Clothing made from tropical fabrics such as piña and banana are usually used only during weddings, baptisms, burials and other special occasions. The Philippine Textile Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PTRI) however is keen on making tropical fabrics more mainstream.
The establishment of PTRI’s P54 M Innovation Center for Yarns and Textiles (ICYT) that will produce yarns customized to customers’ and industry needs is a step closer to this goal which is part of the bigger objective of revitalizing the textile industry in the country.
“We aim to make indigenous yarns accessible to our handloom weaving communities as well as commercial millers or knitters,” disclosed PTRI Director Celia Elumba during the launch of the Innovation Center last May 25 at the PTRI Compound, DOST Complex, Bicutan, Taguig City.
Dir. Elumba also revealed that PTRI has partnered with Power Fashion, the company behind the local clothing brands Unica Hija, Vise Versa, and Bayo, which has agreed to use locally produced tropical fabrics in one of their capsule collections.
The ICYT is just the first of PTRI’s initiatives geared toward reviving the textile industry. Senator Loren Legarda, who graced the launching, expressed support for these initiatives.
Meanwhile, DOST Sec. Mario G. Montejo noted that the DOST’s efforts in reviving the industry is part of its contribution to the government’s vision of inclusive growth as these are seen to bring economic activity in the countryside.
Promoting the use of tropical fabrics, said Legarda, will not only preserve our culture and heritage but will also help support the agricultural sector. Legarda is the author of the Tropical Fabrics Law which aims to promote Philippine tropical fabrics through the use of such materials for the official uniforms of government officials and employees.
PTRI will also establish regional handloom innovation centers and work on upscaling the natural dye production in the country to complement the Innovation Center.
Despite the decline of the textile industry in recent years, Sec. Montejo maintains his optimism especially with PTRI’s research and development initiatives such as developing less costly ways to process agricultural waste into fabrics, producing bamboo fabrics and smart textiles. (S&T Media Service)
TROPICAL FABRICS SET TO ENTER MAINSTREAM VIA NEW DOST FACILITY. Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario G. Montejo (left) examines one of the newly acquired equipment for the Innovation Center for Yarns and Textiles during its launching last May 25, 2015 at DOST’s Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) in Bicutan, Taguig City. A P54M flagship project of PTRI, the said Innovation Center aims to put tropical fabrics in the mainstream by producing more yarns of abaca, banana, pineapple and other indigenous fibers and make them available to handloom weaving communities and commercial millers or knitters in the country. PTRI has also partnered with Power Fashion, the company behind local clothing brands Unica Hija, Vise Versa, and Bayo, which has agreed to use said fabrics in one of their capsule collections. (Text by Maria Luisa S. Lumioan / Photo by Henry A. de Leon, S&T Media Service, DOST-STII)