“Eh ‘di ba gusto mong malaman kung pa’no nagiging tela ang dahon na ‘yan?”

This was the answer of Moymoy Palaboy to the retort of Vaness del Moral on the purpose of the pineapple leaves he gave to her during the September 27-episode iBILIB, a science experiment TV program of GMA Channel 7. On this particular episode, the textile process was featured using PTRI’s own Innovation Center For Yarns and Textiles (ICYT).

PTRI’s Supervising Science Research Specialist, Engr. Daniel Lavin, toured the show’s visiting hosts to the Institute’s Natural Fiber Processing Plant and to the recently inaugurated ICYT. Here, they were oriented on the processes necessary in converting natural fibers such as pineapple leaf, abaca, banana, water hyacinth, among others, into yarns – from decorticating, bleaching, softening, cutting, to the actual spinning process which includes sub-processes of carding, drawing and roving.

They also visited the weaving and knitting studios of the Institute’s ICYT where they were shown the operation of the power loom (mechanized shuttle-less version of the weaving loom) and the circular knitting machine.

The tour culminated in the PTRI showroom where the hosts playfully tried out the outfits on display. The showroom houses weave designs, natural dyes selection, treated/softened Hinabol material, fiber to yarn information boards as well as miniature dolls donned in neo-ethnic fabric selection. Products of various partners are also on display for sale.

To see is to believe. Through this program episode, PTRI was privileged with the opportunity to share the intricate process of producing yarns and fabrics with TV viewers. Hopefully, viewers would have developed a better appreciation for the long-winded process of textile production. May all say a one: iBILIB!

(F.M. Emralino)