DOST-PTRI celebrates Philippine Tropical Fabrics Month

The Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI) marked Philippine Tropical Fabrics Month in January by holding the annual TELA Conference and launching TELA Gallery, Textile Design, and Innovation Hub, and the Philippine Textiles e-portal.

This year’s theme for the celebration of the Philippine Tropical Fabrics Month is “Fashioning Philippine Textiles in the Now Normal and in the Year of the Creative Economy”.   

PTRI is the premier research and development arm of the Department of Science and Technology.

TELA Conference 2021

The Annual TELA Stakeholders’ Conference was held on January 27, 2021. The conference brought together industry stakeholders to highlight the gains of previous years as well as to find solutions to the challenges facing the industry. It sought to find areas of collaboration to further strengthen the textile industry as it plays a vital role in “promoting sustained and inclusive economic growth as the country rises to the challenges of the new normal.”

Various stakeholders acknowledged the devastating effect of the Covid pandemic on the industry. The important contribution of the textile industry was seen as DOST-PTRI participated in the early Covid relief efforts, as it provided technical assistance in the use of local materials to create face masks and other protective wear. Among the businesses that partnered with DOST-PTRI in the Quick Response Project on the Development and Production of Rewear Facemasks was clothing brand Bayo.

The conference speakers emphasized the need for strengthened cooperation among textile industry stakeholders in light of the pandemic. In his welcome remarks, Secretary Fortunato Dela Pena calls on the government and the private sector to work together for the growth of the Philippine textile industry.

“I would like to call for stronger partnerships and collaboration among government institutions that we may channel our energies towards common goals, much like our experience with the RYPIC in Iloilo. I extend this call to the private sector – if R&D must contribute to the growth and improvement of textiles, of productivity, and in the development, if not discovery, of material innovations, industry, and the private sector, will have to come forward and help steer forthcoming R&D’s.”

– DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Pena

Launching of TELA Gallery, Textile Design, and Innovation Hub, and the Philippine Textiles e-portal

On January 28, 2021, DOST-PTRI launched the TELA Gallery, Textile Design, and Innovation Hub in Bicutan, Taguig City. The hub has an exhibition area (featuring local fabrics), conference rooms, and co-working spaces. It is a place where creatives and industry players can use the facilities of DOST-PTRI to work and collaborate on projects using Philippine textiles.

Athlete and beauty queen Michelle Gumabao guided viewers through a virtual tour of the new facility.

Also launched on the same day was the Philippine Textiles e-portal, a website containing information on handloom weaving and natural dyeing, and the communities behind these traditional Philippine handicrafts.

Digital Poster Making Contest

As part of the celebration of the Philippine Tropical Fabrics month, DOST-PTRI also held a Digital Poster Making contest for Filipinos to express their creativity through digital art. The contest was divided into three categories: one for high school students, another for college students, and the third category for amateur and professional digital artists.

Here are the winning works:

Support Local

Born to Ilocano parents, I grew up using Abel Iloko blankets and bedsheets. I’d buy woven products sold in Vigan and Baguio public markets and shops for family use or as gift to friends and co-workers. I appreciate the beauty and functionality of this traditional Ilocano product.

When we talk about supporting the textile industry, we often just think about government and big business providing technical and financial support to the industry. 

But for the industry to continue to survive and be able to compete in the global market, we as Filipino consumers need to step up and do our share to support local industries. 

Ours is a country that’s rich in natural resources and abundant in creative talent. Our Philippine-made products are just as good or even better than foreign-made products.  

We need to buy local products as much as we can, to support our local manufacturers, and do our own share in contributing to our country’s economic growth.

DOST-PTRI website:

Watch the 2021 TELA Conference on DOST-PTRI’s Youtube channel:

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