Likhang Habi: This artisanal trade fair reintroduces the journey of ‘habi’

The 9th edition of the Likhang Habi Market Fair will again highlight the threads that bind our culture and community

HABI president Adelaida Lim and HABI Chair Maribel Ongpin
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Likhang HABI Market Fair 2019

Weaving was once a lively industry in the country, and it’s not just because of the many colorful textiles and the distinct artistry that goes with making every ware, but also because it was able to build strong, resilient communities who are bound by the fabric they weave.

HABI President Adelaida Lim
HABI President Adelaida Lim

Today, the Philippine Textile Council through the Likhang Habi Market Fair hopes to bring back this traditional livelihood to its former glory.

HABI Chair Maribel Ongpin
HABI Chair Maribel Ongpin

With the theme “The Highlights of our HABI Journey,” this year’s edition, happening on October 11 to 13 at the Glorietta 3 Activity Center in Makati City, will once again showcase some of the finest Philippine-made textile products, as well as provide a venue for the local weavers to present their handwoven crafts to Metro Manila buyers.

HABI president Adelaida Lim and HABI Chair Maribel Ongpin
HABI president Adelaida Lim and HABI Chair Maribel Ongpin

More importantly, the fair will reintroduce the journey of “habi” through immersive spaces designed to pique the interest of the market about the country’s indigenous fabrics industry.

A Craft Corner will be in place so that visitors can learn the basics of weaving using pure Philippine cotton and other natural local fibers, and create their own woven products.

i Bb kain fabric, handwoven and embroidered by Kalinga weavers_ kinuttiyan and innido fabrics, handwoven by Kiangan weavers from Ifugao using 100% cotton in traditional Ifugao ikat patterns
i Bb kain fabric, handwoven and embroidered by Kalinga weavers_ kinuttiyan and innido fabrics, handwoven by Kiangan weavers from Ifugao using 100% cotton in traditional Ifugao ikat patterns

HABI goers can also participate in the Community Craft Loom and learn modern weaving using different materials, textures, colors, and weaving techniques. There will also be workshops on macramé, the art of knotting.

Lakat sustainable shoes
Lakat sustainable shoes

In keeping with its goals of promoting Filipino culture and heritage, the HABI Fair will also have a Baybayin workshop with lessons on writing and understanding the pre-colonial ancient writing script of the Philippines. Cultural dance performances, traditional Filipino music from different regions of the country. Filipino art installations will also be on display.

MVC Designs
MVC Designs

“We encourage HABI fairgoers to immerse themselves in the beautiful weaving communities and traditional textiles of our country,” said HABI Chair Maribel Ongpin. “We will have participating weavers from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao so the opportunity to learn at the fair is endless.”

With 52 participating merchants from across the country, the fair will showcase sustainable and ethical fashion and other lifestyle products using traditional textiles such as habol negrense from Negros Occidental, yakan from Basilan, inaul from Maguindanao, binubudan from Ifugao, binakol and abel from Ilocos, tepina from Palawan, and more.

Raquel's Pin?a Cloth Products
Raquel’s Pin?a Cloth Products

Several merchants will also present contemporary Filipino fabrics such as cotton ikat and cotton abaca, a result of combining pure Philippine cotton with other indigenous fabrics.

“There is an abundance of beautiful fabrics in the Philippines and we want to show that these fabrics from different corners of the Philippines can be a part of our modern lifestyle,” said HABI President Adelaida Lim. “Our weavers have plenty of potential to tap into the global textile market, but they also need support from local buyers.”

Likhang HABI 2019 poster
Likhang HABI 2019 poster

Cotton production has weakened in many regions in the Philippines and inevitably caused traditional weavers to turn to synthetic thread. Promoting the use of pure Philippine cotton is one of the long-term commitments of the PTC, and with every iteration of the fair, the organization tries to link weavers with institutions that can support and preserve their communities.

For more information, visit www.habitextilecouncil.ph or follow The Philippine Textile on Facebook and @habifair on Instagram.

Also read: Weaving The Threads Of Culture: Visiting Lamlifew Village Museum In Sarangani Province

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