Inabel (locally known as “abel Iloko”) is a textile made of cotton and other natural fibers woven in pedal frame looms. It’s not only in Paoay, Ilocos Norte province in northern Philippines that inabel is made or can be found. The industry have now become widespread in the Iloko region, thus the name.
Abel in Ilocano refers to the process of weaving while inabel is the final woven product made from cotton and other natural fibers. Inabel can refer to a variety of products including table runners, pillow cases and even dresses, although blankets are the main products which are widely in and outside the region.
Inabel blankets can be found in almost any public market and most souvenir stores anywhere in Ilocos. For authentic or more durable varieties the best buys are in Paoay, Pinili and Sarrat in Ilocos Norte, and Tagudin, Santiago and Vigan in Ilocos Sur. In these places visitors can observe the locals weave these fabrics by hand using wooden pedal frames.
Long live Philippine weaving traditions!