The art of weaving has been a local ancient tradition passed down from generation to generation. While the turn for faster, modern techniques has relegated the craft to the backseat, with a particular mastery only indigenous locals have honed, more and more Philippine fashion brands such as Aranaz, Kaayo, and Herman and Co. have been contributing to the revival of the woven craft fit for today's modern senses.
To simply wear them, however, may not be enough to keep this fading tradition alive. Learning the craft, on the other hand, can make all the difference. In hopes of celebrating and preserving the art of weaving, HABI: The Philippine Textile Council, has released RaRa: The Art and Tradition of Mat Weaving. The book is the second of its kind in Philippine history, with the first one being written more than a hundred years ago. Taking a total of three years to complete, author Elmer Nocheseda, traveled to 30 differenct communities to collate and update the mat weaving techniques of today.
Along with the book is a three day pop-up fair in Shangri-La Plaza called the Habi Market Fair, an avenue for local weavers to showcase their craft and to sell their products on a more visible scale. “More than presenting our unique and varied indigenous fabrics, we also aim to educate the public about how important it is to support our traditional textile industry,” said HABI President Adelaida Lim in a press release. “We also want to show not only our fellow Filipinos but also the global community that our indigenous textiles can be a part of our modern lifestyle.”
Shop handcrafted items from local artisans and participate in workshops at the Habi Market Fair from June 28 to 30 at the Shangri-La Plaza. Meanwhile, you may also purchase the RARA Mat Weaving book here and have it signed at the event!