The Department of Science and Technology-Provincial Science and Technology Center recently conducted training on advance bleaching and dyeing of abaca –based handicrafts, according to Philippine Information Agency’s report.
The participants were composed of members of the Tanikala ng Pagkakaisa Multi-purpose Cooperative at the Sitio Kasurok, Brgy. Tugos, Boac, where the training was held. The sitio is known in Boac for its rich produce of abaca plants. In 2007, the Tanikala ng Pagkakaisa Multi-purpose Cooperative came up with the livelihood project of utilizing abaca fibers.
Recently, Pacifico L. Mabato, the cooperative leader, sought the help of DOST- PSTC Director Bernardo Caringal on how to better improve their products and facilities. Dir. Caringal provided the training to assist the cooperative to enhance their existing facility and equipment to cater to a wider market.
The activity was entitled “Technology Training on Advanced Bleaching and Dyeing for Natural Fibers”, with Engr. Bilshan F. Servañez, the Provincial S&T Director of Romblon, who served as the resource person.
Servañez shared pointers to improve the usual way of bleaching and dyeing of abaca. The new technology will enhance the quality of the abaca products and ease the production process, resulting to increased productivity.
Servañez said the Mangyans bleach their natural abaca fibers by overnight-soaking the freshly harvested fibers, then these are washed and dry. He said that this process may be followed, but the use of lesser amount of glacial acetic acid during bleaching will improve the tensile strength of the fibers. The use of glaubers salt instead of ordinary rock salt is also recommended to avoid the fading of dyes.
The glaubers salt serves as a levelling agent by dispersing the dye evenly throughout the fiber, which gives intensity to the colors containing turquoise and helps wash fast.
There was also a session on profitability analysis for the production and on techniques for efficient fiber utilization in producing abaca slippers.
DOST-PSTC provided the digital weighing scale for more accurate and precise weighing of chemicals for improved ration during drying.
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