and ABEL ILOCO
Abel-weaving is one of the few surviving traditional crafts in Vigan.
Historically, the high demand for the famous handwoven abel Iloco
nearly killed the Spanish weaving industry during the galleon trade
era. At least three (3) barangays in the city still have abel-weavers,
best-known of which is Barangay Camangaan as it produces much of
the local abel products available in Vigans souvenir shops
located along the Crisologo Street and the Vigan Public Market.
The other two (2) barangays with abel-weavers are Mindoro and San
Abel-weaving involves the use of a wooden handloom and other accessories.
The wooden handloom was the equivalent of a sewing machine in the
past, and it produced most of the fabrics used in the homes, including
clothes, blankets, and pillowcases. The material used to make the
abel fabrics was cotton yarn (sagut). As it is known, the northern
Philippines, particularly, grew cotton plants whose flowers were
then intricately and lengthily processed in the homes to produce
On the whole, abel-weaving follows a very intricate process
from preparing and dyeing the yarn, to arranging different colors
of yarn to produce the desired design, and operating the wooden
handloom with the synchronized movement of both hands and feet.
Abel Iloko products included blankets and bed covers, pillow cases,
mosquito nets, bath towels and robes, hand towels, place mats and
table napkins, runners, hand towels and other fabrics for clothing
material. Traditional colors and designs, which had similarities
with the Cordilleran designs, were used in these products.
more Traditional Arts