T'boli weavers get MCW support-A A +A
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
The Mindanao Commission on Women (MCW) is fully supporting the T'boli weavers of Tinalak cloth through an intensified campaign of their products to the local market.
Tinalak is a uniquely hand-crafted cloth made from abaca fibers by women of T'boli tribe in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, with intricate and creative designs are said to be patterned on their dreams.
MCW program officer Patmei Ruivivar, speaking in yesterday's Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City, said T'boli weavers have enough supply for Tinalak cloth but that there's no enough local market for their products.
"The international designers are the ones who appreciate Tinalak. We're afraid that they will just market it abroad," Ruivivar said.
She said some of these cloths are exported to European markets for gowns and for home-use by making it part of the ornamental designs.
Ruvivar said some of the problems they see on Tinalak's low marketability are the market's access to the T'boli tribe community and the current market value of Tinalak.
This cloth is sold at P500 per meter for regular cloths and P600 to P800 per meter for cloth with patterned designs, she said.
"For a gown, it needs around eight meters. So, it is very expensive if we just buy it," Ruivivar said.
She added that the traditional Tinalak has a rough texture, another reason why it has only few market in the country.
Ruivivar, however, said that T'boli women are not bent on commercializing their cloth products so as to maintain the quality.
"Promoting this will help improve the status for the indigenous women," she said.
Oca Casaysay, organizer of the Moda Mindanao 2012, said they will reintroduce a new Tinalak cloth that has a softer texture, which can be worn as a casual attire.
He said new designs made from this cloth will be featured in a fashion show at the Cinema 3 in SM City Davao on August 19, 2012, seeking to revive the "dying art" of Tinalak cloth weaving.
Several designers from Surigao del Sur, Panabo City, Tagum City, South Cotabato, and Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) will participate in the show, according to Casaysay.
He said they coordinated with the Department of Trade and Industry in Davao Region to help them find market for these products.
Ruivivar said they will make a demonstration as to how the modernized softer Tinalak cloth is developed by T'boli women.
"Tinalak is now available in many colors like orange, green, and all colors in nature not only the dark and maroon. It is also washable just like any other clothes," she said.
She encouraged the local market to also avail of this native product that is more fitting to the culture of the Filipinos.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 07, 2012.