RAFFIA HISTORY

Woven raffia in the province of Bohol can be traced back during the time of Francisco Dagohoy who established an independent government during the long and successful rebellion against Spain from 1744 to 1829.

The fabrics then were used as sleeping mats, blankets and uniforms of the Boholano Guerillas against the Spaniards and also during World War II where there was a dearth of clothing fabrics. In the 1950’s it evolved as decorative mats and were used for drying rice and corn for the locals. It was used as housewares, table tops and novelty decors in the 70s.

Protecting the weaving traditions of the old, we continue to advance this century weaving traditions of the province of Bohol through the conduct of skills replication and product development using the traditional weaving methods and vernacular designs and the more advance digital design development. Second liners have been trained and educated in this industry to continue carry this torch and provide the necessary income and employment opportunities to women in the countryside.

At present, woven raffia are now incorporated with polyester, wires, leather and other fibers and are bleached and dyed and are made into placemats, table runners, pillow cases, decorative rolls, customized handbags, fashion accessories and even fancy suites and dresses and other lifestyle products. Directions are now geared to develop digital designed fabrics and other woven fabrics that can be used for architectural applications and finishes and travel retail applications.