(February 20, 2010 – May 15, 2010)

Traditional process of making rope in Ilocos Norte

Rope is one of man’s oldest manufactured articles. Rope has been used in seafaring, hunting, fishing, farming, dragging of heavy loads, building, and many other numerous ways.

Regardless of fibers used, rope making is generally the same. The first step consists of drawing and combing the fibers.

The fibers are then spun into yarns and wound on bobbins. The strands are passed through a machine known to Ilocanos as “pagtalian”. The final step consists of laying the strands into rope. The most common fibers used in making ropes are Sisal and Abaca. Abaca known as Manila hemp is obtained from non-fruit bearing member of the banana family. The world’s principal source of abaca is the Philippines. In Ilocos, however, the maguey plant is the main source of fiber used in rope-making.

Whether it is made from plant fiber or synthetics, rope has been and will always play an integral part in the progress of civilization world-wide. So no matter how lowly the rope looks, it’s here to stay.

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