By John Maico Hernandez
Batangas City buri leaf weavers underwent a training on indigenous fibers dyeing technology to streamline their dyeing processes and improve the quality of their products, held at the Research Training Center, Office of the City Veterinary and Agriculture, Bolbok, Batangas City, March 07-08.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Batangas and the DOST Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI) conducted the two-day training in response to the call for science and technology-based intervention of the Batangas City Agriculture Office, to improve the existing dyeing practices of buri leaf weavers who are also members of the Batangas City Rural Improvement Club Marketing Cooperative.
The participants were trained to conduct pretreatment processes on raw materials and dye indigenous fibers using synthetic dyes. An overview of the steps involved in making textiles, including how dyeing procedures may be integrated, was given to the participants. According to DOST-PTRI experts, the dyeing process can be combined with other processes, such as spinning, weaving, and finishing, to create a more efficient production line.
Scouring, bleaching, use of equipment, and chemical formulation, as well as other aspects of the pretreatment process, were described and demonstrated to the participants. Before dyeing, the raw materials were put through the neutralization process. The participants were provided a computation of the chemical formulation to be used during the neutralization process.
The training also covered discussions on the types and differences of synthetic dyes and the method of computing and measuring the amount of chemicals needed to dye indigenous fibers. Participants underwent a hands-on exercise on dyeing buri leaves and rattan. Precautionary measures on handling chemicals and the use of equipment were observed during the training.
Characteristics of buri, including its economic and industrial importance, were explained to the participants. As the largest native palm species in the Philippines, buri reaches a height of 20 meters, with trunks attaining a diameter of about 1 meter. In Batangas City alone, the abundance of buri led to the production of handicrafts such as bags, baskets, and mats, all from buri leaves.
Technical experts from the DOST-PTRI facilitated the technology training. Ms. Mylene S. Dacuya, Science Research Specialist II, was the lead resource person, while Mr. Samilo Garcia, Science Aide, was the training assistant. Engr. Charmaine Pearl Aquino and Ms. Charmaine P. Valdez, also from DOST-PTRI, served as training facilitators.