INABEL – AN EPITOME OF THE RICH ILOCANO CULTURE
The art of weaving is handed from generation to generation. From the creative hands of our ancestors, from simplicity to maximum creativity, from a golden thread to a beautiful creation, the inabel is a great product of combined creativity, genuineness, skill and most of all, perseverance. The Ilocanas of the olden times were taught this textile craft which once bolstered the economy of the Ilocos region during the colonial times, when abel products were largely exported to foreign lands. Spanish galleons sailed the seas with pieces of inabel sailcloth. The abel is certainly a representation of the elegant past of Ilocos.
The different kinds of inabel evolves from blankets, pillow cases and even colorful fabrics used for clothing, and even bags which the creative minds of Ilocanos can imagine. Woven manually by the ilocanos’ creative hands, the inabel represents not just mainly the rich culture of the ilocanos but also their hidden talent as well. Inabel is now also known in the other parts of the country because of its genuine beauty and uniqueness. It is likened to the pinya cloth and other plant fibers which is mainly produced naturally here in our country. Majority of the national Filipino costumes nowadays are made from inabel cloth just like the costumes of Igorots and even the Filipiniana costume. Some of the local designers nowadays use inabel cloth for their creations maybe because compared to other cloth, the inabel is the most natural of them all.
The beauty of Ilocano culture is one of a kind. It was tested to become the finest. It was molded to become the best and it was created to become an inspiration not only to the people of the present but also to the future as well. Every inabel has an untold story but clearly, the very essence of inabel is the creativity and perseverance of the whole Ilocano community.