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PTRI develops new technologies for promoting indigenous fiber

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2017-02-15 12:00:00 – Manila

Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) of the Department of Science and Technology has developed new technologies for promoting the use of natural fibers for clothing and fashion accessories for which Senator Loren Legarda congratulated them. Using natural fibers empowers indigenous peoples communities to put their traditional arts and crafts like the ikat, the t’nalak, abel iloko, the piña, and others in the mainstream textile industry.

PTRI Director Celia B. Elumba said that they are very grateful for all the support that Senator Legarda has been giving PTRI especially in promoting local textile and in particular the passage of the law on mandating the use of Philippine tropical fibers as government office uniforms. Now, on their 50th year anniversary they are pushing for the promotion of natural fibers and natural dyes from non-traditional sources that are abundant in the countryside.

At the PTRI TELA Exhibition works of designers who have been PTRI’s partner-collaborators for the past years were on display. One of these is Jean Avellanosa-Dee, fashion and textile designer from the DLSU-College of St. Benilde, who showed her “Di-Matinag” (Unwavering) design based on the fashion trend of the 1960s. It is a design using the custom-made fabric of the cotton-abaca blend and handwoven in an ikat-binakol technique.

Meanwhile, island wear fashion designer Twinkle Ferraren showed her creations that used natural and indigenous materials with her modern take on the “polo-barong,” ple-abaca-cotton-silk fiber naturally dyed using colorants derived from the talisay tree.

Also on exhibit were Narda’s Naturals coming from the highlands of the Cordilleras. Its creative director, Lucia Capuyan-Catanaes, came up with a new product line composed of shawls, ponchos, and fabrics made from homegrown cotton blended with abaca/pineapple leaf fibers and colored with natural mahogany, turmeric, and cogon dyes.

Senator Cynthia Villar and different stakeholders, such as officials from the National Museum and other textile organizations also visited the PTRI TELA exhibit.

The use of Philippine tropical fibers is fast gaining momentum in the local textile scene with more fashion designers using natural materials for their creations. These locally available materials are woven by indigenous people from different communities in the country.

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