally grown silk threads, cotton, rayon and other indigenous materials that creates an attractive textile of emerald, lavender, pink, tangerine, and crimson colors. It is traditionally known for products such as the multi-colored, checkered patadyong skirt, bandanas, and household items (mosquito nets, blankets, table runners, etc.)
Dagmay - is a cloth made of vegetable dyed abaca fibers tie-dyed to create anthropomorphic as well as flora and fauna patterns. This cloth is made by the Bagobo people of Davao in Southern Philippines.
T'nalak - is worn as a traditional garment and often comes with hand-made embellishments such as brass beads, necklaces, and earrings.It is also sometimes referred to as the T'boli sacred cloth which is made from abaca, a species alongside wild banana hemp. According to an old folklore, the cloth is exchanged during marriages and used as a cover during births. The T'nalak is made by the T'boli tribe. Most of them are from Lake Sebu in South Cotabato. It is said that the T'boli's are known to be "dream weavers". This is because the designs of the T'nalak are actually visual interpretation of their dreams. No two Tnalak clothing have the same pattern.
Yakan textile - are woven cloth made by the Yakan tribe of Basilan. Yakans use fibers from plants such as pineapple for their crafts. The weavers traditionally used extracts from leaves, roots and barks to dye their fibers. However, contact with U.S. Peace Corps workers and Christian Filipinos has influenced Yakan textile art. One influence is the introduction of chemical dyes. The museum of Lamitan displays the colorful and intricate traditional Yakan textiles and highlights of the traditional Yakan festival, Lami-lamihan. Now, many of the fabrics are made into table runners, placemats, throw pillow cases and more.
There are many more hand woven fabrics around the Philippines like the jusi, piña clothing and etc. Some may no longer follow the conventional weaving but we can still be proud of that it originated from the traditions of our ancestors.
photos/source/reference: blauearth.com | fotothing.com | diamonds_in_the_soles_of_her_shoes from flickr | museoilocosnorte.com | miagao.blogspot.com | byahilo.com | balita.ph