Dried water lily stalks woven into fine handicrafts became the livelihood of women, housewives, out-of-school youths, and senior citizens of Paniqui, Tarlac, Philippines.
A wide range of products like shoes, sandals, slippers, bags, baskets, wallets, pouches, belts, trays, placemats, boxes, tissue holders and many others can be crafted by Paniqui folks using stalks of dried water hyacinths.
The ample visibility and fast growth of this plant caused a problem of obstructing the flow of water as the region is traversed with many rivers, swamps, and creeks, causing flooding during heavy rains. The local government started this project with 25 weavers which increased to 50 within 12 months as demand from local and foreign tourists poured out.
The BusinessOver a wide variety of handicrafts can be made from dried water hyacinths. It’s light yet strong fiber property can be woven to different products according to the clients’ preferences. Because it is organic, it can be used for packaging of goods which will substitute plastics that are non-biodegradable.
The abundant yield of high quality dried water lily straws with the hard-working weaving skills mean that the plant harvesters and weavers of Paniqui have very good potential to enter the market of producing high quality hand-made water lily handicrafts in different designs and products.
Furthermore, the same raw materials and weaving techniques can be applied to develop a range of good quality and attractive water lily fashion ware like slippers and handbags. The production of the water lily baskets and boxes would be undertaken by the Paniqui Women Association and the PAGASA Youth Association both recognized and supported by the local government. High quality fabric materials for fastenings, linings, gloss, water-proofing, and highlights were sourced from the locality.
Production of water lily mats, trays and other handicrafts would enhance the quality and...