Art of the Loom: Weaving the Story That Is the Binakul




Binakul is a textile pattern handwoven on a small scale in Ilocos. Also known as binakel, binakael, or binakol, binakul (meaning “twill” in Ilocano) is a variation of the abel. Binakul can be easily recognized by its uniform, interlocked geometric patterns that result in psychedelic optical art designs, which are said to represent the waves of the sea and, among indigenous peoples of the Cordilleras, protection against malevolent spirits.

On display at Art of the Loom are examples of antique and modern binakul. Designs range from whirlwinds and stars to fans, cat’s pawprints, and capiz windows. Binakul is traditionally used as blankets but, most recently, designers have explored its use in contemporary fashion and personal accessories.

Part of Art of the Loom is a showcase of modern-day applications of binakul, such as binakul and snakeskin clutches fashioned by couturier Pepito Albert, a modern lamp by designer Olivia d’Aboville, boleros by Violeta de Borja, flats by Ruby Diaz Roa, and creations by fashion designer Jojie Lloren especially made for the exhibit.


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