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DOST's latest innovations for textiles to be featured at the S&T week      

By Loraine Mancio Cueva, DOST-PTRI and Allan Mauro V. Marfal, DOST-STII

Some of the country's finest and most fabulous researches on textile industry will be put in display in the upcoming 2017 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) on July 11 to 15 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

During the five-day NSTW, Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI) will show to the public the latest innovations, including technologies and products, that would help boost the country's growing local textile industry.

Anchored by their Lab to FAB (Fabric and Beyond) concept, DOST-PTRI will showcase locally-developed products and services including the Portable Therapeutic Handloom, Modified Handloom Weaving Machine, indigenous resources and natural fabrics, and other products from DOST-PTRI's Innovation Center for Yarns and Textiles (ICYT) and Regional Yarn Production and Innovation Centers (YPICs).

DOST-PTRI is poised to highlight its indigenous inputs, innovative technologies, and high-value outputs to give the public the chance to see and appreciate some of DOST-PTRI's work throughout the years. These products were borne out of PTRI's unyielding commitment and resolve to continue its mission of rejuvenating and revitalizing the country's textile industry.

The Portable Therapeutic Handloom is a PTRI-designed technology specialized for differently-abled persons, especially for paraplegics. Its distinctive feature is a hand-held lever that takes the place of pedals, to facilitate the interchange of harnesses during weaving of yarns. With this strategic mechanism, the handloom will now only require eye-hand coordination, streamlining the hand weaving process.


Meanwhile, the Modified Handloom Weaving Machine is attached with an alternative foot switch that allows direct winding of fabric onto the cloth beam, without requiring the weaver to stand. This increases the weaver's productivity. With the help of four harnesses and four pedals, the range of designs that can be produced using this model is also expanded. Its metal parts ensure durability and smooth operation; while its ancillaries - such as the bobbin winder, ratchet and pawl, and tension control - aid in overall efficiency.

The ICYT is a premier facility for innovating indigenous fibers and fiber blends for high-value yarns, fabrics, and related textile outputs. Fiber carding, blending, yarn spinning, handloom weaving, power loom weaving, and knitting are a few of the ICYT's specialized services. The Regional Yarn Production and Innovation Centers are facilities that address the gap between agricultural inputs and end-users of textile products throughout the country. The project is seen to generate hundreds of jobs and encourage appreciation of local textiles, helping spur the revitalization of the textile industry.

Further, Indigenous resources and natural fabrics are the core ingredients of the DOST-PTRI projects to optimize the researches on Philippine Tropical Fabrics and Natural Dyes which are at par with the global market in the burgeoning Slow Fashion Movement and Cradle-to-Cradle Fashion concepts. DOST-PTRI has conducted more than 100 natural dye extractions and applications, with eight natural dyes developed for silkscreen printing; 30 for powder production; and 10 for upscale natural dyeing.

The NSTW is celebrated every third week of July yearly through Proclamation No. 169 of 1993. It aims to recognize the contribution of science and technology in the development of the country and garner support from the public and private institutions for its sustainable development. The activities lined up for this year's NSTW are science and technology forums on agriculture, health, nutrition, disaster preparedness management, and manufacturing. Technology exhibits and launches, film showing, scientific career talks, science journalism writeshop, SETUP forums, and awarding ceremony are also included.

Those who want to view the exhibits can go to the main venue while those interested to attend the forums are advised to proceed to the Philippine Trade Training Center, which is just next to the World Trade Center.

All exhibits for 2017 NSTW is open to the public while science and technology forums will be by invitation only.