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Likhang Habi Market Fair 2016 happening this October

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-09-17 14:00:00 – Manila

At the upcoming Habi Market Fair on its sixth season happening this October now on its sixth season, traditional Philippine weaves will once again shine light at the remarkable development of locally woven products and their growing ability to survive and thrive in the market.

Habi, a Philippine Textile Council formed in 2009, aimed at supporting a return to various indigenous fabrics such as pure cotton in weaving. It encourages the planting of cotton in order to provide weavers the material to create masterpieces in this and many other natural fibers to help bring Philippine textiles into global view.

Philippine cotton, highly comparable to Egyptian cotton became a major feature of the Philippine economy during the early days. It was traded for porcelain jars from Chinese merchants and was exported to the old world in the Spanish galleons. Unfortunately, the Philippines cotton industry has not been sustained nor developed.

Since the arrival of cheap, factory-manufactured textile in the country, the Philippines cotton industry has been enduring a major setback. And with only few surviving cotton farms in the Philippines, its cultivation and use has almost died out in the country.

According to Habi Chair, Maribel Ongpin, people’s lack of interest in tradition is killing the cotton industry and the whole indigenous fabrics industry.

Habi has partnered with Nooks Manufacturing International Corp. for a pet project to raise awareness on cotton among people. Through trainings, they hope to inform the young people that cotton weaving is actually fun to do and for families, they want to inform them that it can be an easy means of livelihood, said Emi Daniel, GM of Nooks Manufacturing International Corp.

Through the annual Habi Market Fair, an activity that promotes and develops hand-woven traditional textiles, Habi hopes the Philippines indigenous fabrics industry will get its revival it deserves.

Aside from developing and marketing the unique and varied indigenous fabrics, Habi also links weavers with institutions that can provide technical support for their welfare and the preservation of their culture.

Irene Bawer-Bimuyag, a weaver at the Mabilong Weaving Village in Kalinga, Cordillera region is just one of the weavers who was assisted by Habi.

The village of Mabilong is one of the few community that has preserved this traditional art as their source of income, livelihood and employment.

Habi, through the Philippine Textile Research Institute has helped a number of weavers and textile industry partners create special threads by blending and experimenting with the materials combining pineapple with silk, and cotton with pineapple and mixing cotton with materials such as bagasse, a fibrous by-product of the sugar industry. These efforts open niches for local weavers in global fashion trends.

The Annual Habi Market Fair 2016 will be held from October 14 to 16 at the Glorietta Activity Center, Glorietta 2, Makati City where buyers will be introduced to a wide range of woven products while weavers and vendors exchange ideas on the marketing, creative design and modern use of the fabrics with traders, designers and other interested parties.

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