December 30, 2015

Weaving Batad style

I was surprised to find a lot of weaving in the Philippines - and it really differs across the regions.  The cloth woven in Mindanao vs. that woven in Albay from coconut fibers vs. what's woven in the mountains of Luzon.  When we visited the rice terraces around Banaue I noticed the beautiful cloths that were woven in to wrap around skirts, table runners, and placemats.  I got a wonderful stretch of cloth/wrap around skirt, and then had it made into a  pencil style skirt to wear at work.

I love knitting, crochet, textile arts and have been very interested in learning more about Filipino weaving.  Instead of remembrances of a place that sit on a shelf and need to be dusted, I much prefer to get tools that get used - then the experiences are part of the remembrance.  I love to collect cooking tools and recipes and ingredients.  And also any local crafts that I'm interested in. With so much weaving I was hoping to find a small loom and learn how to use it.

So when we climbed down to the village of Batad nestled in the rice terraces and came across a woman weaving outside her traditional hut I was enthralled.  The kids were kind enough to keep themselves occupied for the 45 minutes I spent with her learning to set up and use her loom.  Our wonderful guide translated and I took tons of pictures of each step.  I asked where I could get a loom like hers - so beautiful made from local woods and polished over time.  They don't sell the looms anywhere - local people craft their own. But she had her old loom that she'd used years ago and was willing to part with it.

She set it up and showed me how to thread the weft and use the warp.  She did a few turns with the shuttle and then rolled it up for me to take home and practiced.  I  stopped at the local market later that afternoon to purchase more yarn - great colors.

I found a great website that describes how to thread and use the loom.  

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