{IN­TE­RIOR TALK}

Real Living (Philippines) - - Real Homes -

NAT­U­RAL WEAVES In spite of its highly ur­ban­ized set­ting and con­tem­po­rary in­te­ri­ors, de­signer Liam Mooney ac­ces­sorizes his apart­ment with a lot of wo­ven bas­kets and fur­ni­ture. Get to know our own lo­cal weav­ing ma­te­ri­als bet­ter with this guide: 1. Rat­tan. A type of palm with a solid stem. This sus­tain­able ma­te­rial is pop­u­lar with fur­ni­ture mak­ers be­cause it grows faster and is eas­ier to har­vest and trans­port. The in­ner core can be sep­a­rated, split, and wo­ven into wicker. 2. Bam­boo. Be­long­ing to the grass fam­ily, bam­boo is sig­nif­i­cant to the peo­ple of East and South­east Asia. Aside from be­ing an or­na­men­tal plant, bam­boo also serves as build­ing ma­te­rial and food. This sus­tain­able, light­weight ma­te­rial is also pop­u­lar for its dura­bil­ity and flex­i­bil­ity. Its smooth, shiny, outer skin is split and used for weav­ing. 3. Abaca/hemp. Abaca is a species of the ba­nana fam­ily

in­dige­nous to the Philip­pines. More pop­u­larly known as Manila Hemp (or depend­ing on the re­gion, Cebu Hemp or Davao Hemp), abaca is much sought-af­ter for its flex­i­bil­ity, dura­bil­ity, and re­sis­tance to salt­wa­ter dam­age.

Wild grass/weeds. Th­ese ma­te­ri­als break from the usual man­ual style of weav­ing. The grass, how­ever, is thin enough to be spun into thread-like fibers, and wo­ven into the fin­ished prod­uct on looms. Bun­tal fibers, buri sprigs, ve­tiver, and other as-yet un­named wild grasses can be used, as long as they are pro­cessed.

Pan­dan or screw­pine. Pan­dan is an im­por­tant in­gre­di­ent in South­east Asian cook­ing as it adds a pleas­ant aroma to rice, curry dishes, and desserts. The leaves of the pan­dan tree can also be dried for use in hand-wo­ven items like mats and our lo­cal bay­ong (mar­ket tote). —Coni Te­jada

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