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Philippines empowering its weaving community
May '17
A two-day module on financial literacy was organised for Philippines’ weaving community, who significantly contributes to the country’s economy. The module offered lessons and workshops in product costing, money management, standardisation, scheduling, inventory management and accounting. Handloom woven products have an important place in country’s exports.

Handloom woven products have also gained eminence in view of the world’s fashion industry moving to natural fabrics. This trend is now also visible in Philippines’ local markets. The module, organised during April 26-27, 2017, was facilitated by Therese Fernandez-Ruiz and Stephanie Anne Cuevas of Rags 2 Riches, and Sha Nacino of Write Conversations. The module was attended by 45 weavers/weaving community officers, representing 15 of the Philippine Textile Research Institute’s partner handloom weaving centres throughout the country.

In July 2016, together with the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and funding from the Government of Canada, Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) had inked a memorandum of agreement to provide training on basic entrepreneurial skills to PTRI’s identified regional handloom weaving innovation centres.

The module aimed to make handloom weaving a growing, expanding and sustainable business for the weavers. It was meant to boost weaving industry so that the new generation switches back to weaving rather than seeking foreign employment.

While the interest in handwoven fabrics continues to grow world over, textile outputs of the Philippine’s weaving communities require improvement on quality specifications, standard measurements and design needs of various SME retailers, designers and exporters that cater to both mainstream and niche or artisan markets. Handloom weaving currently is done using time-consuming techniques and produces expensive fabrics in comparison to machine-produced materials.

For more than 30 years, PTRI has trained more than 4,000 weavers in the country and assisted 35 per cent of the existing weaving companies on skills training, repair, conversion or modification of handlooms, weave design development and loom execution. The Philippine handloom weaving falls under the micro, small and medium enterprises. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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