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5 interesting things to know about modern weaving

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Modern weaving is a contemporary take on traditional weaving, using portable looms that make it more accessible to anyone who's interested to learn. 

In an interview with GMA News Online, modern weaving instructor Judith Basco of The Art of Yarn said the craft "introduces the basic concepts and mechanics of the traditional way but explores heavy on texture and techniques."

Judith is one of the first few weavers who did modern weaving in the Philippines. She said her background in yarn craft and macrame made it easier for her to learn the craft and make the switch.

When Judith badly wanted to learn modern weaving, she made her DIY wooden loom and hammered nails into a wooden frame. She then used bamboo knitting needles, fork to beat down the weaves and a needle tapestry instead of a weaving shuttle.

Here are other interesting things about modern weaving that Judith had shared in an interview with GMA News Online at the HABI media launch.

1. It uses small and portable looms

This craft will give you an insight on Philippines' age-old tradition of weaving without having to use the big traditional looms.

Modern weaving uses compact tools and materials you can bring anywhere and materials such as small wooden looms, yarns, needle tapestry, cardboard, fork, comb and dowels.

For Judith who conducts regular workshops, she gets a little help from her partner karpintero from Pateros who has been helping her make portable wooden looms for her students to use.

It's a hobby you can take anywhere, you can do it in your room, at coffee shops, or maybe even at the beach?

2. You can make different kinds of things through modern weaving

If you're a fan of anything personalized maybe it's about time you look into modern weaving workshops.

Judith said there are "so much possibilities" with modern weaving: wall hanging, wallets, scarves, even bookmarks and coasters.

Doesn't it sound like a thoughtful Christmas gift to friends and family?

3. It's therapeutic

Judith previously worked in the advertising industry and weaving was one hobby she does to relax her mind from all the stress at work.

She also shared a story of  how weaving helped one of her students who was a six-year-old kid with short attention span due to having ADHD.

"I had a six-year-old kid who has ADHD her mom said while I was teaching him, kasi usually maliit lang attention span niya but the kid really got into it and then he was very  focused on what he's doing so that's a good thing and she said that would be a nice hobby for him.

Judith said a medium-sized tapestery (15in x13in) can be finished in a day or so it's something you take your time doing.

4. It helps keep the Philippine weaving traditions alive

Judith said The Art of Yarn's advocacy is to educate more people about modern weaving through workshops and collaborations to keep the weaving traditions alive.

Whenever she starts her workshop, Judith always discusses the differences between the modern and the traditional way of weaving.

According to Judith, modern weaving gives beginners "a peek at how hard it is to create just a few inches worth of work. Because it looks less complicated and more crafty approach, people of all ages are more interested and engaged."

She said she tries to connect with teachers and different fields; she's taught interior design students and a kindergarten school teacher also asked her to create a module for kids from 6 to 12 years old.

Soon, she will be launching her module for kids that "focuses on introducing them to different kinds of yarns and materials (recycled items or natural fibers) as well as the basics of weaving."

She wishes to engage with the young ones to "help advocate about our weaving traditions and encourage support to our local weavers."

Judith said modern weaving helps connect the younger weavers to the traditional ones, she narrated she had one student who went to a community in Ifugao to meet and have skill swaps with traditional weavers.

"With weaving, not only do they preserve this tradition that has been in our culture for ages but also advocate the magic of handcraft," Judith said.

5. Learning modern weaving won't just earn you a new skill, meeting a new community is a bonus

There's a growing community in modern weaving. Judith holds workshops but she said it won't end there for the learners. Judith tries to stay in touch with students and organize weaving meetups with her past students to just sit and weave together.

"We want to do it publicly so people see it so they get curious and so they get the education that we want to advocate," Judith said. — LA, GMA News

Meet Judith at the Likhang HABI Fair on October 12. She will host a mini woven tapestry making session. Register here.

A portion of the profit will go to HABI to support their advocacy on providing education about weaving to more Filipinos. The HABI Fair will happen from October 11 to 13 at Glorietta Activity Center.

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