The Philippines has a variety of weaves all over the country. Each with its own distinct style. We have found that each region's style and color selection is largely influenced by their environment, community life and spiritual beliefs. Each piece of fabric really is a work of art that reflects life in each community.
But it's not just about the end product. Just like the idea that we have to reconnect to the way food is produced to truly appreciate it, there is so much more to a weave than just its beauty and functionality.
Here's what some of our founders had to say about weaving for about 10 minutes:
Raf: "It's my first time to touch the basic loom and it's surprising how much coordination is needed to weave these tapestries! I had to straighten my back, bend my knees and kick off the wall once in a while to make sure the strings had tension. It's an art that involves the mind as much as the body. Dexterity, flexibility."
Gwen: "It feels like a good core and back workout because I really had to keep my back and legs straight while trying to figure out the pattern of which stick to use. And they do this all day...
"I still can't understand how the movement makes the pattern. I watch and try to see how the threads work together. Honestly... it's confusing. They make it look so easy. And there is this hypnotic rhythm to it. I need more time to learn! But it really is amazing... such artists. But then there is a bit of engineering to it too."
About the set up:
Raf: "Weaving itself wasn't the most challenging part - it's actually setting up the threads that eventually fold into the cloth that is the most difficult. The weaver needs another person to help him or her tie the threads on the 3 rods that separate the threads into their intricate design."
Gwen: "Every time we go into these communities, I notice that there are a few people just focusing on making the spools of thread. I mean... we see the weave and think it's beautiful, but that's not enough... so we go and try to weave, but then that's not the whole picture either. Part of the process is even creating the spools and setting up the loom. There's a mastery and patience required for those parts. And oftentimes, I see children of the weavers creating the spools or warping. It's part of their tradition to involve the children in their craft so they can master every aspect of it as they mature. Did you ever stop to think that the weave you wear or have on your table was a community effort? Entire families worked together just to create that one weave."
Just as when you reconnect to the process of growing and creating food, you realize how long it takes for nature and those who prepare the food to get it onto your plate. So why not savor it and express your gratitude? And why waste?
With weaves, we have yet to discover what happens before the thread becomes thread and all of it is woven into something we can wear.
There's a reason why we think it's important to slow down and reconnect. As much as we love technology, there is a healthy balance of efficiency and thoughtfulness. Slowing down allows us to appreciate the time it takes to create. It allows nature the time to replenish and for the community of creatives, our artisans, to reflect and inject into each piece the sustainable culture we need to reconnect to.
Wear these weaves with pride and support the families that create them:
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