Banton Cloth

Age of Contact

Banton Is., Romblon
1400 - 1500 AD

The Banton cloth is the earliest known warp ikat (tie-resist dyeing) textile in Southeast Asia. Estimated to be 400 years old, the burial cloth was found in a wooden coffin that also contained blue and white ceramics in Banton Island, Romblon. The shroud was woven from red, black and white abaca threads. At present, the people in Bontok, Mt. Province use a colorful burial cloth to wrap the dead.

The process of weaving is simple. The threads are measured and wound on a frame. These are wrapped in a pattern with a wax string or a strip of vine and then dyed. As soon as the threads are dry, these are set up on a loom for the weaving.

This page was last modified Monday, February 10, 2014
National Museum of the Philippines
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