Binakol weaving is the ‘Op Art’ of the Philippines

The patterns of binakol cloths are ancient, and are dizzying on purpose. Traditionally, the Itneg tribe from Northern Luzon (Philippines) made blankets in this design. They believed that evil spirits that hovered overhead and preyed on sleeping souls. The blankets in the dizzying designs, they believed, would confuse and distract the evil spirits.

Binakol designs range from whirlwinds and stars to fans, cat’s pawprints, and traditional Filipino capiz shell windows.

The art of weaving Binakol, and local textiles in the country, has been dwindling; recent efforts by modern designers to use these textiles are aimed to bringing the art back from the brink of extinction.

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