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'Philippine Tropical Fabrics Day' - giving importance to weaving industry


In recognition of the people behind the traditional weaving industry in various parts of the country, like the Yakans of Zamboanga, it is good to note that Malacañang declared January 24, 2011 the “Philippine Tropical Fabrics Day.”

A Yakan Village in Upper Calarian, Zamboanga City, sells genuine Yakan cloth.  A weaver says, "There is joy whenever I come up with unique, intricate and colorful designs. It is also a very profitable business because Yakan weaving in Zamboanga is also a major tourist attraction, “she bemused.

Traditionally, Yakans used plants like pineapple and abaca converted into fibers as basic material for weaving. Using herbal extracts from leaves, roots and barks, the Yakans dyed the fibers and produced colorful combinations and intricate designs.

Many, however; resorted to the convenience of chemical dyes and they started weaving table runners, placemats, wall decor, purses and other items which are not present in a traditional Yakan house.

The weaver cited that their reasons for taking the convenient route of weaving are the scarcity of abacca and pina fibers and to suit market demand.

Proclamation No. 86 is an expression of the government’s recognition of the importance of our indigenous fibers and fabrics through the implementation of Republic Act 9242, or the Philippine Tropical Fabrics Law. Itul hopes this law would pave the way for weaving fibers to become aplenty once more. (pia9/Zbga. /n.b.edaga)

By Noemi B Edaga

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