Abel Iloko – Paoay

Paoay in not only known for its ever charming St. Agustine Church but also for its “inabel” (popularly known as “abel iloko”), a textile made of cotton and other natural fibers woven in pedal frame looms. It’s not only in Paoay though that inabel is being made. The industry have become widespread in the region, thus, its name.

The wooden pedal frame where the fabric is manually weaved:


When I was in Paoay, I had the chance to visit a store that weaves and sells inabel just beside the Paoay Church where I took the images here.

The inabel have evolved from a blanket to pillow cases, bed covers, and place mats; to fabric of choice for designers; to bags, and to everything that the Ilocano creative mind can imagine:

Inabel blankets:


Inabel dress:


Inabel bags:


The design and use of the fabric have become so unlimited which makes it very versatile and durable. In fact, the inabel blankets I used as a small child in the province are still kept in my mother’s closet in the province, ready to use, anytime. By the way, my mother used to starch my inabel blanket and I didn’t like it because I don’t want my blanket standing on its own! To add, historical reports reveal that the fabric was even used as sails for large trading ships during the colonial period.

Postscript: The weaver in the shop I have visited informed me that they have not been producing a lot lately because of the scarcity of raw materials. The weavers would appreciate it a lot though if you can have your piece of abel iloko when you visit Ilocos.

Gallery | This entry was posted in A. ILOCOS, Biag (Life of Ilocano's), Gameng (Crafts), Ladawan (Photos), Lugar (Places) and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Abel Iloko – Paoay

  1. Hі! ӏ cߋuld have sworn I’ve Ьeen tо your blog befⲟre but after going tһrough mаny of tһe posts I realized іt’s new to me.
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  2. rowena van slooten says:

    i was given an abel yloko shawl by a good friend who came to visit and fell in love with the fabric. wondering where I can order online?

  3. Linda Alicea says:

    I remember having these blankets growing up! Loved them! And we had our names embroidered too! Beautiful! Where can I order them? I’d love to get some for my children and niece. Are they still 100% cotton? Or at least 50% cotton, 50% polyester? How much? Delivery to Hawaii? Please contact me via email!! Thank you!

  4. sej says:

    my brother and sister-in-law are going to be married in feb 2013. a friend of theirs suggested they check out the fabrics produced in ilocos. would abel iloco be a good material for the entourage’s dress?

  5. Anonymous says:

    my brother and sister-in-law are going to be married in feb 2013. a friend of theirs suggested they check out the fabrics produced in ilocos. would abel iloco be a good material for the entourage’s dress?

  6. Michael Munoz says:

    Hi, can anyone give me leads on weavers who does commission works?
    Thanks, i’ll greatly appreciate it.

  7. elizer says:

    it was indeed a great culture and treasure to be preserved lets all make action to do the preservation. contact me in my Facebook account. elizermanuel2009@yahoo.com. i hope to see you’re whole hearted talks about it.thanks .agbiag iloko.

  8. christian pasion says:

    i think those items are not inabel clothes……. those are binakol, because inabel textile designs are checkered……………………. not lyk those

  9. peach says:

    I super love Abel products! I have matching bedding sets of these! I like the thought that they are handwoven and not machine-made. By the way, I’ve been searching for online sellers and I was so happy to see that these are sold online now. I don’t travel much so I just ordered from this online store:

    I saw one in sulit.com.ph and here’s the link: ://peachandpink.multiply.com/photos

  10. Delailah says:

    Hello fellow Ilocanos! I’m a proud Ilocana. Let’s support our culture.

  11. Nice going!Is wonderful!

  12. Pingback: This fabric weaves centuries of Ilocano tradition « loQal – Home and Living

  13. pinkaholicblak_kar_ says:


  14. Alex Cristobal says:

    In the 60’s, my grandmother was weaving all sorts of materials and designs. All the things that she made were primarily for blankets, “pandilings”, and shirts. I could still remembers the vivid colors and patterns that she made. We used to hate it when they were freshly washeds and starched. My brothers and I used to gather the blanket and start stepping on it until its soft! When I went home couple of years ago, I asked my mother if we still have these blankets. I was lucky to find some in my grandmother’s lakasa. I took i blanket back to NY. On Wednesday, May 21, we’ll have the annual Cultural Diversity Day in my job. There will be food tasting, and I was asked to bring some native Philippine products to be displayed. I have placemats made of capiz, embroidered napkins with shell napkin rings, souvnir T shirts from different cities in the Philippines. I was digging from my closet and I found the blanket that I brought from my family house in Laoag. I was googling for inabel and I came accross your blog and one of the pictures resembles my blanket (my grandmoother called it binakol design). I’m going to use your pictures to explain how my blanket was done to whoever will visit our booth.
    I hope people still make this kind of product so our rich culture will be prserved.

  15. J. Dadulla Roca says:

    OMG. I have a few of these blankets that my grandmother weaved when she was a child. Thanks for the historical and technical information. My grandmother is Gertrudis Dadulla Redito of Balioeg Banna, Ilocos.

  16. great constantine a very good job naragsak a baro a tawen

  17. dadulla-Nena Heyl-galarse clan. says:

    kadakayo amin nga agab-abel paylang kabla=awankay aminti naimbag nga aldawyo,ammoyo mail-iliwak met nga agabel manen,tay lima ti papayatanna ken lima met lat gor-onna.ti ammok ket masurutak pay lang,siak ti nagsurat met lat ngatwek,diak ammono adda pay agab-abel diay Balioeg Banna nga isut ti naggapwak.ti lang makunak kailiwko nga usaren dagitay penpen nga ules nga inab-abel mi idi teen agers kami,agcocontest kami nga aga-antis & agcacasinsin no asinno ti umuna a makaleppas ti maysa nga pakatan….ngem ti daik ammo ket tay kunada nga agisubo mapan gor-on…ngem ammok ti agisubo mapan ti sugud kunadansa itay,(please corek m}daydi nanangmi ni late MRS. MAGDALENA SINFUEGO GALARSE DADULLA, ket mabalinko nga uray awanen ditoy ket mabalinko nga lagipen nga nalaing nga agtagud,aggan-ay.agilukot b4 nga ikana mapan pangablan tay ablen kunataysa itay pay,,daydi very loving mother mi.{we miss u so much nana}ngem sayang saankam nga navisit dita Bagnus Paoay nga ayan ti agab-abel…speaking Paoay,kumusta kayo relatives mi dita Paoay=Dadulla,GALARSE,Rambaud,GAJES, KEN ABROJENA clan,adupay ngem diak malagip ti other apilyedo,,,,hope to see ol someday by nxt vacation.agan-{adu nga anusmi nga nagab-abel met idi duakami kenni ateko Lucita Dadulla Almazan nga naiyasawa dita Masintoc Paoay}May God bless us all!!!!!

  18. dadulla-galarse clan. says:

    im so very humble and say i grew up to this way of living,tnx GOD,our late parents,late aunties,were very industrious weaving b4,(they even have 2looms or pangablan of every each houses,so thats where we learned to weave}i can just say this was their occupation of those days,im so proud to tell u that my sister & i knows to weave blankets,{sill have a remembrance@d lakasa}mosquito nets,cloth to make dress,pants and many things except towel,think its hard to do that…but then later,,,when i left @my birth barrio for years, then i had chance for vacation,,there find-out pangablan were gone also,dahil no more Loving Nana & aunties to manage them.i miss those coz we really earned a lot from those kinds of hand machine. thats how we call it!!!!year 2001 we visited BAGNUS-Paoay where people weave and it reminds me of my duties when i was younger…i love d photos u’ve post..more power..thanks…

  19. Constantine says:

    Hi infatuateflip! Thx for coming by. Sure I will feautre Badoc as soon as I have good materials! I will link you likewise…:)

  20. ahh, found a blog that deals with ilocos. I miss back home, i cant wait to go back on vacation. Please if you have a chance to visit Badoc, please take some pictures, i want to see how it looks now. and btw, im adding you to my links.

  21. Constantine says:

    Anonymous, funny kabsat! Hahaha 🙂

  22. Constantine says:

    JFI, welcome back kabsat! It’s been quite sometime…you were really busy. Carry on…:)

  23. Constantine says:

    Amy, Inabel have evolved since the 70’s, there are now finer (and smoother) versions of the textile which will spare you of your previous predicament when you wear them now 🙂

  24. Anonymous says:

    wen ngarud!lima kami nga agkakabsat idta uneg ti kulambo. inisbuan pay diay pusa mi ta igid na ket lab labaak nga nakabitin.

  25. jfi says:

    angingga ita adda pay abel a punda ti punganko. Ken malagipko adda iti moquitero (kulambo) nga abel nga us-sarenmi idi ubbing kami.

  26. amy says:

    I remember those inabel blankets!It just gives me a good laugh because when you starch them (starch from left over rice!),they get so stiff that you can actually play “balay-balay” and always end up waking up someone when you try to open the blanket by “kicking” it!
    I also had an inabel uniform when I was in high school. I remember scratching my waist the whole hour of Christian Living class because my mom would starch it so stiff that by the end of the day,I’d have a few horizonal lines around my waist.
    Not to mention the coal iron I used to iron those inabels! Good Golly,it was so hot I’d be sweating bricks! The memories of the mid 70’s!
    Now that I am in my 40’s and have the luxury of not wearing them,I just do the dry clean method or “wagsak”!

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