Philippine textile on display in Spain

Our very own traditional textile, piña-seda, is currently on display at the historic Real Fabrica de Tapices in Madrid, Spain for a month-long exhibition, dubbed “Piña-Seda: Hibla ng Lahing Filipino Travelling Exhibition, Lecture Series, Weaving, and Embroidery Demonstrations and Workshops.”

The traveling exhibition, ongoing until June 21, was launched by the Philippine Embassy in Madrid and the Real Fabrica de Tapices, through the efforts of the National Museum of the Philippines, the Office of Senator Loren Legarda, and the local governments of Kalibo, Aklan and Lumban, Laguna. 

The exhibit and its related activities aim to increase public awareness and interest in Filipino traditional textiles. It also aims to deepen appreciation of local weaving traditions and provide venues for the promotion of intangible heritage related to processing and weaving textiles, and knowledge exchanges. 

In his welcome remarks during the launch of the exhibition, Real Fabrica de Tapices director general Alejandro Klecker de Elizalde expressed satisfaction over the exhibit and its programs, and noted the forthcoming 500th anniversary of Magellan’s arrival in the archipelago and the long, interlinked history of Spain and the Philippines which led to cultural exchanges such as the country’s embroidery tradition. 

Guests attend the launch of 'Piña-Seda' traveling exhibition in Spain. (Inset) From left: National Museum assistant director Ana Labrador, National Museum director Jeremy Barns, Ambassador Philippe Lhuillier, and Real Fabrica de Tapices director general Alexander Klecker de Elizalde
The exhibit’s weaving demonstrations, embroidery workshops, and lecture series focused on the Philippines’ weaving traditions, and the history, social significance, and artistry of the piña-seda, arguably the country’s most famous indigenous textile.

Around 100 people from Spain’s cultural institutions, including the Museo Naval director general, representatives from other museums, textile researchers, members of the academe, and the Filipino community witnessed the launch and took the guided tour of the piña-seda exhibit led by National Museum of the Philippines officials. 

Former President and Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, also visited the exhibit’s second day and witnessed a weaving and embroidery demonstration.

Aside from putting a spotlight on Philippine textiles and weaving tradition, the exhibit also seeks to highlight the skills, knowledge, and efforts of local weavers in preserving and upholding Filipino traditional weaving heritage.

Philippine Ambassador to Spain Philippe Jones Lhuillier underscored the contribution of the weavers and embroiders in the preservation of the piña-seda and called them “underrated artisans” deserving of further acknowledgment. 

He also thanked the Real Fabrica de Tapices for choosing to work with the Philippine Embassy in bringing the exhibit to Madrid, and the National Museum and Office of Senator Legarda for the initiative to shine a spotlight on Philippine textiles.

Topics: traditional textile , piña-seda , Real Fabrica de Tapices , Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

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