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Hablon: Pride of Iloilo

What is Hablon?

Iloilo is renowned for creating a wide range of magnificent weaves that have impacted numerous generations of weavers, designers, and artisans, but its iconic weave is the "Hablon." The term "hablon" is derived from the Hiligaynon word "Habol," which means "to weave," and can be used to describe both the process of weaving and the finished product. Abaca, piña, and cotton are used to hand-weave hablon. Polyester and other fibers were used to reinforce the fabric and reduce production expenses as a result of the constant price increases of raw materials. Due to its exquisite artistic color combinations, patterns, and great quality, Iloilo's hablon has been a popular fabric for designers worldwide.


The Art of Hablon Weaving

Weavers select and arrange the threads to create the desired design before weaving hablon. The heddle, which directs the lines during weaving, is passed through the threads before they are placed on the warping frame. The cloth roll is then tied with each thread after it has been inserted through an aperture in a metal reed. Once the handloom is set up, the weft thread is spooled onto the shuttle with a spooling wheel. The weaver then moves the heddle up and down with the bamboo pedal, using the shuttle to advance the weft across the loom. Once the weft has been pushed, the technique is repeated until the hablon weave is finished.


Historical Background

Iloilo had a thriving textile industry during the 19th century, producing cloth for both local and international markets. As machine-woven clothes became more fashionable, demand for handwoven fabrics like hablon decreased, making it challenging for weaving communities to maintain their looms. Fortunately, things got better in the early 2000s when the Department of Tourism and the Iloilo Local Government worked together to revive the industry.


Hablon Products

Bandanas, slippers, bags, picture frames, table runners, and fine clothing, such as shawls and patadyong (wraparound skirts), as well as formal attire like gowns and Barong Tagalog, are frequently made from hablon.

Western Visayas Woven Textile

Piña-seda or Pineapple-Silk from Aklan and Antique. It is stiff but lightweight with a smooth silk-like texture and a smooth appearance. Barong Tagalog, Baro't Saya, and other traditional formal dress, as well as tablecloths, bags, mats, and other apparel items, are made with this.

Patadyong woven fabric from Antique. It is a tube-like wraparound garment made from cotton and abaca that can be worn in different ways, which usually has a checkered pattern design crafted with bright colors.

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