Going on its fourth year, the Likhang HABI Market Fair will be held on October 24 to 26, 2014, at Glorietta 2 Activity Center, Palm Drive, Makati City.
This annual textile bazaar features handwoven traditional cloth from Northern Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao. This year the focus is on Philippine cotton—grown, spun, and woven in the country. Cotton is an agricultural product that has been cultivated here even before Spanish colonization. The quality of Philippine cotton is that of the best in the world—long and strong, yet supple. HABI: The Philippine Textile Council over the past year has sourced this elusive fiber and made it available to weavers in various parts of the country. Textiles woven from this cotton will be available at the fair.
In the global market, organic cotton is sought for garments for both casual and special-occasion wear. It is favored for its natural beauty, comfort, and versatility. The HABI fair encourages the use and revival of cotton in traditional textiles. For too long, the only available thread for most handloom weavers has been cheap, synthetic filaments or blends of cotton and acrylic. This fact has depreciated the quality and value of our traditional textiles. But if cotton production and weaving is resuscitated, it would project hand-woven cloth, made in the Philippines, to the global market.
Over fifty weavers and handwoven textile producers will participate in this year’s HABI fair, which has been growing and attracting the attention of buyers since its inception as a small side event in the ASEAN Traditional Textile Symposium held in Manila in 2009.