Saluyot, water hyacinth and maguey are now used as alternative textile material because of their natural fiber source.
Saluyot is known as a healthful vegetable commonly cooked with bamboo shoots. It is also known as jute leaves and called famine food by Africans because it is a vegetable that gives remedy during food crisis. Water hyacinth grows in the country’s freshwater bodies. Because of its abundance, the plant is considered as a weed that may clog water stream and kills aquatic life. Maguey grows wild in northern Luzon, Cebu and Panay. It is used in cordage, ropes, twines, carpets, wall coverings, crafts and handmade paper.
Designers, VIPs from industries and textile industry stakeholders attended the event entitled Bagong Habi, Salinlahi: Cutting Edge Philippine Textiles fashion show which happened at the InterContinental Hotel Manila. The Philippine Textile Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PTRI) presented fabrics made-up of Philippine native plants like water hyacinth, saluyot, and maguey.
Dyes from plants such as mayana, guava, mahogany, achuete, and indigo, talisay, and coconut husk were used in the fabric. Ramp models from different places in the Philippines wore clothings made from piña and jusi from Aklan, hablon from Iloilo, and inaul from Maguindanao. The audience also viewed the procedures on how the fabrics were processed. One of the procedures is Enzyme treatment which eradicates the itchiness which will result to soft-felt fabric. PTRI director Dr. Carlos Tomboc said that the event aims to change the beliefs of people that indigenous fabrics are expensive and uncomfortable.
Thru PTRI’s assistance, Kristal de Guzman, a 22-year-old student of Fashion Design at the School of Fashion and the Arts (SOFA) discovered that the lowly common grass or talahib can be transformed into fashionable bag. Because of the ideas of Ms. De Guzman, she made it to the Top 10 Finalists for the accessories category of Weaving the Future: A Social Design Competition last November. [via gmanews.tv]