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Title: Philippine Mats - Philippine Craftsman Reprint Series No. 1
Author: Miller, Hugo H., Minier, John F., Andes, U. S., Muller, Theodore, Brezina, Alice
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                The Government of the Philippine Islands

                    Department of Public Instruction

                          Bureau of Education

                  Philippine Craftsman Reprint Series

                                 No. 1

                            Philippine Mats


                           Bureau of Printing



The present bulletin is a reprint from The Philippine Craftsman,
Vol. I, Nos. 3, 4, and 5, and is issued in this form for the purpose
of placing in the hands of teachers a convenient manual for use in
giving instruction in this important branch of industrial work. In
it are contained directions for the preparation of materials for mat
making, with suggestive color schemes for these materials and details
for weaving a number of approved Philippine designs.

The use of mats for sleeping and other household purposes is universal
through the extreme Orient. Suitable mat materials abound in these
Islands, and when proper attention shall have been given to the
artistic and decorative side of their manufacture, the mat industry
may well become a source of considerable revenue in thousands of
Filipino homes.

The Bureau of Education has for some years past been endeavoring to
improve the designs used as well as the workmanship of Philippine mats,
in order that the article produced shall be typical of the country,
artistic in design, and of real commercial value. It is expected that
this end will be definitely furthered through the study and use of
the material contained in this reprint.

A considerable part of the subject matter of this publication
is the original work of Mr. Hugo H. Miller, Mr. John F. Minier,
Mr. U. S. Andes, Mr. Theodore Muller, and Mrs. Alice Brezina. Credit is
also due to numerous American and Filipino teachers for the submission
of reports and materials used in its preparation.

Frank L. Crone,

Acting Director.

Manila, February 1, 1913.


The production of mats in the Philippines is large because of the
extensive domestic demand for them. The sleeping mat [1] is used
throughout the Christian provinces, and is also found among the
Moros. Such mats are of the finer class and are usually more or less
highly decorated with colored straws in various designs. For this
purpose the buri petates are more widely produced than those made from
any other material. Pandan mats are considered stronger and cooler
but their use is not so extensive, probably because they are more
expensive than the buri mats. In the Visayas, tikug mats are important.

Another use of mats is in the baling of two of the staple products of
the Philippines, tobacco and abaca. In the Cagayan valley mats of dried
banana petioles are employed. A great many of these are made in Batac,
Ilocos Norte, from which place they are shipped to Cagayan. In most
cases the tobacco of the Visayas is packed in such mats also. At Argao,
Cebu, banana petiole mats are woven as a by-product of the sabá cloth
industry. In obtaining the fiber, the outer skin of the petiole is
pulled off for stripping, and the remaining portion, which is called
"upag," is dried and woven into very coarse mats by children. These
are called "bastos" [2] or "liplip," and are disposed of to the tobacco
balers in the town, or are shipped to Cebu and other towns for baling
purposes. While sabá sinamay is produced in several of the districts
in the Visayas, notably in Bohol, it is not known that the upag is
used for mat weaving there.

Coarse buri mats are almost exclusively used in wrapping abaca for
the export trade. Since baling is carried on only in large seaports,
particularly in Manila and Cebu, the weaving of these mats in certain
localities where the buri palm is abundant and their transportation
to the hemp-producing towns are important industries.

While they are not, strictly speaking, mats, plaited sacks [3] are
woven in the same weave and bear the same relation to sugar and rice as
do mats to tobacco and abaca. Most of the domestic rice crop entering
into commerce is packed in buri sacks and practically all the export
sugar is sent away in them. A few bayones are made of pandan. The
production of bayones is an important industry in certain districts.

Mats are also employed throughout the provinces for drying paddy
and copra in the sun, in the same manner in which trays are used for
sun-curing fruit in temperate regions.

The use of the finer grades of petates for floor mats and for
wall decoration is confined to the foreign population in the
Philippines. Nevertheless, a considerable number is so utilized. For
this trade only mats of the better grades are demanded, and the number
sold for the purpose is probably considerably restricted by the fact
that few mats are of suitable color combination and of proper design
to satisfy foreign taste. As yet there is no known commercial export
of Philippine mats. There is a considerable demand for floor mats and
mats for wall decoration in Europe and in the United States, but it
is improbable that the Philippines can hope to supply any part of it
unless designs and color combinations are vastly improved. Floor mats
are used as rugs in the same manner as are the strips of Japanese
matting which are so popular all over the world. Round floor mats,
somewhat larger in diameter than the round table tops, are also in
demand. Small mats can be used as doilies on the table or under the
stands of flower pots and the like.

Sleeping mats and mats intended for floors, walls, stands, and mat
doilies are the ones which are suitable for domestic and foreign
commerce, and industrial education must interest itself in them. The
Philippine materials available for weaving these mats are varied and
well distributed. With improvement in color combination and design,
there should be a large increase in the industry.


Sunshine is used to bleach all mat straws, but more often they are
also treated with boiling water to which certain bleaching agents
have been added. Only the most important of these are explained.

Tamarind.--This tree (Tamarindus indica) is known in Tagalog,
Bicol and Pampanga as sampalok, in Visayan as sambag, in Ilocano
as salamagui, and in Palawan as kalampisao. It is a large tree
with dense foliage. The leaves are employed as a bleaching agent in
boiling water. It is said that the young green fruit can be used for
this purpose.

Pandakaki.--The leaves of the plant (Tabernaemontana pandacaqui)
are used as a bleaching agent. This is the name under which it is
known, particularly in Pampanga and Cavite. In Palawan it is called
alibetbet. It is also known as kampopot in Tagalog and as alibubut
and toar in parts of the Visayas. In Ilocano the name is kurribuetbuet.

Lemons.--The juice of the various species and varieties of Citrus is
employed to some extent for bleaching. It is usually added to boiling
water in which the straw is immersed.

Vinegar.--Of Philippine vinegars, those made from palm juices are
considered about half as strong as lemon juice. Vinegar from sugar
cane juice has probably the same strength. That made from cooked rice
is considered about one-fourth as strong as lemon juice.

Alum.--In some towns alum is added to the boiling water in which
straw is treated. It is usually employed in combination with other
bleaching agents.



A mordant is a substance employed to fix the dye to the material. In
general, different ones are needed for different dyes and various
materials. In some cases the mordant is added to the dye liquid;
in others the material is previously treated with it before being
colored. The most important are the mineral mordants, such as the
alumina, the iron, the tin, and the chrome. These are not used in
the Philippines with local vegetable dyes. Tannin is also important
and is employed to some extent in the Philippines, being generally
obtained from the mangrove tan barks. Wood ashes are little used but
vinegar and lemon juice are important.

Kolis.--The leaves of this plant (Memecylon edule) are commonly used
in mordanting buri straw before dyeing it with sappan wood. In Tanay,
Rizal, it is employed on sabutan straw with all of the vegetable
dyes. It is known as guisian (Laguna), duigim (Ilocos, Pangasinan),
kulis (Rizal, Nueva Ecija, Bataan), tagobachi (Leyte), kasigay
(Ilocos Norte), agam (Negrito, Cagayan), guisoc-guisoc (Sorsogon),
macaasin (Tayabas), baian (Zambales), diyatdiyatan (Tayabas), candong
(Pangasinan), dioc (Pangasinan).

Natural Vegetable Dyes.

Numerous natural vegetable dyes are employed in the Philippines. Those
used on the mat straws are limited in number. The important ones only
are here noted. The whole question of dyes is a most difficult one
and hardly warrants the time which has been spent upon investigating
the various dye materials, nor the effort which would be necessary
to determine definitely the methods by which they can be used on mat
straws. The artificial dyes have driven the natural vegetable dyes
out of use because they are cheaper and are more easily applied, and
because in most cases they produce more pleasing and lasting colors.

Sappan.--This plant (Caesalpinia sappan) is known as sapang in
Tagalog and Ilocano and as sibucao in Visayan and Bicol. A beautiful
dye varying from red to red-orange (see Plate III) is obtained from
chips of the wood. This is employed on most Philippine fibers. Lime is
sometimes used as a mordant but the straws are usually first treated
with kolis leaves.

Turmeric.--This plant (Curcuma longa) is known as dilao throughout the
Islands. In Ilocano it is called kunig. Kalaoag is its name in Negros
and Sorsogon, ange in Pampanga and duao in parts of the Visayas. The
yellow dye obtained from the roots is fugitive in the sunlight.

Annatto.--This plant (Bixa orellana) is generally known here
as achuete. It is sometimes called achiote. The plant bears burs
containing many small reddish seeds, from the pulp of which the dye
is obtained. It is often employed in combination with turmeric. The
result is a yellow orange. The dye fades easily.

Deora.--The use of this plant (Peristrophe tinctoria) is confined to
the Visayas and Mindanao, where it is known by this name and also
as dauda and daura. In Samar the name is dala-uda. It is a small
bush and is usually grown in the gardens for its leaves and tender
stems. A mordant is not used. The color ranges from yellow orange to
a deep red orange.

The methods of using these dye materials are explained for each straw.

Materials Used with Mud to Obtain Dark Grays.

Red or green straws are turned dark gray by burying them in mud to
which certain substances (usually containing tannin) are added.

Talisay.--This large tree (Terminalia catappa) is common in the
Philippines. The leaves are added to the mud in dyeing straw
black. From the bark a brown dye may be obtained. It is, however,
seldom used. It is universally known as talisay. Spanish speaking
people call it almendras.

Indigo.--Two species of Indigoferae are grown in the Philippines and
are known as tagum. Except with mud they are not used to dye straws.

Tiagkot.--The leaves of this plant (Pithecolobium subacutum)
are employed on Romblon Island in dyeing buri gray. Other names
are tagayong, narandauel, saplit (Cagayan); carisquis, ayamguitan
(Zambales); tugurare (Pangasinan); inep (Bulacan); malasaga, malaganip,
tekin (Laguna); bahay (Sorsogon); tagomtagom (Samar); tique (Rizal).

Kabling.--This plant (Pogostemon cablin) is generally cultivated,
though it grows where its cultivation has been abandoned. A volatile
oil, used to keep away insects from textiles, is obtained from
the leaves. The leaves are used in Tanay, Rizal, in obtaining gray
sabutan straw.

Mabolo.--The heart wood of this tree (Diospyros discolor) is known
as kamagon. The leaves are employed in Tanay, Rizal.

Castor.--This plant (Ricinus communis) is seldom cultivated in the
Philippines but is found wild in all localities. The "beans" yield
the oil. The leaves are added to mud in obtaining gray sabutan straw.

Artificial Dyes.

It is commonly believed that artificial dyes are less permanent
than natural ones. This is seldom the case; as a matter of fact,
some of the fastest and most valuable dyes are now made artificially
and many are not procurable from vegetable coloring matters. Most
of the cheaper dyes made from coal tar are fugitive; that is, they
fade in sunlight or water or in both. They are often still further
cheapened by being adulterated with salt, dextrine and the like. Such
are the colors which are usually sold by the Chinese tienda keepers
and which have caused artificial dyes in general to come into such
ill-repute in the Philippines. Many of these "Chino dyes" contain 95
per cent salt. It is the belief, however, that artificial dyes of a
good class, so packed and marketed that they will come cheaply to the
hands of the dyers and weavers, will drive out of use practically all
of the vegetable dyes now employed in the Philippines. The disuse of
the natural dyes would not be regretted here, for, with the possible
exception of those obtained from sabutan straw in Tanay, much finer
colors can be produced with artificial dyes, as to both beauty and
fastness. If the time of the workers is considered, the vegetable
dyes now employed in the Philippines are more expensive than the
artificial dyes, even though the latter are now sold in wastefully
small packages and bear the burden of several large profits before
they come to the hands of the persons using them. [4]


The process of dyeing is simple. The fluid is prepared in water
(usually boiling), and the material is immersed in it. The shade of
color obtained depends on the length of time the material is allowed
to remain in the fluid or the number of times it is treated, and the
strength of the dye. The combination of two different dyes to obtain
a third is understood to some extent. In particular, red and yellow
are mixed to obtain orange.


Standard Colors.

The three primary colors are red, blue, and yellow. The three secondary
colors are obtained by combination of the three primary colors, and are
orange, green, and violet. Orange is made by a combination of yellow
and red, green is a combination of blue and yellow, and violet is the
combination of red and blue. Most of the dye materials explained in the
preceding pages do not produce standard colors and so, when combined,
do not result in the expected secondary color. Often those called red
are, in point of fact, red-violet (see Plate III). Sometimes, also,
dyes called yellow are yellow-orange. A mixture of yellow-orange
and red-violet would produce a muddy color. Dye called green may be
really blue-green or yellow-green, and combined with red, will make
a muddy color.

The above remarks on standard complementary colors are only valid
for pure colors and it is only by much experimentation that pleasing
tones can be obtained by a combination of the dyes used on straws in
the Philippines.

How to Tone Down Brilliant Colors.

Many of the colors used in Philippine mats are very brilliant. A little
brilliantly colored straw, properly combined with subdued colors such
as gray or one of the natural colors of Philippine straws, is pleasing,
but the abundant use of brilliant straws, such as are sometimes seen
in mats of solid color, is to be discouraged.

All brilliant colors may be subdued by adding to them their
complementary color. Thus a brilliant red may be subdued by adding to
it a small amount of green and in the same way brilliant green may be
toned down by mixing with it a small portion of red. If too much of the
complementary color is added the result will be gray. As will be seen,
all complementary colors will subdue one another. In Plate III the
principal colors have been so arranged that the complementary colors
are directly opposite each other and are connected by lines. Any two
colors connected by lines on this chart will tone down each other and,
if mixed in proper proportions, will result in gray.

It is probable that any straw which has been dyed too brilliant, can be
closely matched to one of the colors given on Plate III. Consequently
its complement can be determined and, by experimentation, the brilliant
color toned down. Usually only an exceedingly small amount of its
complement is needed to tone down a given color.

Color Combination.

In general, too many different colors appear in the Philippine mats,
and most of these are brilliant. It is often true that a large
amount of a given brilliant color is offensive to the eye, and yet
the addition of a little of it greatly enhances the beauty of the
mat. Often color combinations are not harmonious. Particularly
bad effects are obtained with red-violet and yellow or
yellow-orange. Red-violet with blue-green is another unfortunate

Certain rules have been set down for combination of colors: (1) A given
color with its tints and shades [5] may always be safely combined;
(2) complementary colors may always be safely combined; (3) the tints
and shades of complementary colors may always be safely combined;
(4) any three colors occurring in sequence on the color chart may be
combined in that sequence.

The following notes on the use and combination of the colored straws
from Tanay, Rizal, and from Romblon, and those shown on the charts
accompanying the dyes of Leopold Cassela & Co., are given. The figures
refer to the numbers given the colored straws on these charts. These
dyes were evolved for the Bureau of Education especially for Philippine
mat straws and will soon be available in the market. The notes have
been prepared in accordance with the rules above outlined, and, if
they are followed closely, no unfortunate color combination can result.

Colors Obtained from the New Dyes.

The sample straws on these charts are made with the following

    Colors.                    Numbers   Dyestuffs.
                               on chart.

    Yellow Yellow-Orange       No. 1     Paraphosphine G.
    Violet                     No. 2     Methylviolett BB 72 No. 1.
    Brown                      No. 3     Rush Brown B.
    Orange Red-Red             No. 4     Rush Red S A.
    Yellow-Green               No. 5     Rush Green T B.
    Blue-Violet                No. 6     New Methylene Blue R.
    Red-Violet                 No. 7     Magenta Prima.
    Black                      No. 8     Rush Black M.
    Chocolate                  No. 9     Rush Brown X.
    Red                        No. 10    Rush Red J S.
    Yellow Orange-Yellow       No. 11    Auramine II.
    Blue-Green                 No. 12    Japan Green.
    Red Violet-Violet          No. 13    Methylviolett R No. 1.
    Red-Orange                 No. 14    Chrysoidine A G.
    Blue Blue-Green            No. 15    New Methylene Blue N.
    Violet Red-Red             No. 16    Safranine S 150.

Complementary or opposite colors on the color chart are said to be
harmonious. Their relation is made more pleasing, however, if one
color, usually the more brilliant, is used in very small amount. In
many cases in the above combinations colors not exactly opposite
have been united. They usually contain a mixture of a primary color
common to both. Brown, Black, Chocolate, and Dark Red are complicated
mixtures and may be analyzed with a chart which will appear later. Many
of these dark colors would harmonize with one another, but would
be so dark that they would not be pleasing. In every one of these
combinations, the natural straw background figures as another color,
and that is why the especially good combinations, as will be noticed,
contain browns, yellows and reds, colors which blend particularly
well with the background. Red-Violet No. 7 can be used with only a
very few colors, and never with Yellow Yellow-Orange No. 1. Yellow
Yellow-Orange should be used cautiously.

In sabutan straw, No. 1, Yellow, must be used sparingly. When used
in combinations in place of No. 1, Yellow Yellow-Orange, the design
should be an open one, rather than solid. Violet Red-Red, No. 16,
when being used in place of Red, No. 10, must be used in the same way,
and only in places where very, very little is called for. No. 11 is
a color that clashes with even a natural straw, so is not advisable
in any combination or alone. No. 13 is not a necessary color when
No. 2 and No. 6 are available.

In placing the color upon the space to be decorated, the heavier colors
should usually appear on the outside and near the edge of the space,
although a border may sometimes be outlined with darker color on both
inside and outside edges.

The following combinations of these colored straws will prove
harmonious. The numbers correspond to those used on the chart and
the different kinds of type indicate the proportions of the color to
be used--little, Medium Amount, MUCH. The relative positions of the
colors must also be observed and the given order followed when more
than two colors are combined.

Brown (3) Yellow-Yellow Orange (1). Especially good.

Black (8) Yellow-Yellow Orange (1).

Chocolate (9) Yellow-yellow Orange (1).

RED-ORANGE (14) CHOCOLATE (9) Yellow-Yellow Orange(1). In this case,
the heavy color, 9, comes in the center of the design, but is necessary
to separate Nos. 14 and 1.

VIOLET (2) BLUE-GREEN (12) Red-Orange (14).

Violet (2) Red-Orange (14) Blue-Blue Green (15).

Brown (3) alone on natural background.

Brown (3) Yellow-Green (5). Especially good.

Brown (3) BLUE-GREEN (12).

BROWN (3) RED-ORANGE (14) Red (16).

Brown (3) Red-Orange (14). Especially good.

Brown (3) BLUE-BLUE GREEN (15) Red-Orange (14). Especially good.

Brown (3) RED (16). In sabutan straw, use No. 4 or 10 in place of
No. 16.

Black (8) Brown (3) Red-Orange (14). Especially good.

ORANGE-RED RED (4) Blue-Green (12). Use No. 15 instead of 12 with

BLUE-BLUE GREEN (15) BLUE-GREEN (12) Orange-Red Red (4). Especially

Black (8) ORANGE-RED RED (4). Especially good.

YELLOW-GREEN (5) BLUE-BLUE GREEN (15) Red-Orange (14).

RED-VIOLET (7) BLUE-BLUE GREEN (15) Yellow-Green (5). Especially good.

Black (8) Yellow-Green (5). Use this combination with an open design
(not solid), and do not use much of each.

BLUE-GREEN (12) Yellow-Green (5).

BLUE-BLUE GREEN (15) Yellow Green (5).

Blue-Violet (6). On a natural ground.

Blue-Violet (6) Red-Orange (14).

Chocolate (9) Blue-Green (12) Red-Orange (14). Especially good.

Chocolate (9) BLUE-GREEN (12) Red-Orange (14). Especially good.

Blue-Blue Green (15) Red-Orange (14). Especially good.

BLUE-BLUE GREEN (15) Red (16).

Romblon Buri Vegetable Colors.

    5--Dark red.

In Romblon buri straw the following combinations will be harmonious:

Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in accordance with Rule 4. Nos. 2, 3 and 4 in
accordance with Rule 4.

Exception to Rule 2: No. 5 is inharmonious with No. 4.

It will be noticed that these colors depend for their harmony on their
order or sequence and their quantity (in this case equal parts of all
three). No. 3 being a neutral color, great quantities of it may be used
with any other colors. There is danger, however, in getting too much of
one of the other two colors. No. 4 is a very strong color and a little
will be pleasing while much will be offensive. It is not well to use
it alone on a ground of No. 3. No. 5 may be used alone with a ground
of No. 3; No. 1 with a ground of No. 3; No. 2 with a ground of No. 3;
No. 3 with a ground of No. 2; Nos. 1 and 3 on a ground of No. 2, with
a very small quantity of No. 1; equal proportions of Nos. 1 and 4 may
be combined on a ground of No. 3; Nos. 2 and 4 on a ground of No. 3,
a very small quantity of No. 4 being used.

Tanay Sabutan Colors (Mostly Vegetable).

    6--Red-orange red.

It will be necessary to use No. 3 on a ground work. Mats made entirely
of any of the other colors would hardly be harmonious on a floor or
wall, if there were any other furnishings. Nos. 1, 2, 5 and 6 may be
used separately upon a ground of No. 3; No. 2 in large quantity; No. 1
in small ground of No. 3; No. 2 in equal quantity with No. 5 upon a
ground of No. 3; No. 5 in equal quantity with No. 6 upon a ground
of No. 3; No. 6 in large quantity, with No. 2 in small quantity,
upon a ground of No. 3; No. 5 in large quantity, with No. 1 small,
on a ground of No. 3.


Philippine mat straws can be divided into three classes--palm
straws, pandan straws, and straws obtained from sedges. The first
two are obtained by stripping the leaves of the plants into narrow
lengths. For this purpose there is used in most localities a small
gauge held between the thumb and index fingers. A knife blade fitting
in the notches serves as the cutting edge. The leaf is held in one
hand and the gauge and knife in the other, the edge of the leaf
being drawn through the gauge. This is generally made out of the
stiff part of the leaf, though, occasionally, of a piece of rattan,
bamboo or leather. At best it serves for only a few hours of use,
when it is thrown away and another made.

When the notch becomes worn, the blade moves about in the gauge,
causing the width of the straws to vary, and when a new gauge is
made there is always more or less variance in the position of the new
notches. This method is very slow, as but one strip can be cut at a
time; and, until the operator becomes expert in the use of the gauge,
many of the strips are worthless. When used in the school room, each
pupil has to prepare his own material. This causes waste of materials
and a constant littering of the floor.

For stripping sabutan leaves, the mat weavers of Tanay, Rizal, use
a kind of comb which is discussed under the heading "Sabutan." The
leaves are pulled over this comb before being dried. As sabutan is
parallel veined it is very easy to strip it thus, the teeth of the
comb following the leaf fibers. The comb produces several uniform
straws with one stroke.

The object of contriving the stripping machine illustrated and
described here was to furnish a quick means of preparing palm and
pandan straws with uniform widths and clean cut edges. Forms of it
have been in use for some time and the model noted here has been tried
out for a year. By its use one pupil can prepare materials for the
whole class, or else the teacher can have all the materials prepared
beforehand if it is so desired. This is half the problem of teaching
the weaving of hats or mats.

This stripper is made wide enough for inserting teeth three widths
apart, so that without adjusting these teeth three widths of straw
may be cut. By changing the teeth in the adjustable gums, any width
desired may be obtained.

It is best to make this apparatus of hard wood, especially the piece
represented by Fig. A. A is a block of wood 23 cm. by 4 cm. by 4 cm.,
containing the groove XY. This groove is the size and shape of C,
being 2.5 cm. wide at the top, 1.5 cm. at the bottom, and 3 cm. high. C
is one of the blocks which slides in the groove XY. These blocks are
made of different thicknesses, about 2, 3, and 4 mm., and are of hard
wood or metal. The rod B passes through these blocks and tightens
on the block D or X by means of a thumb screw. Z is a wooden roller
19 cm. long and 1.5 cm. in diameter. This should extend 2 mm. below
the level of the main surface. It is placed in a groove made in a
separate piece of wood from the principal block and is fastened into
the principal block by means of screws.

The teeth (see C) are made of clock springs or other thin sharp
metal. They are 3 cm. long and 1 cm. to 1 1/2 cm. wide. The two
upright pieces at both ends contain grooves on the inside in which
the block-head slides up and down.

To operate this device, the block-head containing the teeth is
raised by the handle; the leaf is placed under the teeth, and the
block-head is dropped. The teeth pass through the leaf into a groove
underneath. The leaf is now pulled through by the hand as illustrated
in Plate VI.


With respect to their weaving, Philippine mats divide themselves into
six groups and are here arranged according to their difficulty. They
are (1) the over and under weave found in most simple mats, such
as those made of buri straws, pandan straws, and sedges; (2) the
sawali weaves, which employ the floating straws for making "woven in"
designs and panels for figured sabutan and tikug mats; (3) the open
work weaves of the Romblon buri mats; (4) the circular mats which
employ the hat weaves, either with or without "woven in" designs;
(5) the hexagonal weave; and (6) the embroidered mats in which the
designs are later added. In difficulty, and in place in a course of
instruction, embroidered mats follow the simple over and under weave.

Over-and-Under Weave.

This weave is the simplest and is the one which beginners should
first take up. It is made by weaving over one and under one
continuously. Until this is thoroughly mastered children should not
be allowed to begin the more difficult weaves.

The steps have been diagrammed in figures sufficiently large and
clear in Plates VII, VIII, and IX that a detailed explanation is
not necessary. Step 1 shows the position of the first four straws
as they are placed upon the table or desk; steps 2, 3, 4, and 5,
continued additions and weaving; steps 6, 7, and 8, turning the edge
a on the end of the mat; step 9, turning the opposite edge c; step 10,
the double turn of the corner straw; step 11, the corner turn woven in
the mat at corner No. 1, lapping over the straw already woven; step
12, the continuation of the second edge b; step 13, the turning of
the second and third corners; and steps 14 and 15, finishing the mat.

In weaving large mats, it is customary to begin at one end of the
mat, preferably near the left-hand corner as the mat lies before the
weaver. The weaving continues along the end until half of the desired
width of the mat is reached, when the first corner is turned. Now the
weaving continues down the side and in, as far as the middle of the
mat. When the desired length is woven, the second corner is turned
and the first half of the mat completed.

As the straws are not generally long enough without splicing, new
straws are now added by lapping them from two to three inches upon
the projecting ends of the straws already woven. This makes a narrow
strip of double thickness down the center running the length of the
mat. The weaving now continues as before until the desired width of
the mat is attained, when the third corner is turned. The remainder
is woven and finished at the fourth corner as shown by steps 14 and 15.

Some weavers begin at the sides, and some few, even at the corners;
but this should not be encouraged since it results in making two or
more seams, where the straws lap.

Care must be taken to weave all parts of the mat equally close and
keep the edges perfectly straight; otherwise the mat when finished
will be lop-sided, and consequently of no value. In weaving tapering
grasses like tikug, which have ends of slightly different sizes,
the opposite ends of the straws should be alternated. This prevents
one edge of a mat from building faster than the other.

Sawali Weaves.

Simple Sawali.

By sawali weave is meant all "woven in" designs that are not woven
by ones as in the over and under weave. They may be woven regularly
by twos, threes, etc.; or they may "switch" the floating straws so
as to form a variety of artistic figure designs. In fact, there is
no limit to the number of designs that may be thus made.

Steps 1 and 2 illustrate the beginning of a sawali weave by twos. First
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 are laid down; then c is put under 1-2, over 3-4, and
under 5; d over 1, under 2-3, and over 4-5; e over 1-2, under 3-4,
and over 5. This process is continued, advancing one straw each time
until the desired amount is woven. If the weaving is by threes or
fours, the same principle is followed; that is, the straw goes over
three and under three, advancing one straw each time.


Most "woven in" mat designs are arranged in panels, with a ground
between, as this gives a more pleasing effect than a continuous figure
weaving. Panels may be woven either length-wise (step 8), crosswise
(step 8), diagonally across the mat (step 4), or in zigzags (step
3). They are most easily woven when arranged diagonally, for then the
colors may be carried from border to border without mixing with the
ground outside of the panel. Checks are made by weaving cross panels
at regular intervals.

In making parallel panels (panels parallel either to the sides or
ends), more than two colors can rarely be used to advantage.

Step 3 illustrates the weaving of a zigzag sawali panel. The straws,
a, b, k, and l are woven by ones. It takes twelve straws one way
and nine the other to make this panel. If a wider panel is desired,
the same weaving is repeated as often as necessary.

The straws a, b, k, and l are woven by ones. Put l over b and c,
under de, over fg, under hi and over j. Put 2 under b, over cd,
under ef, over gh, under ij and over k. Put 3 over b, under c, over
de, under fg, over hi and under jk. Put 4 under bcd, over ef, under
gh and over ijk. Put 5 over bc, under de, over fg, under hi and over
j. Put 6 under b, over cd, under ef, over gh, under ij and over k. Put
7 over b, under c, over de, under fg, over hi, under jk. Put 8 under
b, over cd, under ef, over gh, under ij and over k. Put 9 over bc,
under de, over fg, under hi and over j. Put 10 under bcd, over ef,
under gh and over ijk. Put 11 over b, under c, over de, under fg,
over hi and under jk. Put 12 under b, over cd, under ef, over gh,
under ij and over k. Then the whole operation is again repeated. It
will be seen that the manner of weaving 2 and 12, 3 and 11, 4 and 10,
and 5 and 9 is the same.

Step 4 illustrates the diamond figure design, woven by threes, with
11 straws in width.

Put 1 under cd, over efg, under h, over ijk and under lm. Put 2
under c, over def, under ghi, over jkl and under m. Put 3 over cde,
under fghij and over klm. Put 4 over cd, under efg, over h, under
ijk and over lm. Put 5 over c, under def, over ghi, under jkl and
over m. Put 6 under cde, over fghij and under klm. Now the order
reverses, 7 being the same as 5, 8 as 4, etc., until the other half
of the figure is completed at 11. Now put 12 under cde, over fghij
and under klm. Put 13 over c, under def, over ghi, under jkl and over
m. Put 14 under cde, over fghij and under klm. Now 1 repeats itself,
and the second figure is woven as the first. It is believed that
with the aid of the large illustrations here presented the teacher
or pupil can now follow for himself the other designs given, without
a detailed explanation of each step.

"Woven-in" Borders.

Woven-in border designs may be made in three different ways; viz.,
First, by weaving the design around the mat, using the same straws
that run through the body. (See Plate XIII, Fig. 1.) In this case
the color effect is one of confusion, since the dyed straws used in
the designs of the body of the mat have no relation to the design of
the border when they enter it. Second, by weaving the border and the
body of the mat of different straws, uniting them at the inner edge
of the border by a loop as described in the Romblon mat. (See Plate
XVI.) Third, by lapping the colored straws desired in the border,
upon the projecting ends of the straws of the body of the mat. (See
step 8, Plate XII.) These latter two methods are much more artistic,
as a uniform color effect appears throughout the border. (See Plate
XIII, Fig. 2.)

The Romblon Mat.

Making Open Work.

Simple open work is illustrated in Plate XIV.

Weave corner Z, using straws a, b, c, d, e and f, letting f float
at both ends. Weave g, turning upward and over f, then making a
double corner at y, passing under f, to the left and over f, and let
float. Weave h, i, j, k, l and m in solid weave. Turn h under i and
over j. Turn j upward and over i, to the left under f, upward over g,
double corner at W, passing down under g, over g, and floating. Turn m
upward over l to the left, under i, upward over f, to the left under
g, upward over j making a double corner at X, passing under j. The
straws j and m alternately cross each other to corner V.

The other half of this open design is an exact duplicate of this
weaving, and the remaining designs have the same turns as the one
explained, except that in opposite designs the straws are turned in
opposite directions. By following this plate it is easy to finish
the weaves. If one straw is woven over another, it folds down before
passing over, and, vice versa, if it passes under, it folds upward
in turning.

As is seen, the holes are made simply by turning the straws in the
weave. The different shaped holes in other designs (see plates) are
made by turning a different number of straws according to the shape
desired. Varied border edges may be made by switching the straws in
any direction desired.

Introducing Color Panel.

Step 1 of Plate XVI shows the first colored panel, straw ab placed
between cd, the space between x and y having been already woven,
as shown in step 11.

Step 2. Folding a to the right.

Step 3. Folding a under and down.

Step 4. Folding c over a and to left.

Step 5. Folding a over c and upward.

Step 6. Folding b under d to left.

Step 7. Folding b upward, with right twist downward.

Step 8. Folding d downward, with right twist to right.

Step 9. Folding b under d upward.

Step 10. Shows addition of second straw ef woven to the right, where
the same process of turning is gone through as illustrated in steps
6 to 9 inclusive. If weaving is to the left, steps 1 to 5 inclusive
are repeated.

Step 11. Shows continued additions and weaving both to the right
and left.

Step 12. Shows both edges of panel woven, the inside turnings being
the same as those of the outer edge.

Circular Mats.

The circular mat is woven like the crown of a hat, with either the
radiating center or a square center radiating at the four corners. In
either case, the weaver must be careful to add the proper number of
straws so that the mat will be flat, and not cupped or fluted. The
cupping is caused by not adding a sufficient number and the fluting
by adding too many.

In tightening the weaving, do not pull the added straws (Plate XIX,
step 6, straw x-x) or holes will be made at the elbow. Instead, pull
the longer straws that run through the center, thus making the entire
weaving tight.

Radiating Center.

Step 1. Begin by laying down, in pairs, ab and cd perpendicular to
the body. Put kl under ab and over cd. Put ij over ab and under cd.

Step 2. Now put ef under cd and ij, and over ab and kl; then put gh
over cd and ij, and under kl and ab. See that the two ends of all
the straws are equidistant from the center crossing.

In step 3 the straws are changed from pairs to singles as follows:
Bring a over i; e over d; i over h; d over l; h over a; and l over e.

Step 4. The most convenient way to perform the next process is to take
all the bottom straws in the left hand and allow the top straws to
float over the closed fist. Then the weaving is done with the right
hand. However, for beginners the weaving may also be done on the table.

In weaving, place c under b, over a and under k; d over b and under a;
g under f, over e and under b; h over f and under e; k under j, over
i and under f; l over j and under i; b under c, over d and under a;
a over c and under d; f under g, over h and under c; e over g and
under h; j under k, over l and under g; i over k and under l; the
round is then finished.

Step 5. This illustrates the manner of adding straws. Straw x is
placed under c, over h, under g and then bent back. The bend should
be in the middle of the straw.

Step 6. In this the right end of the added straw x is brought down
over j and under i.

Step 7 shows how to continue the additions by weaving one straw and
then adding one.

Step 8 shows the mat after the first round of additions has been
completed. The weaving is now easy. Weave entirely around again without
any additions, turning five straws each time. Then go around again
weaving two and adding one, in the same manner as before, turning
seven straws each time. As the diameter of the mat increases, the
less often is it necessary to add. But be sure to add enough to keep
the weaving close and the mat perfectly flat.

Step 9 shows how to close the edge of the mat by turning back the
straws on each other. It also gives a very pretty "woven in" design
for a border, which can easily be followed from the plate.

Square Center.

Steps for commencing a circular mat with a square beginning are
illustrated in Plate XXI. The additions at the corner are made in
the same manner as explained in the radiating center, except that
each is for a fourth of a circle instead of a complete circle.

Decorations for Round Mats.

Decorations are often employed in round mats. (See Plates XXII and
XXIII.) The most usual are concentric or radiating colored bands of
either simple or sawali weaves.

Hexagonal Weave.

Step 1. In Plate XXIV, place straws 1 and 2 parallel; then put 3
under 2 and over 1; put 4 under 1 and over 2.

Step 2. Put 5 over 1 and 4 and under 2 and 3; put 6 under 1 and 4
and over 2 and 3.

Step 3. Put a over 5 and 6 and under 1 and 2. Put b over 1, 2 and a,
and under 3 and 4. Put c under a, over 4, 3, b, and under 6, 5.

Step 4. Put d under b, over 6, 5, c, and under 2, 1, e. Put e under
c, over 2, 1, d, under 3, 4, and over a. Put f under d, over 3, 4,
e, under 5, 6, a, and over b.

Step 5 is made open so as to show the triple over and under
weave. Further weaving is merely a repetition of this process, as
shown in step 6.

Step 7 shows the turning of the straws on finishing the edge of
the mat.

Step 8. Many designs can be made by inserting colored straws into
the natural weave. Step 8 illustrates three of these embroidered
designs--the star, the bar, and the diamond.

Embroidered Mats.

The embroidering of mats is easily done and the method is shown in
Plate XXVI. Mats in over and under weave, of solid color (either
natural or dyed), are used, and the embroidery is done with colored
straws. Plate XXVII illustrates an embroidered color panel. Floral,
geometrical, and conventionalized designs are discussed under the
headings "Samar mats" and "Special designs."


Many Philippine mat materials have been described in a former
publication on hats. [6] Only additional and new information is
written here and such data from Bulletin 33 as are necessary to make
a connected article. [7]

Buri Straw.

The Buri Palm.

There are about six species of the genus Corypha in tropical Asia,
but only one of these is found in the Philippines; this is Corypha
elata, the buri palm. [8] It is widely distributed throughout the
Philippines but is most abundant in the central part of the Pampanga
valley and in southern Tayabas.

Mr. C. W. Franks, formerly Division Superintendent of Schools for
Mindoro Province, had a careful estimate made by his teaching force
of the stands of buri palms on the Island of Mindoro. It was found
that 5,000 hectares of land on this island are covered by 2,000,000
buri palms, of which 225,000, or about 12 per cent, are mature trees.

The Island of Burias, the Isla Verde, and other small islands are
fairly covered with the palm. The Province of Sorsogon, including the
Island of Masbate, is also well supplied. In the Visayas there are
districts in Panay, Negros, Cebu, and Bohol, where many buri trees
are found.

The buri is the largest palm that grows in the Philippines, attaining
a height of 20 meters. Its trunk is very erect, spirally ridged and
up to 0.7 meter in diameter. Its wood is of no commercial value.

The full-grown leaves may be three meters long. They are spherical
in outline and the lower one-third or one-half is entire, like
the palm of the hand. The upper part is divided into from 80 to 100
segments each from 1.5 to 6 cm. wide and appearing like fingers spread
apart. The petioles supporting the leaves are about 3 meters long and
20 cm. thick, and are provided with long, stout, curved spines. Both
margins and spines are black in color. At flowering time all the
leaves are shed. The young leaf grows out from the top of the palm
with the segments pressed together in the form of a lance.

The buri flowers and fruits but once and then dies. This is said
to occur when the plant is from 25 to 40 years old. The individual
flowers are greenish-white in color and only from 5 to 6 mm. in
diameter. They are nevertheless perfect flowers, with calyx, corolla,
and ovary showing plainly a division into threes, and stamens six
in number. Thousands of these flowers occur on the large, terminal,
much branched, pyramidal inflorescence which may grow to be 7 meters in
height. The lower branches of this inflorescence may be as much as 3.5
meters long, the upper shorter, the highest about one meter in length.

From 10 to 12 months after flowering the fruits are mature. They are
from 2 to 2.5 cm. in diameter and each contains an extremely hard
seed 1.5 cm. in diameter.


Buri straw is prepared from the young, unopened leaf of the buri
palm. The coarsest straw is made by separating the leaflets from
the midribs and drying them in the sun. A higher grade straw results
from boiling them in water. Such straws are suitable only for bayon
manufacture and for weaving into coarse mats for baling purposes.

Several methods of bleaching buri straw obtain in various
localities. Any exact description of the processes is somewhat
difficult, since the persons who produce the straw have no very
definite idea of the proportions and quantities of various materials
which they use, and often do not care to divulge what they consider
trade secrets. In several cases, nevertheless, supervising teachers
have succeeded in obtaining fairly exact data on the preparation of
buri straw.

However, the same method carried out in different towns seems to
result in different qualities of straw. These differences probably
result from slight variations in the method of preparation. It has
also been found that the age of the leaf, as determined by the length
of the stem (petiole), influences the color of the straw produced. In
some districts the unopened leaf is not taken if the stem is over
two inches in length. In other places, leaves with stems about one
foot high are considered ready to cut. It is probable, too, that the
composition of the water in which the straw is boiled influences its
color. Mauban, in Tayabas province, has the reputation of producing
the whitest buri straw. Mr. John H. Finnigan, supervising teacher,
attempted to introduce buri straw into the schools of Gumaca,
Tayabas, where the buri palm is very plentiful. The work was in
charge of expert weavers from Mauban, but only a poor quality of
straw was produced. It was claimed that the water in which the
segments were boiled, according to the process which is explained
later, did not whiten them. It is a fact that in Mauban the water
of the town fountain is used to produce the fine white straw. In the
several years of his experience, Mr. Finnigan found no place outside
of Mauban which produces straw equal in color to the Mauban straw,
but he has noted that the second best straw comes from San Fernando,
Gumaca, where there is an especially clear stream of water.

In fact, all reports would seem to indicate that clear, pure water
is essential to the production of the finest white buri straw, and
only such should be used in all processes of the various methods
outlined here.

The Arayat Process.--Mr. Robert Clauson, supervising teacher, has
determined the process of whitening buri straw in Arayat, Pampanga,
as follows: The segments are separated from the midrib and rolled
rather loosely, so that the water may pass between them, in bundles
as large around as a plate. These are placed in a large can or
vat containing tamarind leaves and alum (see bleaching agents) in
water, and the whole is boiled until about one-half of the water has
evaporated. During the boiling the buri must be tightly covered with
tamarind leaves and not be allowed to project from the water. After
this process the rolls are placed in a jar full of clear water and
left to soak for three days. The strips are then washed several times
in the river during a period of three days, and they are then laid
on the grass or along fences to dry after each washing. The oftener
they are alternately washed and dried the whiter and tougher will
the material be. After the final drying, which should be thorough,
the strips are rolled very tightly into bundles.

The San Luis Method.--The method of whitening buri straw followed in
San Luis, Pampanga, is described by Mr. James H. Bass, supervising
teacher. The unopened leaves are brought down the Chico River in
rafts. The segments are torn from the midrib and boiled for four
hours in five gallons of water to which one liter of nipa vinegar,
a lump of alum the size of an egg, a handful of tamarind leaves,
and a handful of pandakaki leaves (see bleaching agents) have been
added. Other steps follow as in the previous process.

The Mauban Process.--The following description is taken from Circular
No. 27, series 1911, of the Division of Tayabas. Let the unopened
leaves, cut from the stalk, stand in a cool shady place several
days, until the sap has well run. Open the leaves and separate the
segments from the midrib with a sharp knife. Put these carefully into
a petroleum can or other suitable receptacle filled with a boiling
solution of two-thirds water and one-third white nipa or coconut tubá
vinegar (see bleaching agents). Keep the solution boiling until the
segments are cooked so soft that folding them leaves no crease.

Spread the cooked leaves on clean grass in the sun to dry. The drying
process may require one or two days. When the segments are quite dry,
prepare a jar with clear soft water, and put them in this to soak over
night. In the morning remove them from the jar, wash them thoroughly
in clear running soft water and place them in the sun. At noon repeat
the washing process until the segments open, then dry thoroughly in
the sun.

It is customary to roll the buri into coils in order to make it more
convenient to store. The dry leaflets may be made flexible for this
purpose by laying them on the grass in the night air. After a few
minutes they will be flexible enough to roll. Care must be taken to
have the segments smoothly rolled. When used, they should be smoothed
carefully and then split into the widths required.

The process can also be followed with rice vinegar (see bleaching
agents) substituted for the tuba vinegar.

Wash two chupas of rice and cook it in water until it becomes very
soft and starchy. Put this in a clean petroleum can and add cold
water until the can is two-thirds full, then cover the can and let it
stand five or six days. This mixture will become very sour. Strain it
through a piece of sinamay or other cloth. Cook the segments in this
mixture instead of in the solution described in the first process,
and then carry out all the other steps.

The Romblon Process.--In Romblon, great care is exercised as to the
age of the unopened leaf taken for the production of straw. If it
is intended to produce bleached straw, stalks having stems about
two inches long are selected. In the following description, which
was submitted by Mr. R. L. Barron, head teacher, one unopened leaf
is taken as a unit. The midribs are removed and the segments are
rolled into round bundles, say by fives. These are boiled in clear
water for about three hours. The leaves are then placed in a mixture
of half a liter of tuba vinegar (or three liters of vinegar made from
cooked rice, or one-fourth liter of lemon juice) to which enough water
has been added to cover the rolls of buri, and boiled for about five
hours. The material is then spread in the sun for three days to dry,
care being taken that it is not exposed to rain or dew. The segments
are then placed in cool clear water for twelve hours and again placed
out in the sun for two days to dry.

The Dyeing of Buri Straw.

Buri straw intended for mats is usually colored with the cheap
imported coal tar dyes previously noted. It is expected that the new
dyes for which the Bureau of Education has arranged will take the
place of these. Romblon buri mats, which are the finest in point of
workmanship and design made in the Philippines, are colored entirely
by local vegetable dyes.

The methods used in the island of Romblon in dyeing buri straw
have been carefully investigated by Mr. Barron, and are presented
herewith. In each case the unit of material is one stalk of buri for
each color. The process of whitening Romblon buri straw has already
been described.

For red, unopened leaves having stems three feet long should be
selected. The midribs are removed while green, and the leaves are
rolled into bundles of convenient size, say by fives. These are boiled
in clear water for about three hours, after which the segments are
spread in the sun for three days to dry. Care should be taken that
they are not exposed to rain or dew. They are then placed in a fluid
made by boiling two gantas of kolis leaves (see mordants) in plain
water for one hour. The buri leaves remain in the water and soak
thus for three days and three nights. The buri leaflets are then
placed in a vessel containing two gantas of sappan wood (see dyes),
one-half liter of lime water, and one chupa of tobacco leaves. To this
a sufficient quantity of plain water is added to thoroughly submerge
the buri, and the whole is boiled for eight hours, being stirred
at short intervals to obtain a uniform shade of red. The segments
are then removed and hung in the wind for about six hours to dry,
after which they are smoothed and rolled.

For yellow-orange, unopened leaves having stems about two inches long
are selected and the segments are removed from the midribs and rolled
into bundles. These are boiled in clear water for about three hours
and spread in the sun for three days to dry, care being taken that
the buri is not exposed to rain or dew. The material is then placed
in a vessel containing one ganta of powdered turmeric (see dyes), one
chupa of powdered annatto seeds (see dyes), one liter of lime water,
and sufficient clear water to cover the buri, and is boiled in this
mixture for five hours, with frequent stirring. It is then removed and
hung in the wind for one-half day to dry, and is smoothed and rolled.

For green, an unopened leaf having a stem about two inches in length
is selected. The segments are removed from the midribs, rolled into
bundles and boiled in clear water for about three hours. After this,
they are boiled in lye (consisting of ashes) for about two hours, the
mixture of ashes and water covering the buri during the process. The
bundles are then removed from the vessel, wrapped in a bayon, and put
in a dark place for 48 hours. The segments are then taken out and hung
in the wind for about three hours to dry, and are smoothed and rolled.

The preliminary steps in the production of "black straw" (a cold
dark gray) are the same in the making of the green material. The
segments taken from the bayon, as described above, are buried three
days in black mud, in a rice paddy, for instance. The material is then
washed in plain water until clean, and is then boiled for two hours
in a mixture of one-half ganta each of the leaves of talisay, indigo,
and tiagkot (see dyes), with a sufficient quantity of water to cover
the mixture. The whole should be stirred at frequent intervals. After
two hours the strips are removed and hung in the wind for five hours
to dry. Then they are smoothed and rolled.

Types of Buri Mats.

The Bontoc Peninsula of Tayabas produces great quantities of baling
mats and bayons. Bayons are also produced in large quantities in
Capiz province. Other localities are of less importance.

Buri sleeping mats are made from the northernmost part of Luzon,
in the Bangui Peninsula, to the Sulu Archipelago. For the most part
they are woven in small numbers here and there, in the different
towns, sometimes for use in the household in which they are made,
often for local trade in the barrios or municipalities. In nearly
every province there is at least one town in which the production
of buri mats reaches provincial commercial importance. A number
of municipalities produce them for a fairly extensive trade with
neighboring provinces. In most cases these are ordinary products,
usually decorated with a few colors in lines or checks of dyed straws,
either woven in or embroidered on the mat.

In one region, however, buri mats have reached such a degree of
perfection in their weaving and decoration as to have become a
distinctive product known throughout the Islands. These are the
Romblon buri mats, and they are produced throughout the islands of
Romblon. Their central market is the town of the same name. They are
distinctive because of the fine white and colored materials used,
and of the designs which are woven in them. In the designing, not
only checks and line borders but also plaids appear, and many of the
effects produced by floating straws are employed. The Romblon mat,
moreover, is most noticeable because of the fancy weave, making a sort
of open work along the border, for which these mats are unique. Romblon
exports great quantities of mats varying in price from P0.25, to over
P10, and in size from small mats for stands to large decorative mats
which cover the sides of rooms. [9]

Pandan Straws.

Description of Pandans.

Pandans or "screw-pines," as they are sometimes called, are readily
recognized by their characteristic appearance. [10] The common forms
occasionally planted in pots as house plants and in gardens, or more
often found growing wild, have long and rather narrow leaves always
supplied with more or less sharp spines which run along both their
margins to the very tip. Another row of spines is present on the
under surface along the midrib. Bearing in mind this middle row of
spines it is impossible to mistake the leaf of the pandan for that of
the pineapple or maguey, which it resembles more or less in form and
shape. Another very prominent feature of pandans is the presence of
air or prop roots which grow from the stem above the ground and are
helpful to the plant in various ways. The veins of the leaves always
run parallel and in a longitudinal direction. The leaves are never
borne on a petiole, but are attached directly, in winding corkscrew
fashion, in ranks of three, to the stem.

Pandans are true tropical shrubs or trees. Although also found in the
subtropics of Australia, they never occur in other temperate regions
except when raised as ornamental plants in greenhouses. Even their
distribution in the tropics is limited, as they are found growing
wild only in the tropical regions of the Old World, especially on
the islands lying between the mainland of Australia and southeastern
Asia. They are hardly ever cultivated, for where they do occur they
are found in more than sufficient quantity for the purposes to which
they are put. They are essentially seacoast or open swamp forms,
generally found at low altitudes and appearing to find a moist, warm
climate most congenial to their growth. In the Philippines they occur
in all provinces, though not always in sufficient quantity to make
them of commercial importance.

The structure of the pandans presents many exceedingly interesting
characteristics well worth noticing. Some plants are very low with
leaves not wider than a blade of grass, while others form large trees
with leaves many meters long and several decimeters wide. Spines
generally occur along the whole margin of the leaf, though in a few
forms, especially in cultivated varieties, they may be present only
at the tip or may be wanting entirely. The marginal spines usually
curve forward and vary in size from small, hardly perceptible forms,
to large sharp conical structures. At times they are set very close
together; again they may be several centimeters apart. Those on
the midrib most often curve backwards and may vary the same as the
marginal spines. Generally the spines are green in color, though in
some species they are pale-green, red, black or white.

Some forms seem to creep along the ground, while others, low and bushy
and standing close together, form, with their numerous supporting
prop roots, an almost impenetrable jungle. The high tree forms are
very striking because of their peculiarly shaped crowns.

The first roots which the pandans develop soon disappear and their
place is taken by others. Starting high above the ground, these grow
at an angle from the stem and generally reach the soil. They serve
the twofold purpose of supporting the stem and of supplying it with
sufficient air. If, by accident, the underground roots die off,
the plant relies entirely on these air and prop roots for support
and food. The strong prop roots are generally of the same diameter
throughout, though sometimes they thicken at the ends. Normally they
never branch above the ground, but after reaching the soil very often
divide. The tip of the roots is protected by a cap, while a layer of
cork tissue prevents the drying out of the root body.

The pandan has two kinds of flowers, male and female. The male flowers
are arranged in the form of a spike protected by a modified leaf
called the bract. They are white in color, crowded together on the
spike and consist of stamens which hold the pollen. The flowers do
not have the showy colored bracts which forms so prominent a feature
in those of many other plants. The female flowers consist only of the
necessary parts. As the pollen occurs in enormous quantities and as
the plants generally grow in groups, it is very probable that some
flowers are pollinated by the wind. The fact that many pandans have
very fragrant blossoms makes it almost certain that in the majority of
cases insect pollination takes place. In a few forms that have a very
disagreeable odor, pollination is effected by night flying insects.

The fruit commonly has the general shape of the female inflorescence,
but as it matures it increases greatly in size. Pandans have a
composite fruit made up of smaller fruits called drupes. The most
common forms resemble the pineapple with its leafy fruit apex cut
off. As is natural, variations from this type occur. Cylindrical,
eggshaped, jackfruit-like forms are quite common. The largest may
be 60 cm. long and weigh 25 kilos, the smallest only 7 cm. in length
and 60 grams in weight. The fruit may occur solitary at the end of a
branch, or in groups. The color is green, though some species change
to a bright red before maturity is reached. The fruit may have drupes
ranging from 12 mm. to 14 mm. in length and these may contain one
seed or a number of seeds. At maturity the drupes separate and the
fruit falls apart. If the plant occurs along the water, the seeds,
when liberated, float about until they rest in a suitable place
for germination.

Uses of Pandans.

Pandans are valued chiefly for their strong fibrous leaves, which are
woven into mats, bags, and hats. Unless specially prepared, the soft
plant tissue between the harder leaf fibers becomes dry and dirty
and breaks in time; hence the ordinary pandan bag or mat can not
be considered a durable article. However, when treated to a boiling
process or when rolled, as explained for sabutan and the pandan of
Majayjay, the leaves yield straw which is stronger and more durable
than most palm or sedge straw used for the same purposes.

Pandan mats are important articles of domestic commerce in Malaysia,
as it is estimated that four-fifths of the total population use them
for sleeping purposes. In all places except where palms, like the
buri or sedges occur, they yield the most suitable and most easily
prepared mat material. Generally the whole leaf is utilized after
removing the marginal and midrib spines. The coarsest mats are used
in drying out copra, cacao beans, paddy, and such products. Pandan
mats are made and used widely in the Philippines.

Formerly, before gunny sacks came into general use, coffee was packed
in pandan bags and where pandans did not grow they were introduced
and cultivated for that purpose. Even to-day bags from pandan play
an important part in transporting sugar, coffee, and other tropical
products in and around southern Asia. Few pandan bags are made in
the Philippines in comparison with the enormous quantity of bayons
woven of buri straw and used to contain domestic rice and export sugar.

Pandans are used extensively for making hats in the Philippines as
well as in other parts of the world. In several islands of the Pacific
very fine ones are woven from straw consisting of the whole leaf cut
into strips. In the Loochoo Islands imitation Panama hats of great
strength are woven from the skin of a pandan, bleached and rolled
into a straw. In the Philippines numerous varieties of pandan hats
are produced, varying in grade from the fine and expensive sabutan
to the coarse pandan. [11]

In some other places, as Burma, pandan leaves are woven or sewed into
sails. In southern India they are utilized as umbrella covering. If
no stronger material is obtainable, the leaves are placed on roofs
as thatching, but they do not seem to lend themselves well to that
purpose. In countries where they grow, they are often used instead
of twine or made into ropes or hunting nets, or into drag ropes for
fishing nets. They are said to be excellent paper-making material. In
some islands the fibers are separated from the leaf and used by the
inhabitants in the manufacture of belts and aprons.

The wood of the tree pandans is too spongy and soft to make a good
material for the construction of houses. Still, on small islands,
such as the Coral and Marshall Islands, the natives construct their
huts from pandan wood. Generally, it is used only for rough, temporary
work. In some localities the soft interior part is removed to make
water pipes. Again, because of its lightness, the wood is used by the
people on the many islands of the Pacific to buoy their fishing nets.

Pandan roots are employed for various purposes. If sufficiently
thin they are used, after being cleaned, for making baskets. The
roots may also be pounded out, cleaned and made into brushes for
painting or whitewashing houses. They are sometimes so employed in
the Philippines. They are also used for cordage. A medicinal oil is
sometimes obtained from them.

The flowers of some pandans, especially those of Pandanus tectorius,
are extremely fragrant. This plant is the most widely distributed of
the pandans and is the most frequent pandan found along the seacoast
and in low altitudes. Some botanists claim that the male flowers of
this species have the sweetest odor known among plants. So powerful
is their fragrance that by it sailors can often tell the presence of
land before they actually see it. The natives in some places use the
flowers in making an aromatic water, or, by distillation, a volatile
oil, known as keura oil, which is used medicinally for rheumatism.

Certain pandan fruit is extremely oily and serves at times as a
substitute for butter. The sap has the taste of sweet apples and is
relished by the inhabitants in many islands. In some places it is
even made into fruit jam.

The very young leaves, especially those surrounding the flowers,
are eaten raw or cooked, and constitute an important article of diet
when a famine sweeps India.

Kinds of Pandans.

The Common Seashore Pandan.

In a walk of half a mile or, at most, a mile along the beach of any
of the seacoast provinces in the Philippines, one is almost sure
to come across Pandanus tectorius. A map showing the distribution
of this pandan would therefore be practically an outline map of the
Islands. The species does not grow in nipa swamps, though immediately
back of them it will be found well established. Neither could one
expect to find it in localities where the cliffs come down abruptly
to the sea, permitting only the existence of vegetable life of the
lowest form.

Pandan is its usual name in the Philippines. In Zambales it is called
"panglan" or "panglan babai." Another name is "pangdan."

The stem is not very strong, and reaches a height of from 3 to 6
meters. It is generally supported by aerial roots. The leaves are of
medium thickness, on the average 1.35 m. long and 6 cm. wide. They are
provided with strong sharp spines about 5 mm. in length. These are
curved forward and are as much as one centimeter, or a little more,
apart. The spines on the under surface of the midrib are shorter
and farther apart, but bend in the same direction. The male flowers
form a spike and these are surrounded by very fragrant leaves called
spathes. The fruit is 20 cm. long, 18 cm. wide, and contains from 50
to 80 drupes, each about 5.5 cm. long and 2.5 to 3 cm. wide. The upper
half of the drupes are free but close together. There are small furrows
on the tops of the drupes, rather deep but not very distinct. When
ripe the fruit has a fine red color and the drupes fall from the head.

Pandanus tectorius is of considerable importance in nearly all parts
of the world where it grows, and it is devoted to most of the uses
already noted for pandans in general. In certain places, large
industries are founded on it. In India, the leaves are cut every
second year and made into large bags. Hats are produced from it in
the Pacific Islands, those from the Hawaiian group being especially
well known. It is probable that the imitation Panama hats of the
Loochoo Islands are also woven from a material (raffia) prepared from
the common pandan. In the Marshall Islands it is recorded that forty
varieties of this species have been evolved in the course of planting
and cultivation for industrial purposes.

From the information submitted with the specimens received in
the Bureau of Education, it is to be judged that the economic
importance of the common pandan in the Philippines is of but little
consequence. Though widely used, no large or even local industries
are based upon it. A scattering production of hats, mats, and bags is
reported in Abra, Union, Zambales, Mindoro, Bulacan, Rizal, Batangas,
Sorsogon, Iloilo, Antique, Oriental Negros, Cebu, Leyte, and Sorsogon
provinces. Near Badoc, Ilocos Norte, and along the Abra border the
Tinguian people make mats from an upland variety for local trade. In
Balayan, Batangas, the leaves are used for thatching. In Surigao they
are also made into baskets. In most processes the preparation of the
straw consists of cutting the leaves into strips and drying them. In
Zambales, however, it is reported that the leaves are flattened,
pressed, split, and rolled. In Mindoro, they are soaked in water and
dried in the sun before being cut into straw. It is probable that much
better material could be prepared from this pandan if such processes
as are used in the making of sabutan straw and straw from the Majayjay
pandan were followed.

Judging from the results obtained in other countries, it would seem
that if suckers of the common pandan were taken, in the districts in
which it grows, planted, and cultivated, varieties would result which
would be much better adapted for industrial purposes than the parent
stock. Indeed, it is probable that sabutan, the Philippine pandan
of greatest economic importance, is a variety which is the result
of generations of planting, still closely resembling P. tectorius
but differing from it in its leaves, which are thinner, longer,
of finer texture and of greater strength. It is possible also that
sarakat, the economic pandan of the Bangui Peninsula, Ilocos Norte,
is a variety of P. tectorius.

Varieties of the Common Pandan.


Botanical.--It is a question among botanists whether the pandan known
as sabutan is a variety of the common sea-shore pandan (P. tectorius)
or whether it has sufficient distinctive characteristics to entitle
it to be considered as a separate species (P. sabotan). Botanists
have not as yet succeeded in securing a fruit of this pandan, which
could settle the question, and it is very doubtful whether the fruit
will ever be found. [12] Prof. Ugolino Martelli of Florence, Italy,
an authority on pandans, considers sabutan to be Pandanus tectorius
var. sinensis. This classification is for the present accepted, as
most evidence is in favor of such determination and in this paper
sabutan is therefore considered to be a variety of the common pandan,
the chief change in which, through generations of planting, has been
in the production of a leaf stronger, thinner, and of finer texture
than that of the parent stock.

The sabutan plant is never found growing wild, though after it has once
been started and rooted it will endure neglect and even abandonment. It
produces better and finer leaves, however, if it receives some care
and attention. In the towns of Tanay and Pililla, Rizal Province, and
in Mabitac, Laguna Province, and in all the towns along the lake shore
as far as Paete, the suckers of the plant are set out in small plots
of ground surrounding the houses of the people. These form patches
which in several years (depending mostly on soil conditions) yield
pandan leaves large and fine enough to be used in the manufacture of
hats and mats. The ideal location for sabutan is along the banks of
streams where it can get the benefit of the light shade of bamboo
or plants that happen to grow in the vicinity. Ordinarily, good
results are obtained by planting the suckers of sabutan in a loose
and moist, but well drained, soil. Plants are set out one meter apart
in each direction, as they spread considerably. They need some shade,
especially when young, but not the heavy shade of an abacá or banana

The plant grows to be from 2 to 4 meters high. The leaves are fine
in texture, about 2 meters long and as wide as 6 centimeters. Spines
occur on the margins and on the under surface of the midrib. The
male inflorescence procured from Tanay by the Bureau of Education
is similar in appearance to that of Pandanus tectorius and is about
27 centimeters long. At varying distances on the flower stalk are
leaves (bracts), thin and fine, from 10 to 24 centimeters long and
with fine spines on margins and midrib. The flowers have a pleasant,
though not very strong, odor.

Status of the sabutan mat industry.--As an industry, the weaving of
sabutan mats is confined to the towns of Tanay and Pililla, in the
Province of Rizal. The beginnings of this industry go back beyond
the memory of the oldest inhabitants or even of their parents. It
is probable that, as the people state, mat weaving has been carried
on ever since the towns were founded. Tanay is the older of the two
and it would seem (though reliable historical data of this kind are
difficult to obtain) that the town was the first to engage in sabutan
mat weaving and is probably the mother of all the sabutan industries
carried on around Laguna de Bay.

The present condition of the mat-weaving industry of these two towns,
however, is precarious; it appears to be gradually dying out. The
fabrication of sabutan hats has been introduced from Mabitac, Laguna
Province, into Pililla, with the result that the younger generation
is entirely engaged in making hats, and the relatively small number
of mats produced is being woven by the older women who have not cared
to learn the new art. As yet no hats are made in Tanay, but the work
is being taught in the schools and from conversation with people of
the town it is judged that they are becoming interested also.

The disappearance of the sabutan mat industry would be very
unfortunate, for the products are the finest samples of the mat
weaver's art produced in the Philippines. The mats are of fine straw;
the natural gray of sabutan is pleasing; the designs used are good; and
the colors are usually well combined. The favorite patterns consist of
heavy plaids with some of the stripes containing sub-patterns produced
by floating straws; the simplest ones have narrow border designs in
straight lines. The most expensive mats are decorated with embroidered
designs. The combination of colors in these is sometimes not pleasing
and the designs themselves are not of special merit. However, if
better ones are substituted, these mats should be excellent for a
foreign trade demanding expensive articles of this nature. Unlike
most Philippine mat industries, this one has not as yet been affected
by coal tar dyes, and only vegetable dyes, found locally in the
town or in the forests, are employed. The straw dyes very well and
as a consequence the colors produced are even throughout the mat;
nor have any of the shades that brilliant effect or "off color"
which is so distasteful in certain fibers. The colors obtained are
only fairly fast in the light, however, and it is probable that the
new coal tar dyes will be faster and cheaper. In point of durability,
sabutan mats would be superior to all others produced in the Islands
if woven of double straws. In price they now vary from forty centavos
to thirty pesos, the ordinary ones bringing from P1.50 to P2.50.

If the industry is to be preserved intact, however, something must
be done to give it vitality, for the weavers know from experience
of neighboring towns that more money can be made from weaving hats
than in the fabrication of mats, and they will naturally change to
the more remunerative article. Unlike most other weaving industries,
the craft has not as yet been organized in Tanay. The production of
mats has been more or less haphazard, with but little supervision by
any person resembling the broker usually connected with household
industries. The weaver on completing a mat sells it in the market
or to some storekeeper. Up to the present time, the chief trade in
these mats has been at Antipolo in May during the "romeria" or annual
pilgrimage to the shrine of the Virgin of Antipolo. Certain persons
in Tanay have made it a practice to gather up a store of mats and
take them to Antipolo for sale there during the fiesta. A few of them
are on sale in Manila and in neighboring provinces. Of late, however,
persons have appeared who are taking up the industry more thoroughly
as brokers and it is to be hoped that the workers will be organized
into some better system for production than now exists. There is a
large opportunity not only for supervision but also for division of
labor. At present the men of the house cut the leaves, and each weaver
(all the weavers are women) carries out the rest of the process. There
would be a considerable saving of time if certain persons devoted
themselves to the preparation of the gray straw, and the dyeing were
left entirely to certain other workers. In this way the weavers of the
mats would be engaged only in the actual fabrication of the article
and much time would be saved to them. [13]

Planting, maturing, and yield of sabutan.--The plants from which the
straw mats at Tanay are made are set out in plots near the houses of
the workers. The suckers are planted in April at the beginning of the
rainy season, and, while it is always stated that straw prepared from
the leaves grown in the shade is best for weaving, yet the plants are
never intentionally set out in the shade but are planted wherever an
unoccupied plot of ground is obtainable. As a matter of fact, the
patches to be seen in the sabutan towns grow in a semi-shade such
as one would expect to find in yards where the usual ornamental and
fruit trees and banana plants grow. Much of the sabutan is in the
sun from morning to night; some is shaded during all or part of the
day. The suckers mature leaves in the third year [14] but these are
cut off and thrown away as useless and it is not until the fourth
year that the lower leaves can be stripped into straw. Harvest takes
place every four months, five or six leaves being obtained from a
plant at each cutting. The plants are never irrigated but it is to
be noted that the soil around Laguna de Bay is very moist and that
the water table is close to the surface with a good seepage from the
hills which are near the shore. It is probable that the plants differ
in their production of leaves because some have many more branches
than others and the climatic and soil conditions affect the yield.

Preparation of the straw.--The best straw is prepared during the
dry season, because at this time there is sufficient sunshine to
produce a good colored material. As a consequence the workers prepare
a large quantity at that season and store it in or under their houses,
wrapped in mats.

The leaves used are about 2 meters in length and 6 cm. in width. The
central thorns on the back of the leaves are removed by cutting away
the midrib. Two lengths about an inch in width are thus produced from
which the outer rows of thorns may or may not be removed, according
to custom. The lengths thus obtained are left in the sunshine and
wind for about half a day to render them more flexible, after which
they are cut into straws. For this purpose there is used an instrument
consisting of a narrow wooden handle about 2 1/2 cm. wide at the base,
into which narrow sharp teeth, usually of steel, are set. Brass and
even hard woods can be used for teeth. The point of the segment being
cut off, the base is grasped in one hand, the inside of the segment
being turned toward the operator. The comb-like instrument is forced
into it about 4 cm. from the end of the base and the teeth are held
against the first finger by pressure of the thumb. The leaf length
is then drawn up by the other hand and is cut into straws depending
in width upon the fineness of the comb used. If the leaves are too
young they will break in this process. The stripped segments are then
usually tied up into bundles as large around as the fist, and hung in
some shaded place exposed to the wind. The length of time occupied by
this process varies. In some places it is omitted, though it seems
to be always carried out in Tanay. The bundles are then undone and
the worker, holding the uncut base of each length in one hand, runs
the straw between his fingers and the sharp edged ruler-like piece
of bamboo held in the other. This is done several times and results
in the removal of considerable moisture, the prevention of wrinkling,
and greater pliability of the straw.

There are several variations in the processes followed for boiling
sabutan. In the Province of Laguna a fistful of the stripped lengths
with bases still attached are rolled up into a bundle and placed in
fresh water in order to remove the coloring matter--in some places
in clear, running river water, in other places in a can of clean,
fresh water--for about twenty-four hours; the water is changed
several times. In the last method the process is discontinued when
the water remains clear. Bundles are then placed in cold vinegar,
water or lemon water to which green tamarind fruit has been added to
make the color of the straw lighter and to toughen it; the water is
brought to a boil. Bamboo is used as fuel, as that fire is not so hot
as a wood fire. The length of time required for cooking differs. One
good authority states that it should be stopped when the odor of
sabutan can no longer be detected in the vapor, which occurs after
about fifteen minutes boiling. This authority also states that the
straw should be removed when it takes on a reddish hue. Many women
put the straw into clear boiling water to which nothing has been
added. After this process the straw is allowed to cool, is washed
several times in clean, fresh water and is spread in the sun to dry,
whereupon it assumes a gray color. If there is no sun the cool straw
must be kept in fresh water which is changed every twelve hours until
the sun appears. If a greenish shade is obtained the process has not
been correctly carried out. Straw from dark green, thick, old leaves,
or from those grown in the sun, is often reddish brown in color.

The boiling processes noted are those used in the preparation of
straw for mats. The process followed in Tanay has been described
by Mr. Amado Simpoco, principal of the Tanay Central School. The
stripped lengths, after being wilted and drawn over the sharp edged
piece of bamboo, are made up into fist bundles, tied at the middle
and placed in a large copper pot 61 cm. in diameter and 84 cm. in
depth and containing about 25 bundles. The pot is filled with water
and the sabutan is boiled for 24 hours, care being taken that the
straw is always covered. After boiling, the bundles are removed and
untied and the strips are hung in the shade or in the house to cool;
afterwards they are placed in the river for a day and are then washed
carefully and dried thoroughly in the sun. The gray straw thus obtained
is stored in bundles, still attached to the uncut bases, and is left
in the air for three or four nights before it is woven into mats.

Dyeing sabutan.--Mr. Simpoco has also made a careful study of the
methods used in Tanay in dyeing sabutan straw, and the results of
his efforts are presented here.

Red orange: For the production of red orange straw the gray material,
prepared as outlined above, is first treated by steeping in water
containing kolis leaves and twigs. The leaves and chopped twigs are
pounded in a mortar and are placed together with the sabutan in a
large receptacle capable of containing from 25 to 30 bundles, filled
with water. The material is allowed to remain in the receptacle for
four days. Early in the morning of the fifth day the straw is removed
and hung in a shaded place until dry and is made up into bundles tied
tightly at the larger end.

The dye fluid is carefully prepared. Chips of sappan are boiled
in a large copper pot for one day. A quantity of turmeric roots
and annatto seeds are pounded separately in mortars until they are
reduced to a very fine state. These are then separately treated with
water and pressed, the result being a turmeric water and an annatto
water. These two are mixed and poured into the boiling sappan. After
about 25 minutes the bundles of sabutan are placed in the pot and the
whole is allowed to boil until every part of the fiber is uniformly
colored. After having been boiled sufficiently, the bundles are removed
and placed in a large basket, later to be dried in the shade. They are
left in the night air for three or four nights and are then rolled up
in coarse mats. The shades procured vary with the proportions of the
dye materials used. Some are a decided orange, others are light yellow.

Yellow: Yellow straw is produced in the same manner, using turmeric
and annatto only.

Red: In the production of red straw the bundles are treated with kolis
leaves in the same manner as in the preliminary process for red-orange
straw. In a pot capable of holding 25 fist bundles of sabutan, four
gantas [15] of finely chopped sappan are placed. Over this are placed
15 bundles of the straw, which in turn is covered with one ganta of
chopped sappan. The remaining 10 bundles are then added and covered
with still another ganta of sappan. The pot is filled with water
and set over a fire for from twelve to fifteen hours. Care is taken
that the bundles are always kept under the water and that all parts
of the material are uniformly colored. The loss by evaporation is
counterbalanced by adding water from time to time. When well colored,
the straw is removed from the pot and placed in a large basket for a
day and is then hung in the sunshine to be dried. It should be allowed
to remain in the night air; when thoroughly dried it is rolled in
coarse mats.

Black: Black straw, a warm dark gray, is prepared from the red
material. Buds of bananas, leaves of kabling, talisay, camagon, and the
castor plant are pounded in a mortar and are mixed with fine particles
of black clay such as can be obtained from rice paddies. Sappan water,
made by boiling sappan chips, is then added to the mixture and the
entire mass is placed in a large receptacle for a day. Red straw
is put into this mixture and allowed to remain for two days. It is
removed on the third day and again returned to the mixture on the
fourth day. On the fifth day the straw is finally removed and placed
in the sun, being kept in the air at night.

Coal tar dyes are used in the production of green and purple
straws. These are purchased from the Chinese stores. The prepared gray
fiber is also employed with these dyes. The usual method of boiling
in a tin can until the desired shade is obtained, is followed. The
straw is dried in the sun and kept in the night air. Colors produced
are not so uniform or so satisfactory as the others described and
are seldom used.

Weaving the mats.--Before weaving the mat the worker runs the straw
over the ruler-like piece of bamboo as already explained, and removes
the uncut base to which it has been attached during the various
processes of preparation, bleaching, and dyeing. One side of the mat
is first woven the entire length, and is finished by having the edges
turned in. This edge is then placed in a slit made in a narrow stick
of wood and is tied in place with strips of sabutan straw running
around the stick and through the mat. The mat is allowed to remain
attached to this stick until it has been completely woven. As weaving
proceeds, the finished part is rolled up on the stick, thus being
out of the way of the weaver. This arrangement also serves to keep
the mat in position during weaving and prevents it from getting out
of shape. Single straws are used and consequently the mat has a right
and a wrong side. [16] The most expensive mats, which are seldom made,
are double and of very fine material.

The extension and cultivation of sabutan.--For a number of years
there has been an increasing interest throughout the Philippines in
the propagation of sabutan. Teachers in various places have procured
suckers from the towns along the east coast of Laguna de Bay, and
have planted them out with the idea of having their own industrial
material close at hand. Many of these attempts have been failures,
since not enough information had been obtained concerning the soil and
moisture conditions necessary for the cultivation of the plant. The
Bureau of Education has therefore gathered as much information as
possible on the cultivation of sabutan, based upon the experience of
various persons who have attempted planting it.

It has been found that, in those regions having a dry season, the
suckers should be planted early in the rainy season so that they may
become well rooted before the rains stop, or else water should be
provided through irrigation ditches. In nearly all cases it has been
reported that the loss of plants resulted from lack of water at the
planting period.

It is reported that difficulty is found in making the suckers live if
planted in the sun, but that, when well established, those so planted
grow and produce suckers better. As has been previously noted, no
special attempt is made to set the plants out in either the sun or
shade in the towns around Laguna de Bay, but all weavers state that
leaves grown in the shade are the best for industrial purposes.

Sabutan plants need a moist but well drained soil. They should be
set out about a meter apart each way (that is, the rows one meter
apart and plants one meter apart in the row), since they spread out
considerably when they become older. Where sufficient moisture does
not exist, irrigation should be provided. If it is decided to shade
the suckers, plants such as the papaya, having long roots rather than
surface roots, are best. No sabutan plants should be planted within
6 feet of the papaya.

It is probable that with cultivation the plants will yield leaves
suitable for straw in from one and one-half to two years, the time
to mature depending upon the conditions noted in the preceding
paragraphs. [17]

Sabutan types.--In several places in the Philippines there are
pandans which yield leaves similar to those of sabutan. It is probable
that none of these are the true sabutan. The most important one is
that growing along the northeastern shore of Tayabas Province. Mats
are made at both Casiguran and Baler, and enter to a small extent,
the interprovincial trade with neighboring provinces. It is stated,
however, that these regions abound in the species of pandan from
which the mats are made. Sabutan type mats are also reported made at
Palanan in Isabela Province, and a trade is carried on in them with
neighboring towns.

Other pandans reported under the name of sabutan and resembling it
more or less have no commercial importance.


Sarakat is a distinctive pandan of the Bangui Peninsula of Ilocos
Norte. The climate of this region differs from the rest of Ilocos Norte
in that it has rainfall practically throughout the year, receiving as
it does the benefit of the northeast monsoon which is cut off from
the country to the south. It has not as yet been determined whether
sarakat is to be described as a new variety of P. tectorius or is to
be designated as an entirely new species.

From mats submitted to this office, it is to be judged that sarakat
straw is as fine as sabutan. In fact, the material is so thin that
even though the mats are woven of double straws they are no thicker,
and are a good deal more pliable than all other commercial pandan mats,
sabutan excepted, produced in the Philippines. The upper surface of
pandan straw is glossy, and the under surface is rough. In making
the double straw, the two rough surfaces are placed together so as
to expose both glossy ones. Hence, unlike the sabutan, both sides
of sarakat mats are similar in appearance. The material, however,
is not so strong as sabutan. [18]

The mats are not decorated either by weaving in colored straws or by
embroidered or border designs. In price they vary from about P1 to P2.

Mr. Petronilo Castro, formerly Supervising Teacher of Bangui, has
stated that that town supplies most of the mats used by the people
of Ilocos Norte. Some buri mats and a few "pandan" mats (probably
from the common seashore variety) are made. The sarakat mats exceed
those of pandan in numbers and in commercial importance and are more
beautiful and stronger. The demand for the mats is great and many
people are engaged exclusively in their fabrication.

The Pandan of Majayjay. [19]

This pandan (P. utilissimus) is known in most places where it
grows as "pandan" or "pandan totoo," the true or tame pandan. It
is extensively used in Laguna and Tayabas and is remarkable for its
very large leaves and its heavy fruit. The tree occurs in groups in
dry ground but thrives best in half shade near streams. It attains a
height of from 4 to 8 meters. The trunk branches toward the top and
is supported by a few short and thick prop roots.

The leaves are often 5 meters long and 2 decimeters wide. The lower
part of the older leaves stands up straight, while the upper half
droops. The younger leaves are erect with only their tips bent
down. The leaf spines are short, blunt, and conical.

The fruits look like the jackfruit and are very large and heavy, being
often 6 decimeters long and 2 decimeters in diameter and weighing at
times 25 or more kilograms. The drupes ripen slowly and gradually;
they are red in color when fully mature and possess a peculiar faint
odor. It takes some time before all the drupes are shed, and in a
grove of fruiting trees they can be found in all stages of maturity
during the month of May.

P. utilissimus is found growing wild throughout the plateau region
of Majayjay, Luisiana, and Cavinti in Laguna Province, and extending
into Tayabas Province. It is only the leaves from those plants which
have been set out in plots, however, that are utilized in the making
of mats, hats and telescope baskets. Like sabutan, this pandan grows
best in the half-shade near streams, and leaves grown in the sun
are considered inferior. Nevertheless, no attempt seems to be made to
select a locality for their propagation, and plots are planted wherever
land is available. This pandan will not live in stagnant water and
is particularly adapted to hill-sides where there is a constant flow.

The most satisfactory statistics on the propagation of P. utilissimus
are obtained from Cavinti, where the plant has been introduced
within recent years and suckers are still being brought in from other
towns. It is stated that suckers one-half meter in height mature in
about three years, while suckers one meter in height or over will
produce suitable leaves in one year or less. The most satisfactory
results are obtained by transplanting the mature plants, since leaves
are obtainable in a few months and in half a year suckers large
enough for transplanting are produced. It is stated that in setting
the plants out, the undergrowth is cleared away and the suckers are
placed in the ground about 1 1/2 meters apart. Some attention is
given to the young plants such as loosening the earth around them;
but as soon as they obtain a good foothold no cultivation is attempted.

Usually weavers own their patch of pandan from which the leaves are
obtained for making the straw. Several workers sometimes have a patch
in common and the few weavers who do not own pandans themselves must
purchase. The leaves are sold on the tree, the purchaser cutting them
off with a bolo. The price is from 20 to 30 centavos per hundred,
depending upon their size, softness, thickness, and imperfections. The
longest, thinnest, darkest green leaves, with the fewest imperfections,
are considered the best and cost the most. In Cavinti, where the leaves
are imported from Luisiana and Majayjay, the price of the best leaves
is 50 centavos per hundred. The estimates of the number of leaves
yielded by a plant in a year differ considerably. By some it is stated
that on the average one leaf is produced per month; others report
that from three to five leaves are gathered in from three to six weeks.

The thorns are removed from the edges, and the midrib is cut away,
thus reducing the leaf into two halves, each of which is again
divided. These strips are placed in the sun for half a day. The
unique process in the preparation of this pandan straw is the rolling
which occurs at this point. While it is probable that any roller with
sufficient weight could be used, that employed in the pandan districts
of Laguna is the primitive "iluhan" by which sugar-cane and copra are
also crushed. It consists essentially of three heavy wooden horses, in
the grooves of which a log, heavily weighted with stones, rotates. The
pandan lengths are placed in one of the grooves underneath the log and
so rolled. The object of the process is to make the material thinner
and more pliable. Straw is stripped from the lengths thus prepared
by the use of the gauge. [20] The straw is then further dried in the
sunshine and is ready to be woven. Sometimes the lengths are stripped
before being rolled, hence the straw is left in the sunshine for
another half day and then placed under the log in the iluhan.

Mats are woven in Majayjay and Luisiana only, the weavers of
Cavinti devoting their entire time to the fabrication of hats. The
mats are woven of single straw, but they are fairly thick and not
at all limber. The number produced per week runs probably into the
thousands, of which about 75 per cent are made of coarse straw and are
intended for use in drying palay, copra, etc. These mats are known as
"bangkoan," a word having about the same significance as "bastos;"
that is, coarsely or poorly made. The finer and better made mats are
intended for use as sleeping mats and for the floor. They are decorated
with colored buri straw, usually in some shade of red produced by
mordanting with kolis leaves and boiling with sappan wood as explained
for buri straw. Occasionally, other colors are used, produced from
the imported coal-tar ("Chino") dyes, but in all cases the shades
produced are not very pleasing. The decorations are embroidered in,
and consist of simple borders in straight lines with an open center
design of somewhat the same pattern. When first woven, the mats are
usually of a dark green color. Before being sold, they are placed in
the sun, which changes them to a grayish color somewhat resembling
sabutan. After long use, however, the final shade is yellowish green.

There seems to be but little division of labor in the production of
these mats. Usually the whole family goes out into the patch and cuts
the leaves, removing the thorns before bringing them home. Only women
weave the mats. In Majayjay a few workers color their own buri straw
used in decorating the mats, but for the most part this material is
obtained from dyers, one a Chinese, the other a Filipino, who prepare
it for sale.

The weavers are independent of advances by brokers and sell their
product to Filipinos or to the representatives of Chinese merchants
in Pagsanjan and Manila. A few weavers take their mats to Lukban,
whence they are distributed over Tayabas Province, but many more are
gathered up by these brokers and sold in the market at Pagsanjan. The
mat market there usually occupies one whole sidewalk running the
length of the market building.

The pandan mats of Majayjay and Luisiana are notable for their strength
and durability, and are excellent for the floor or bath. In price they
range from P0.50 to P5.00. The usual price of the decorated mats is
P1.50. The demand continues brisk and prices have recently risen. The
weakest point in the mat at the present time is in the colored buri
straw used to decorate it, for this tears long before the pandan shows
signs of wear. If colored sabutan straw is substituted for the buri,
a much stronger and probably more pleasing article will result. [21]

Karagumoy. [22]

The pandan P. simplex, known as "karagumoy" or "carogumoy," is the
economic pandan of the Bicol peninsula in southern Luzon. It is usually
found growing in well drained soil under the shade of banana and abaca
plants and areca palms. It needs this protection because the leaves are
easily broken or ruined by hard winds. The leaves are generally longer
than those of sabutan (they are 2 meters to 3 1/2 meters in length)
and are but from 6 cm. to 10 cm. wide. They are very thick, being
practically as coarse as the leaves of P. utilissimus. They bear stout
spines on the midrib and along the margins, from two centimeters to
three centimeters apart. A fungus disease often attacks them, causing
dry hard patches, and not only spoiling the color but also making
the material so brittle that it breaks in the preparation of the straw.

The plant is propagated by means of suckers in patches seldom over a
half hectare in extent and often consisting of a few plants back of
the house. The suckers are set out in rows and are probably one year
old when the first leaves are taken, though the workers disagree on
this point. At a specified time, from eight to fifteen leaves are
cut from the plant each year; at other periods, two or three may be
taken from the same plants. Most of the leaves are harvested during
the rainy season. Karagumoy leaves have a commercial value in many
of the places in which the plant occurs. In Tabaco, Albay, women cut
the leaves and carry them in large bundles to the market, where they
are sold at prices usually varying from 8 to 12 centavos per hundred.

Throughout the Province of Albay mats are made from karagumoy, and in
some towns the industry is of considerable importance. For instance,
in the barrio of San Lorenzo in Tabaco, mats may be found in the making
in nearly every house. In Sorsogon, too, the industry is widespread
though not so important commercially. In Balusa the production is
large enough to supply the local demand and leave a surplus for export
to neighboring towns. In the Bicol provinces karagumoy is considered
the best of all straws for the production of mats. In price the mats
vary from thirty to ninety centavos, according to fineness.

In preparing the material, the spines and midrib are first removed
and the leaves are divided into four strips of about equal width. The
straw is prepared from these with the knife and gauge; it is dried
in the shade for a few hours and drawn several times over a piece of
bamboo as explained for sabutan in order to make it more supple and
smooth. The mats are woven in the early morning and at night, the straw
being more pliable then. Attempts have been made in the schools to
dye karagumoy but no success has yet been attained. The mats are plain.


The stem of this plant, P. copelandii, grows from 4 to 9 meters
high. The leaves have an average length of 2.1 meter and a width of
8 cm. [23] Spines occur along the entire margin. Near the base they
are comparatively coarse and from 3 to 4 mm. long. Towards the apex
of the margins and midveins, the spines are short and close together
like the teeth of a fine saw. From 3 to 5 heads generally form on the
fruit stalk, each of them from 7 to 12 cm. long and 5 to 7 cm. across,
at first pale yellowish in appearance but soon turning red. Their
drupes are 14 mm. long and 3 to 4 mm. in diameter. This pandan is
found in Cagayan, Benguet, Nueva Ecija, Samar, Bohol, Occidental
Negros, Capiz, Surigao, Davao, and other provinces. [24]

This pandan is not of economic importance in central and southern
Luzon. In the Bicol provinces it is used to some extent but it is
considered inferior to other materials. In parts of the Visayas,
such as Bohol, Capiz and Samar, it is utilized to a considerable
extent, but cannot be considered of commercial importance. It is the
economic pandan of Surigao, but even there its commercial importance
is local only.

Table showing comparative measurements of certain Philippine pandans.

                 P.          Sabutan. P.            P.         P.
                 tectorius.           utilissimus.  simplex.   copelandii.

Height of trunk  3 to 6 m    2 to 4 m 4 to 8 m      6 m        4 m.
 Length          1.35 m      2 m      5 m           2 to 3.5 m 2.1 m.
 Width           6 cm        6 cm     20 cm         6 to 10 cm 8 cm.
 Thickness       Medium      Fine     Thick         Thick      Medium.
 Length          20 cm                60 cm         9 cm       7 to 12 cm.
 Thickness       18 cm                20 cm         9 cm       5 to 7 cm.
  Length         5.5 cm               7 to 8 cm     3 cm       14 mm.
  Thickness      2.5 to 3 cm          2 cm          1 cm       3 to 4 mm.
  Number in head 50 to 80             Many          Many       Many.

Pandans of Minor Utility.

The species P. radicans is reported as olango from Leyte, wañgo in
Bohol, owañgo in Surigao and uyagño in Sorsogon. It is usually found
growing along rivers and in marshes. The trunk reaches a height of
8 m. and its largest leaves may be 6 m. long and 12 cm. wide. There
are from 6 to 10 dark brick red fruits in a cluster. The fruit is 14
cm. long and 8 cm. wide and contains 100 or more drupes. Each drupe
is 2.5 cm. in length and 12 mm. in diameter. The leaves are made into
straw from which coarse mats are woven.

Taboan is the name given to Pandanus dubius in Surigao while in
Bohol it is known as bacong. It is a rare species. It is said to be a
heavy, clumsy appearing tree with stem about 8 m. high, wide spreading
branches near the top, and soft, pulpy and stringy wood. The flowers
are grouped into an inflorescence. The male inflorescence, about
60 cm. long and partly covered by creamy yellow bracts, is erect
and occurs at the end of the branches. The leaves are deep green in
color on both sides, with an average length of 2.25 cm. and a width
of 20 cm. The drupes of this pandan are from 8 cm. to 13 cm. long and
from 5 cm. to 8 cm. wide. The plant is utilized to a small extent in
making mats.

In the Tagalog speaking provinces of Bulacan, Bataan, and in
and around Manila, Pandanus luzonensis is called "alasas." It is
also called "pandan" but this name should be reserved for Pandanus
tectorius. The former is restricted in its habitat to the provinces
around Manila Bay, while the latter is found in most of the seacoast
provinces of the Philippines as well as in other tropical parts of
the world. Pandanus luzonensis attains a greater height than Pandanus
tectorius, but has narrower leaves than the latter. The male flowers
are borne in a fleshy, much-branched inflorescence from 20 to 30
cm. long. Each branch is partly surrounded by a broad thin bract,
8 cm. wide. Each individual flower has from 4 to 9 stamens. The whole
fruit is about 20 centimeters long and contains from 30 to 60 drupes,
yellowish red in color when ripe. Each drupe is from 3 to 4 cm. long,
2 to 2.5 cm. thick, and contains from 6 to 10 seeds. The straw from
this pandan is of inferior quality, though it is said to be used in
Bulacan for mats.

Unidentified Pandans.

Besides the pandans, the identity of which has been explained above,
there are several unidentified specimens or varieties from which mats
are made. It may be that some of these will be found identical with
those already discussed when sufficient botanical material has been
gathered to determine them.

In Isabela Province, a pandan known as "langu" having long, strong,
thin leaves, is made into mats in Santa Maria, Delena and Bolasi.

Mats are made along the coast of Cagayan Province, in the Ilocano
barrios of the towns of Claveria and Sanchez Mira, from a pandan
known as "pataga." These are very coarse and thick and have an
unusually shiny surface. According to Mr. Otto Harwood, the leaves
vary in length from 10 cm. to 35.5 cm. and in width from 7.5 cm. to
15 cm. The straw is made by cutting the leaf into strips and drying
them in the sun. Although the industry is yet small, it is developing.

A species of pandan is employed in the towns of Camalaniugan, Aparri,
Gataran, and Lal-loc in Cagayan Province for making mats. Locally
they are valued at from 40 to 50 centavos, but in Isabela Province
to which they are exported they sell for as high as a peso and a half.

The only municipality in Pangasinan province in which the making
of mats has reached provincial and interprovincial importance is
Bolinao. The species of pandan employed is not known. The mats are
shipped to towns along the seacoast of Ilocos and Zambales Province
by sailing vessels, and are sold in the local markets or to local

In Mindoro the town of Subang makes pandan mats which are shipped to
Batangas, Cavite, and Manila.

Two pandans, called lingo and baring were sent to the General Office
of the Bureau of Education from Guindalman, Bohol. It was impossible
to identify them as no fruit was included. They probably represent
two new species. Lingo has a leaf 2.9 m. in length and of an almost
uniform width of 5.5 cm. At 80 cm. from the tip, it is 4.5 cm. wide,
then gradually becomes acuminate. The marginal spines are 2 mm. long,
curved forward, from 6 to 8 mm. apart near the stem, but closer
together at the distal one-third of the leaf. Spines of 1 mm. or
less in length and 4 mm. or less apart, curved forward and extending
throughout the length of the leaf, occur on the lower surface of the
midrib only. The surface of the leaf is smooth and shiny. The leaf
of baring is 72 cm. long, 2.8 cm. wide, apparently spineless, smooth
and fine in texture. Both of these pandans would probably yield good
industrial materials.

In Iloilo, the town of Banate has a pandan mat industry of
interprovincial importance, whose product is an article of commerce
as far as Negros. The mats sell at about 50 centavos each.

There is a large export of pandan mats from Dao, Antique, to the
province of Iloilo.

Pandan mats are exported from Cuyo Island in Palawan. Some are sent
to the mainland of Palawan and others to Antique.

The Moro pandan mats are the most richly colored of all those
produced in the Philippines. At this writing, information is not at
hand to determine the method of preparing the straw or the species
of pandan from which they are made. Mats which have been exhibited
at successive Philippine expositions have undoubtedly been dyed with
imported coloring matter. The designs are of the general effect of
the mat reproduced on page 84. The colors are often well combined
and the effect is very striking. The Cottabato mats are double;
the under portion is woven of thick, heavy, uncolored straw, and the
upper portion is of finer material; the two parts are spliced together.

Sedge Straws.

Kinds of Sedges.


The sedges which form the family of Cyperaceae are grass-like or
rush-like herbs, with solid, jointless, usually triangular stems,
while the grasses (Gramineae) are mostly herbs, usually with hollow
stems closed and enlarged at the nodes. The former play an important
part in the manufacture of mats because of their length and freedom
from nodes. The family includes several genera of importance; viz.,
Scirpus, Cyperus, and Fimbristylis.

Of these the Fimbristylis is the most important, for two species of
Fimbristylis have a fairly large commercial use; they are therefore
taken up separately.

Of the genus Scirpus, the species S. grossus, known as "balangot" in
Ambos Camarines and Capiz, "bagaas" in Occidental Negros, "tiquio"
in Rizal, and "bagui-bagui" in Capiz, and S. erectus, are used for
mats. S. grossus is not a very suitable material for industrial
purposes, its distinctly three-cornered stalk being too coarse
in texture and too large to permit of weaving even a fair grade
article. S. erectus is much better. The stalk is about as fine as
tikug and grows to a height of 60 cm. The flowers sometimes occur in
a solitary cluster, but more often from 2 to 5 clusters of spikelets
are found on the side of the stalk near its top. The plant is widely
distributed in the Philippines and inhabits open grass lands. It bears
some flowers throughout the year. As yet only coarse mats are made
from it, but its general appearance would warrant experiments along
the lines of the processes by which tikug is treated. The only native
names noted are "tayoc-tayoc" and "tikug" by which names the plant is
known in Occidental Negros. These names, however, are more properly
applied to other plants. Scirpus mucronatus is somewhat like S. erectus
in general appearance. The stem of S. mucronatus is more robust and
coarser in texture and attains a height of 80 cm. Its dried stem has
an average width of 4 to 5 mm., while that of S. erectus measures
from 2 to 3 mm. The flowers of S. mucronatus appear in a very dense
head on the side of the plant from 2 to 9 cm. from the top. Each head
is made up of from 5 to 20 spikelets. These spikelets are from 6 to
15 mm. long, while those of S. erectus are never more than 1 cm. in
length. The coarser stalk of S. mucronatus makes it a less desirable
mat material than S. erectus. In the Ilocos provinces a very coarse
round sedge called tiker (Scirpus lacustris) occurs. It may be of value
if split and dried in the sun so that it curls up into a round straw.

The genus Cyperus includes a number of economic plants, among them
the Chinese matting sedge. The species most used in the Philippines
is C. malaccensis. This plant has an underground stem which, as it
continues its growth, sends out new stalks. The plant lives for
a number of years and when fully grown is from 0.5 to 1.5 meters
high. The stem is stout and three-sided in shape. It has few or no
leaves, and when present the leaves are not more than 3 cm. long. From
2 to 5 leaf-like stems (bracts) not more than 20 cm. long occur under
the inflorescence. The spikelets which make up the inflorescence
are somewhat crowded together; they are very narrow, from 1 to 2
cm. long. The plant occurs in the Philippines in brackish swamps
and along tidal streams. It is also found in tropical Africa, Asia,
the islands of Polynesia, and Australia. It is usually in flower
from July to December. It was formerly made into mats and hats and
is even now utilized in rare instances in weaving them, but it is
most important as a material for slippers, and possibly for matting.

Of the 125 species of Fimbristylis found only in warm regions, two are
of economic importance in the Philippines, while one more might perhaps
be tried out as a mat material. All the species of Fimbristylis have
tufted, fibrous or woody stems. The leaves occur near the base. The
inflorescence consists of a great number of flowers grouped closely
together to form one or more spikelets. The spikelets themselves may
be either solitary or clustered. The individual flowers are covered
by glumes and are arranged spirally on the axis. As the fruit matures,
the glumes of the flowers become the "chaff" of the grain.


This sedge (Fimbristylis utilis) grows usually more than a meter
long and has tufted stems which are shiny and smooth in appearance
and average about 4 mm. in diameter. The stems may have long leaves
at the base or may be entirely leafless, and are usually four- or
five-sided immediately under the inflorescence. The general appearance
of the stalk is round. The plant has few or no underground root-like
stems. The flowers are densely clustered together to form spikelets,
dusky brown in color, measuring 6 mm. by 3 mm. In the Visayas it is
generally known as tikug. In Agusan and Surigao it is called "anahiwan"
and in Bukidnon "sudsud". Sometimes it is called tayoc-tayoc in
confusion with the smaller sedge more properly known by that name,
which much resembles tikug. A specimen from Pampanga was labeled

Tikug grows in greatest profusion and reaches its highest economic
importance in parts of Mindanao, Bohol, Leyte, and Samar. To a less
degree, it is found and utilized on Negros and Panay. While it is
found in Cebu, it is not used there. As a recognized industrial
plant, therefore, its distribution is confined to the Visayas and
Mindanao. Its appearance in Pampanga would indicate that it may be
found in other regions in which its value in hand-weaving and in the
making of matting is not understood. [25]

Tikug is utilized in making hats, mats, matting, slippers and various
minor articles.

Samar Mats.

Gathering the Straw.

The best known tikug mats are produced on the Island of Samar,
where the sedge grows wild. [26] It has never been cultivated
there. Different grades are recognized in the height and width of the
straw. The finest is 1 1/2 mm. in diameter while the largest straws
are fully four times that width. Full grown stalks sometimes reach 3
meters in height, but the average is 1 1/2 meters. In most places in
Samar only very coarse tikug is found and this is especially true in
the northern half of the island. The best material grows near the towns
of Basey and Sulat, a circumstance probably due to the fact that most
of these sedges are pulled up for weaving before they become old and
coarse, for it is in these two towns that the mat industry of Samar is
centered. All grades of tikug can be used in making mats; but as the
straw cannot be split into finer pieces, it is only from the narrower
material that the fine mats are made. The map on the distribution of
tikug shows the regions in Samar in which this sedge occurs. [27]


In some parts of Samar rough mats are made from tikug dried in the
shade. In Basey and Sulat bleached straw is used. In the bleaching
process only the sun is used, the bundles being spread out where
there is neither grass nor shade. The straw must be kept perfectly
dry at all times, for if it becomes wet or damp it will mildew and
turn an unsightly black or brown. In the morning it must not be put
out until the ground is dry and in the evening it should be taken in
before dew is formed upon it. The best results are obtained by drying
the material in a place where there is no grass, as the turf generally
holds considerable moisture and retards the process. With proper care
clean white straw can be obtained in about one week under the most
favorable conditions. Sometimes, but not often, the above process
is preceded by boiling the straw for ten or twenty minutes in plain
water. Several bleaching experiments have already been made with tikug,
but as yet none has been entirely successful. In one experiment straw
was boiled in alum, but the resultant material was not so white as
that obtained by simply drying it in the sun. Boiling green tikug in
water containing acetic acid from the juice of limes and lemons was
unsatisfactory. The best straw obtained was that produced by simply
boiling the green stalk for a few minutes in water and rinsing it
well and then drying in the sunshine for several days.

The straws are of different lengths and diameters; after bleaching
they must be sorted. The seed clusters are removed and the bunches
are tied in a big bundle which is laid on the floor with root toward
the worker. The longer straws of small diameter are then pulled out
and placed in small bundles, the process continuing until the several
different grades are thus separated and nothing remains but a few short
thick straws which are kept for embroidering designs. Each bundle
is then trimmed by cutting off the roots and ragged tops and the
straw is ready for storing, dyeing, or flattening. If tikug remains
in a damp place it will mold and become worthless. It is easily kept
during the dry season, if frequently exposed to the sun. During the
rainy season it should be wrapped in a blanket or cloth.


Very few uncolored straws are used in Samar mats. The dyed material
is more durable and does not mildew as readily as the uncolored
straws. Tikug dyes easily and this is probably one of the reasons why
the mats of Samar have so much color. The cost of the dye in a Basey
mat is no small part of the total expense of production. Consequently
it is necessary to employ a cheap dye. For instance, one of the best
commercial dyes known in Manila was used with great success on Samar
mats, but the value of the coloring material consumed in making
them was greater than their selling price. The dye used in making
the cheapest of Samar mats costs the weavers about 10 centavos while
the more elaborate products need as much as 65 centavos worth of dye
to color them. A common mat containing 15 centavos worth of dyestuff
sells for about a peso. [28]

The colors obtained by the Basey mat weavers have a greater variety
of shades and tints than those produced by any other workers in the
Philippines on tikug or any other mat material. The shades and tints
depend upon two considerations: (1) The amount of dyestuffs used and
(2) the length of time the boiling process is continued. Four dyestuffs
are used. Yellows are obtained from turmeric; greens and reds are
obtained from coal-tar dyes; and a red-orange from deora. The leaves
of the latter plant are crushed and the pulpy mass thus obtained is
boiled to yield the dye fluid. By combining these four dye materials
in different proportions, by using varying amounts of the material,
and by boiling varying lengths of time, different colors, shades and
tints are obtained.

The method of dyeing is as follows: The bunches of tikug are coiled
and placed in a can of hot dye, where they are boiled from two to
ten minutes, or until the desired intensity has been secured. The
more the straw is boiled, the more nearly permanent will be the
color and the greater will be its intensity. Care must be taken to
see that the dye fluid is not too strong; otherwise the color will
be too intense. In order that the material may be evenly colored,
the tikug is submerged in the dye so that it is well covered and is
turned over several times during the process. After the coils are
removed they should be laid upon the ground or floor, allowed to cool,
and then hung in the shade to dry.


The straws composing the bleached or dyed bundles of material are
stiff and uneven; some are bent and others are round. The process of
flattening them and making them more pliable is carried on during
damp days, in the morning or evening, for if done in the open air
on cloudless days, or at any time when the atmosphere is dry, the
straw becomes brittle and breaks. However, climatic conditions may be
overcome by wrapping the straw in banana leaves or damp cloth for an
hour or more and then working it where no breeze can dry it out. No
water should be applied. The workers employ the usual blunt-edged,
ruler-like piece of wood; between this and the thumb the straw is
drawn by the free hand. This process flattens the straw and makes it
pliable so that it does not split during weaving.

The Weaving of Samar Mats.

Up to three years ago tikug was but little used in Samar except for
weaving mats. Commercially, mat weaving was confined to Sulat and
Basey. Since the American occupation it has been widely done and
the work has been introduced into most of the schools. Not only have
methods been greatly improved but new uses have been found for the
material. To-day the sedge is woven into floor and wall mats, hats,
table mats, slippers, book-bags, hand-bags, necktie cases, pencil
holders, pencil cases, and pillow and cushion covers. Recently the
weaving of matting on looms has been undertaken in the schools and a
fine product, similar to the matting of Japan, has been produced on
the ordinary loom adjusted to the straw.

The chief use of tikug in Samar is in the weaving of mats in the towns
of Basey and Sulat. Since time immemorial tikug mats have been woven in
Samar. At Palapag, Oras, Dolores, Taft, Balangiga, Santa Rita, Gandara,
Oquendo, and Catarman, a few rough ones, the product of unskilled
workmen, were made, but they were of no commercial importance, since
the people did not weave enough to supply their own demand. As far
back as can now be traced, the people of Basey and Sulat have been
making mats for the provincial and interprovincial trade. Since 1907
the people of Dolores, Oras, Santa Rita, and Balangiga have improved
in weaving and are now producing a few mats for the market. Their work
is much inferior to that of Basey and Sulat. In the year 1911 Basey
produced about 9,000 mats and Sulat about 300. The latter town could
have increased its production greatly, but its remoteness from the
market and from the routes of commerce reduces the large demand which
might otherwise exist for the mats. Basey is better situated in these
respects; moreover, the people have been forced to fall back on mat
weaving as their chief means of support, for typhoons have destroyed
their coconuts and abaca, and their rice crop is scant. Almost every
night mat weavers are found at work in many of the houses.

Several years ago, when American soldiers were stationed in the
vicinity of the town, there grew up a great demand for mats, and the
weavers, taking advantage of their need and their little knowledge of
values in the Philippines, demanded exorbitant prices and received
them. Most of the Basey people spent their time producing mats,
and to a great extent sacrificed quality for quantity. The grade
of mat that sold for P18 several years ago can now be bought for
about P8; that which sold for P3 two years ago can be bought to-day
for P2. Lately there has been a rise in price owing to increased
commercial demand. Mats made to order, particularly special mats, cost
more than those bought already woven, the price depending upon the
size of the article, the character of the design, and the fineness of
the straw and the weave. A mat two meters by one meter, made of the
finest grade of tikug, would require several months for completion
and would probably cost between P30 and P40. There is hardly a limit
to the size of the mat which can be woven. Three years ago one having
dimensions of 10 meters by 12 meters was made for a church, as many
as 30 women working on it at the same time.

Basey mats are of two general kinds: those with plaid designs woven in
and those on which the designs are embroidered. The former are the more
difficult to weave; but as there is no decoration to be added, they
are the cheapest mats obtainable, the prices for the ordinary grades
ranging from P0.80 to P3 each. Some weavers turn out only blank mats
of one color and do neither designing nor decorating. Straw used on
these is usually dyed, very few mats of natural colors being made. They
are worth from P0.50 to P2 each and are generally sold to girls who
are skillful in embroidering designs. These girls decorate the mats
and sell them for from P2.50 to P6 each, the price depending upon the
original cost of the mat and the amount of decoration put upon it. The
ideas for the designs on Basey mats are usually obtained from pictures
or textiles. The straws, both bleached and dyed, are split in two
for embroidering purposes. This makes them thinner and more pliable.

The time necessary for making a plaid mat sold for two pesos was
found to be as follows, an eight-hour day being used as the basis of
a day's work:

        Gathering tikug                                1.00
        Dyeing tikug                                    .25
        Flattening tikug                                .25
        Weaving mat                                    3.50
        Total time                                     5.00

The selling price of the mat was one peso, the cost of the dye 15
centavos, which left the weaver a balance of 85 centavos for five days'
labor. The plaids used in Basey mats are simple, but the embroidered
designs are extremely intricate. They consist for the most part of
foliage, flowers, and animals. Weavers are often given a contract to
make a stated number of mats in accordance with a design furnished
them. A few are capable of reproducing almost any pattern presented,
[29] but if they are not told exactly what colors to use they employ
every shade, color and tint they can secure. The Basey mats are
distinguished by the multitude of colors used. In general it may be
stated that the chief criticism of this product is the gaudy effect
produced by the colors used. In some cases the colors are well toned
and harmoniously combined, but the majority of the mats produced
contain vivid colors which are not all harmonious. Through the schools,
efforts have been made to reduce the number of colors and to modify the
gaudy and complicated floral designs. An improvement is seen each year.

The ordinary mat is usually about 2 meters by 1 1/2 meters, though
smaller and larger ones are made. During the past three years
the weavers have been encouraged to make mats about the size of an
ordinary cot and to use no more than two colors in weaving them. A
few mats suitable for placing under dining tables are also made.

Sulat weavers produce fewer mats than those of Basey but make them of
fine, closely woven straw. Most of the mats with a woven-on border
come from Sulat. These people, while able to produce a fine, soft,
pliable mat, can not embroider decorations on them nearly so well as
do the people of Basey.

Samar mats wear well. Wall mats last indefinitely and sleeping mats
are used from two to ten years or more. [30]

The Marketing of Basey Mats.

The port of Tacloban, Leyte, due to its proximity to Basey, is the
chief center for the distribution of Samar mats. As soon as the mats
are completed the weavers take them across the straits to Tacloban,
where they are sold to Chinese brokers, transients and residents,
both American and native. Few ships leave Tacloban that do not carry
away from 5 to 20 mats; often they take away as many as 50, the amount
generally depending upon the number of passengers aboard the boat. Some
of the ship's employees are regular customers of the weavers and buy
mats at stated prices to sell them again at a reasonable profit at
Manila and other ports of call. Besides, there is quite a sale of mats
in the towns of Samar, Leyte, and Cebu through vendors, residents of
Basey, who secure the mats in their home town at low prices and sell
them at a profit. These persons usually deal only in the mats, and sell
them for cash, not trading for other articles. Plaid Basey mats are
on sale in nearly all the Chinese general merchandise stores of Manila.

As yet there is little supervision by brokers in Basey. The
mat industry there needs but the introduction of some system of
supervision by brokers to regulate the size, quality, design and
color scheme of the mats, and a foreign market to become a much more
extended industry. The schools have already done much toward improving
workmanship and design; it must remain for individual enterprise,
however, to get in touch with foreign demand and supervise the weaving
of mats to suit it. [31]

Bohol Mats. [32]

Tikug mats are made in large numbers in Bohol. The straw for the most
part is finer than that used in Samar and the patterns are chiefly
stripes and checks. Very little embroidering is attempted.

Bohol mats are used principally for sleeping purposes. In northern
Bohol there is scarcely a family that has not three or more large
mats, which are rolled up and laid away during the day time and are
unrolled upon the floor at night for a bed. They are durable and
last for years. Large sleeping mats may be purchased in quantities
as high as 40 to 100 during the Sunday market day in Talibon or on
the Saturday market day in Ypil, a barrio of the same town. In price
they range from one to three pesos each.

The second use of Bohol mats is for decorating walls, tables, and
floors. Those so employed are smaller than the sleeping mats, usually
square, but sometimes round. More care is exercised in their weaving
and only fine young straws are used. The preparation of the straw
and the dyeing are done with great care. Mats of the best quality
are quite difficult to secure and the schools have recently been
encouraging their production.

As in other regions, the tikug from which Bohol mats are made, grows
wild in the rice fields after the harvest. It is found in abundance
in northern Bohol in the municipalities of Getafe, Talibon and Ubay,
and sparingly in other towns of the island (see map). The straws
are gathered from the field by pulling them, thus breaking them off
at the roots, and they are tied into bundles about 3 decimeters
in circumference and sold in the market. The largest market for
such bundles is found in the barrio of Ypil in the municipality of
Talibon. The price is usually about 10 centavos per bundle. From two
to four of these bundles are required to make a mat.

The tikug is not kept in the original bundles longer than one or
two days, for it will turn black. The material is usually separated
into two parts, one to be dyed, the other to be bleached. That to be
dyed is spread in the sun and thoroughly dried for one or two days,
care being taken that rain does not fall upon it and blacken it. The
other part is boiled in a solution of acetic acid for twenty minutes,
after which it is thoroughly dried in the sun and thus bleached.

The natural dyes used in Bohol for coloring tikug are dauda and
turmeric. The former produces permanent colors, the latter fugitive
ones. The artificial dyes bought at Chinese stores are also used
in producing shades and tints of green, violet and ruby which are
satisfactory. In general, those in crystal form have proven more
satisfactory than the powder dyes. Before dyeing, the sheath-like leaf
is pulled from the bottom of each straw and the material is looped
into small bundles. Often the straws are dampened with water. Dyeing
is usually done in a 5-gallon petroleum can two-thirds full of water,
heated to boiling. If the artificial dyes are used the powder is
stirred in and dissolved and the bundles of tikug are then pressed
down into the liquid so that all the material is well covered. A stone
is often laid upon the straws so as to keep them down in the boiling
dye. It usually requires about twenty minutes to obtain the desired
shade, which is nearly always a deep one. Where fresh dauda leaves
are employed, about 2 pounds are placed in the water and boiled a few
minutes before the tikug is put in. If dried leaves are used about one
pound is soaked in cold water for a few minutes and the whole mass
is then added to the boiling water. Turmeric roots are pounded in a
mortar and then added to the boiling water, after which the tikug is
added. All the dyes noted are combined to produce other colors and
varying shades.

During the process of dyeing, the straw should be turned and moved
about in the boiling water to insure an even color. The straw should
never be boiled too long, or it will be cooked and become tender
and weak. After the straw has taken on the shade desired, it is
removed from the can and thrown on the ground. When the bundles are
cool enough to be handled, they are untied and the straws spread out
to dry, preferably in the shade. After it is thoroughly dried the
material is rebundled and thus kept for weaving.

Before weaving, the straws are flattened by drawing each one separately
between the edge of the knife and the heel of the weaver's foot or
the sole of the chinela. Damp days are best for this process. Weaving
is done under the house or under trees. Evenings and nights are
most suitable for this work on account of the dampness of the
atmosphere. The embroidered mats of Bohol are decorated with split

The mats of Bohol are bought by traders who exchange cloth and other
goods for them. These men carry them to the towns of Bohol which do
not produce mats, and to other islands, where they sell or exchange
them at a good profit. When once the supply of mats on hand has been
bought up in a mat producing town, several months elapse before the
market there is replenished by a new supply. After completing a mat,
the weaver has no immediate desire to begin another. It is quite
probable that the output of mats could be increased considerably
if the market and the price were better. It is estimated that the
weavers earn not more than 20 centavos per day at the industry.

Other Tikug Mats.

Tikug also grows in large quantities in Leyte. Its chief use there
is in the weaving of matting on a crude loom, an adaptation of the
common textile loom.

Tikug is apparently generally used throughout Surigao in making
mats. The best mats of this region come from the upper Agusan and the
island of Dinagat. They are usually made for local consumption, though
the people of Dinagat exchange their mats with Bohol traders. The
sedge grows in great abundance in the lake of Talacogon near the town
of the same name in Agusan.

Tikug is also found in many parts of the Moro Province. It abounds
in the swamp lands of the Lanao region, from which mats are exported
via Iligan. If it is to be colored, the straws are soaked in water
for about two days, after which they are cooked in the boiling
dye. Bleached straw is prepared by exposing it to the sun, after
which the material is polished and flattened at the same time by
rubbing the stalks with ashes, between the fingers.

The Cultivation of Tikug.

The question of the cultivation of tikug is one of considerable
importance. It is a well known fact that the finest Leghorn hat
straw is produced in Italy by sewing wheat closely and reaping the
straw before the grain ripens. The best mat straws of China and
Japan are produced from cultivated sedges. The Bureau of Education
is therefore encouraging experiments in the cultivation of tikug,
but as yet these have not been extensive enough to determine whether
the sedge can be propagated for industrial purposes. There are no
data as to cost. A quantity of seed was procured and forwarded to
various parts of the Islands in which tikug had not been reported
as growing. These were sent out to various persons with the idea of
determining (1) soils suitable to the plant, (2) whether it could be
cultivated in the rice paddies between harvest and planting, (3) how
closely the seeds should be planted, (4) how old the plants should be
at harvest. [33] No results have as yet been obtained from the seeds
so sent out. Fair results, however, have been realized in Samar, where
approximately 5,000 stalks were grown to the square foot in very rich
soil fertilized with manure secured from the military stables. The
straws obtained were 3 meters long. It was found that the thicker
the seeds are planted the finer and longer are the straws obtained.

Reports differ as to whether tikug should be considered a pest or
not. In Leyte it is stated that it grows in the rice fields along with
the rice crop and appreciably diminishes the crop. There it is a weed
pest; in Samar it is not so considered. In Bohol one teacher states
that the plant is not a pest as it will not grow in dry localities,
and hence does not interfere with crops. Where it is found in the
rice paddies, a covering of earth will easily destroy it. It does
not scatter quickly, for, while the roots will grow if transplanted,
the sedge is mostly propagated by seeds and these are distributed
principally by water and not by wind. No great chances are taken in
planting tikug. On the other hand, some teachers state that the seeds
are scattered by the wind and that the roots impede the plowing of
the fields.

It is probable that where the tikug obtains a good foothold on
irrigated rice land it proves a considerable annoyance to farmers;
but its growth as a pest can be regulated by plowing.


This plant, F. diphylla, one of the most widely distributed of all
sedges, is found at all altitudes up to 2,000 meters throughout the
warm regions of the world. The stems may be smooth or hairy and the
leaves one-third to two-thirds as long as the stem. F. diphylla
is generally smaller than F. utilis. Its stem is only 2 mm. in
diameter. The flowers, densely clustered into spikelets, are generally
of two colors--straw and brown. They reach 1 cm. in length and 4 mm. in
diameter. Below the spikelet the stem has from 3 to 5 sides. The
roots are fibrous; underground stems may occur, but they are never
more than 2.5 cm. long.

This plant is known as tayoc-tayoc in Iloilo, Capiz, and Occidental
Negros. It is reported from Pampanga and is called "tab-tabin"
in Zambales.

The straw produced by tayoc-tayoc is much finer but considerably
stiffer than that from tikug, and cannot be considered so good an
industrial material. Nevertheless, it is used to some extent in the
production of hats and mats, especially in the provinces of Iloilo
and Capiz. In Dumalag, Capiz Province, hats are of considerable
importance. Mats of tayoc-tayoc are reported as made in Banate and
Janiuay, Iloilo Province, but this has not yet been verified.

As with tikug, seeds of tayoc-tayoc were obtained and distributed
among various provinces to determine whether the propagation of the
straw was practicable and if the cultivation of the plant would result
in a better material. As yet no definite results have been obtained.

A Rush Straw.

But one rush straw has been brought to the attention of the Bureau
of Education; it is the Japanese matting rush, Juncus effusus. This
species is distributed over a large part of the globe, being the
candle rush of Europe and the common plant of wet ground in the United
States. In Japan it is made into beautiful mattings, the handsomest
and most costly produced. The pith is also employed for lamp wicks,
and probably the "timsim" imported from China and used in oil lamps
in the Philippines is obtained from this plant. Juncus effusus has no
native name in the Philippines. It is found throughout the Mountain
Province and in the Apo region of Mindanao. It attains a height of
almost 2 meters where soil and moisture conditions are favorable. The
stalk is cylindrical and at the end tapers to a point. It is from 2
to 3 mm. in diameter. The flowers grow in a bunch on the side of the
stalk near the top and are light brown in color. At the present time
this rush is not utilized in the Philippines, though it is probable
that it can be used in the weaving of many articles. If split, a flat
straw is obtained by removing the pith.


It is better not to decorate a mat at all than to have the design ill
fitting. Design is the pleasing arrangement of all spaces unfilled
as well as filled. Decoration is for beauty wholly. If all the spaces
are not well arranged, the design is not beautiful. If the design is
startling or gaudy in color, it is not beautiful. If the arrangement of
colors is inharmonious, the design is not beautiful. All mats cannot
be in the same proportion and suitable for all designs. Plate LXV,
for instance, shows a long design; it requires a long mat, and would
not look well on a square one.

All mats here considered are about 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch in width of
straw. Some of the designs are used exactly as they are, counting
a straw for a square which represents a straw in the design; the
others are double in size and contain four times as many squares
in the weave as in the design. In such cases twice the count of the
design will always give the right number for the weave.

In circular mats the directions are given in inches. The sizes of
the mats should be taken into consideration, but a variance of a few
inches will not matter if that variance always makes the mat larger
rather than smaller. In these mats more is left to the judgment of
the weaver than in rectangular mats. Designs should never be crowded
on circular mats. Repeated groups should always be made exactly alike.

In the color notes, a series of colors set off by commas indicates
that each series may be used alone for the whole design. Often the
deep colors, especially No. 1, have been left out, as the effect of
a very dark color on a very light mat is often startling. Designs on
mats or hangings should not be more conspicuous than the mat itself,
but should rather present a complete and harmonious appearance when
both mat and design are considered as a whole.

Circular Mats.

Design A.

The straws of a circular mat cannot be counted and then divided
equally by numbers, as straws are continually added at irregular
intervals as the circumference is being reached. Hence, the only way
to place designs on a mat of this kind is by dividing the whole mat
with a diameter through its center.

Fold the mat and make a crease at the edges or mark a diameter
through it with a pencil; at right angles to this diameter draw
another through the same center, and the mat will now be divided into
equal quadrants. The quadrants may again be divided and subdivided,
and marked by pencil or with strings.

In Design A the mat is about 57 inches in diameter. In a mat of
this size there would be 48 units in the circle with a margin of
1-1/2 inches from the outer edge of the outer border line to the
circumference of the mat. Divide the mat into halves, quarters,
eighths, and sixteenths, and measure with strings. Each sixteenth
contains three units. Divide this space into three equal parts.

Now embroider in each third one exact unit. In weaving in the unit,
always commence on its outer edge; then if any slight variation of
space has occurred, the irregularity will not be noticeable, as it
will be in the line work of the unit, and not in its solid part. Each
unit made in working as suggested from the outer edge inward will
begin the other half of a solid figure already commenced. Notice the
part of the design which has been marked off as one unit, and adhere
to that arrangement.

This design may be placed on a mat 57 inches in diameter, or 114
inches in diameter making each figure with twice as many straws as
in the first.

In ticug mats of natural straw, this design may be done in the
following colors:

No. 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 12, 15, or 16. (12 and 16 should not be used
on sabutan.)

No. 14, with a solid diamond and outer border line in No. 3.

No. 3, 6, 9, or 10, with outer border line extending to edge of mat.

Design B.

In Design B, the mat should be 56 inches in diameter. In each sixteenth
of the mat, as in Design A, three units can be spaced. Note the unit
marked off in the design and use only this unit; weave its two outer
solid parts first, with the irregularities of space occurring in the
open part of the unit. [35]

Mats woven for this design should be 56 or 112 inches in diameter. In
mats of the latter size the numbers of straws are all doubled.

In mats of natural straw, the following colors may be used:

No. 2, 3, 6, 10, 15, or 16. (16 should not be used on sabutan.)

Circular Fish Design.

This design calls for the division of a circular mat into sixths or
twelfths, according to the size of the mat. The diameters of mats for
this design may be, 244 (about 4 feet); 304 (5 feet); 335 (6 feet);
and 366 straws (7 feet). To divide a circle into sixths, mark off
the circumference into distances equal to 1/2 of the diameter.

In a mat of 244 straws diameter, make the outside border line one
inch from the edges of the mat. About 9 inches inside of the outer
border line, weave another border line one-half inch wide. Midway
between these two border lines, measure and mark the space for the
center fish, making it 30 counts long, 20 on the left and 10 on the
right of the dividing line.

Measure spaces on the other five dividing lines to locate the central
fish of each group. After weaving these central fish, go back to the
first group, estimate and mark the place for the upper fish and the
lower fish, and weave them, making each of the same size and proportion
as the central fish, as shown in the design.

In mat 304, as noted above, the border lines and all the fish are
the same size as in mat 244.

In mat 335 all measurements are the same as in the above mats,
except that the circle is divided into twelfths instead of sixths,
making twice as many groups of fish.

In mat 366 the outer border line is 2 inches from the edge of the mat
instead of 1 inch and is 1 1/2 inches thick. The other measurements
are the same as in mat 335.

In mats of natural straw, the following colors may be used: No. 2,
3, 6, 10, 12, or 15. (12 should not be used on sabutan.)

Gecko Design.

Mats woven for this design should be of the following diameters: 304
(5 feet); 335 (6 feet); 366 straws (7 feet).

Divide the circle into sixths, then into twelfths. Weave a border
band on the edge of the mat 3/4 inch wide. This band is not in the
design but will come outside, and reach to the circumference line in
the design. Down one of the twelve dividing lines, inside the border
band, measure off 3 1/2 inches and weave a gecko, half on one side
and half on the other side of the line, extending the tail about 5
1/2 inches toward the center of the mat. Weave the two on each side
of this gecko, and the four above it. Now space and weave the other
five groups. Each group contains seven figures.

The only difference in the larger mats will be in the spacing between
the tails. The groups should be spaced the same as before.

In ticug mats of natural straw, the following colors may be used:

No. 1 with band of No. 3.

No. 1 with band of No. 9.

No. 12 with band of No. 15. (No. 3 should not be used on sabutan.)

No. (singly) 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, or 15.

Geometric Design F.

The distance from A (the corner of the mat) to B is 12 straws;
from B to C is 2;
from C to D is 18;
from D to E is 29;
from D to H is 16;
from H to I is 32;
from E to F is 19; and
from F to G is 5.

Count from A to B. Weave from B to C and on around the entire mat.

Count from C to D and weave corner D H J E L. Weave all of the four
corner designs exactly like D H J E L. Count from E to F and weave
the two inner border lines around the entire mat.

Now count from H to I and mark similar points across one side. Weave
from H to I. Weave from I to the next point (32 counts distant) the
exact design between H and I. Weave at each point marked. Complete
all four sides in a similar manner.

Mats woven for this design should be made in the following sizes:

310 by 534--from A to B is 34 straws;
266 by 394--from A to B is 22;
512 by 704--from A to B is 12;
320 by 512--from A to B is 12 (double count);
320 by 576--from A to B is 12 (double count).

In the last two sizes make the design twice as large as the count;
that is, A B should be 24, B C should be 4, C D should be 36, etc.

In mats of natural color straw, the following colors may be used:

No. 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 12, 15, or 16, each alone. (12 and 16 should not
be used on sabutan.)

Geometric Design V.

The distance from the corner of the mat A to B is 22 straws;
from B to C is 12;
from C to D is 4;
from D to F is 2;
from D to E is 15;
from F to G is 15;
from L to M is 14;
from C to N is 38;
from N to O is 12;
from F to P is 20; and
from P to Q is 25.

Count from A to B. At B weave the corner double square and continue
on at FD to GE. Now weave the double square G H J E. Next weave the
double squares in all four corners of the mat.

Now count from P to Q and mark. In the same way mark all the centers of
the squares along the outer border line from corner to corner. Weave
these squares, then the lines joining them. Weave down from L to M
and continue the design on the inner border line, making double lines
like L M as the weaving progresses.

Mats woven for this design should be of the following sizes:
228 by 378--from A to B is 22 straws;
253 by 403--from A to B is 22 straws;
311 by 536--from A to B is 30 straws;
536 by 686--from A to B is 30 straws.

In straw mats of natural color, the following colors may be used:
No. 2, 3, 6, 10, or 15.

Geometric Design X.

The distance from A (corner of mat) to B is 22 straws (counting the
fold at A);
from B to C is 8;
from C to D is 5;
from D to E is 4;
from E to F is 20;
from F to G is 4;
from G to H is 3;
from H to I is 6; and
from J to L is 52.

Count from A to B and weave border line around the entire mat. Count
from B to C and weave C D and over to J, back to H, over to K and back
to C. Weave inner part of corner design. Weave inner border line at
I entirely around the mat. Weave all four corner designs. Mark off J
L, and L M, and M N, etc., until the corner is reached, making L M,
M N, etc., each equal to J L. Weave all designs on side now spaced
off. Space off and mark each side of the mat, before weaving. Weave
all sides, completing the mat.

Mats woven for this design should be in the following sizes:
269 by 425;
321 by 529;
425 by 685;
165 by 425.

In mats of uncolored straw, the following colors may be used:

No. 2, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, or 16. (12 and 16 should not be used on

Geometric Design Z.

The distance from the corner A to B is 12 straws;
from B to C is 3;
from C to D is 16;
from D to E is 8;
from E to F is 26;
from F to G is 17;
from G to H is 4;
from D to K is 17;
from K to L is 12;
from L to M is 17; and
from I to J is 29.

Count down from A to B and weave the border lines B C around the
entire mat. Count from C to D and weave the outer square of the corner
figure. Complete the corner figure to I and N. Count from F to G and
weave G H around the entire mat. Complete all four corner designs.

Count from I to J and mark. From J count a distance equal to I J
and mark. Make similar marks until the corner is reached. Weave the
design I L M J between all these marks. Space off each side of the
mat in the same way and finish the design on all sides.

Mats woven for this design should be of the following sizes:
309 by 541--from A to B is 12 straws;
319 by 551--from A to B is 22 straws;
280 by 454--from A to B is 12 straws;
551 by 696--from A to B is 22 straws.

On mats of uncolored straw, the following colors may be used:

No. 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 15, or 16. (16 should not be used on sabutan.)

No. 14 for border lines and the four large spots in the side of each
square; No. 3 for the remainder of the design.

No. 12 with spots and border lines of No. 3.

Large Banca Design. [36]

Distance from corner A to B is 41 straws;
from B to C, 2;
from B to G, 31;
from G to S, 5;
from C to D, 35;
from D to E, 2; and
from D to F, 10.

Begin weaving at letter B and weave the outer border line around the
entire mat. Next weave the inside border line beginning at D.

After finishing the border lines, weave all four corner designs.

Count from C to H, 9 straws;
from H to I, 5;
from I to J, 27;
from J to K, 5;
from L to M, 6; and
from N to O, 8.

Now weave from O to P. From P to Q is 4 straws, and from P to R is
7 straws.

Mats woven for this design should be:
239 by 425;
301 by 487;
301 by 549;
555 by 741.

In the last mat, 555 by 741, G to S is 8 instead of 5.

On ticug mats of natural straw this design may be embroidered in the
following colors:

No. 2, 3, 6, or 15, solid.

No. 14 with border lines of No. 15 (except on sabutan).

No. 14 with border lines of No. 9.

Chick Design.

The distance from A to B is 50 straws (count first fold);
from B to C is 21;
from C to D is 6;
from D to E is 19;
from E to F is 7;
from F to G is 18;
from H to I is 5; and
from G to J is 54.

Count down from corner A to B and weave the corner design. Now weave
all four corner designs. Begin at F and weave the inner border line
entirely around the mat.

Count from F to G and weave the design above G. Count from H to I and
weave the second design. Now count from G to J and weave the figure
above J exactly like the figure above G.

Mats woven for this design should be 254 by 416, 308 by 524, 416
by 524, or 590 by 806 straws. The last mat has a change in margin,
and the distance from A to B is 58 straws.

This mat may be embroidered in the following colors:

No. 3, 6, 10, or 15.

Orchid Design.

The distance from the corner A to B is 13 straws;
from B to C, 2;
from C to D, 19;
from D to E, 35;
from E to F, 17;
from C to F, 71;
from F to G, 2;
from G to H, 19;
from M to N, 6;
from F to M, 67;
from M to K, 13; and
from K to J, 19.

Begin weaving at B and weave the outside border line around the entire
mat. Next count from C to F and weave the inside border line. Now
weave all four corner designs. Count from F to M, then up to K,
and weave from K to J. [37]

To find the position of the next design count 81 straws beyond L
along the inner border line, and then up the same distance as L K.

Mats woven for this design should be 301 by 544; 220 by 382; 301 by
463; and 550 by 712 straws. In mat 550 by 712, A B is 17 straws.

In mats of natural color straw, the following colors may be used in
the designs:

No. 2, 3, 6, or 15 solid.

No. 3 with flowers of No. 1 and border lines of No. 9 except on

No. 12 with flowers of No. 7 and border lines of No. 15.

Woman Carrying Clothes Design.

The distance from A to B is 29 straws;
from B to C is 2;
from C to D is 36;
from I to J is 3;
from B to E is 11;
from E to K is 9;
from E to F is 21;
from F to G is 3; and
from G to H is 10.

Count from A, the corner of the mat, to B. At B begin to weave the
border line. Weave first to E, then entirely around the mat.

Now count from C to D and weave the inner border line entirely around
the mat. Next, weave in the four corner designs. Count from E to F,
then down to G. From G to H is 10 straws. Now weave the first two
designs on the side and then the next two, and so on.

Mats woven for this design should be 300 by 392; 304 by 534; 254 by
346; or 568 by 706.

On all of these mats the design will look better if twice the size
of the pattern. Therefore all the above distances will be double,
or as follows:

A to B, 58 straws;
B to C, 4;
B to E, 22;
E to F, 42;
C to D, 72 straws;
I to J, 6;
E to K, 18;
F to G, 6.

In mat 304 by 534, E to K is 20 and A to B is 51 (already double). In
mat 568 by 706, from A (corner of mat) to B is 39, making E to K 14
straws (already doubled).

This design in ticug straw will work up well in No. 5 solid; in No. 4
solid; in No. 3 solid; in No. 5 with No. 2 as inner and outer border
line, or with No. 1 as inner and outer border line.

This design on sabutan straw may be made in No. 1 solid; in No. 2
solid; in No. 5 solid; in No. 6 solid; in No. 2 with No. 1 for border
lines; in No. 4 with No. 1 for border lines; or in No. 5 with No. 1
for border lines.

This design will work up well in the following colors: No. 2, 3, 6,
or 15.

Lavandera Design.

The distance from A to B is 15 straws;
from B to C is 4;
from C to D is 40;
from D to E is 21;
from E to F is 3;
from F to G is 4;
from G to H is 3;
from D to I is 12;
from I to J is 13;
from I to K is 18;
from K to O is 5;
from O to L is 2;
from L to M is 26; and
from M to N is 28.

Count down from A to B and mark B and C. Place similar marks at the
three other corners of the mat. Weave the border line around the
entire mat, touching the marked points. Count from C to G, mark,
and do the same in the other three corners.

Weave G H around the mat, touching the marked points at the
corners. Count from C to D and over to I, and weave I J. Weave the
whole figure just started, and the figure facing it, including the
ground line beneath. Weave the other corners in a similar manner.

At K count to O, back to L, over to M, and weave the figure beneath
M. Mark off L M and M N. Now continue marking alternately across
the side spaces equal to L M and M N, making the last space equal to
L M. Weave the figure between these marks and continue marking and
weaving in the same way on the other sides.

Mats woven for this design should be made:
237 by 399;
345 by 507;
690 by 1014 (units double size);
453 by 615.

In ticug mats of natural straw the following colors may be used:

No. 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 15, or 16, solid. (16 should not be used on

Man with Bow and Arrow Design.

The distance from A to B is 20 straws;
from B to C is 2;
from C to D is 30;
from D to E is 17;
from E to F is 66;
from F to G is 3;
from G to H is 11 1/2;
from H to I is 9;
from J to K is 17;
from I to L is 33; and
from L to M is 14 1/2.

Count from A to B. At B weave the border band around the entire
mat. Count from C to F (113) and weave the inner border line around
the entire mat. Now weave all four corner designs. Count from G to
H and up to I, and weave the two figures.

To place the next two figures, which are exactly like the two just
woven, count out from J, 17 straws, and repeat from K which is the
tip of the arrow of the first figure, just made.

Mats woven for this design should be:
345 by 501, 9 straws;
505 by 739, 11;
739 by 1051, 11.

In mats 505 by 739, and 739 by 1051, from A to B is 24 straws.

This design in tikug may be worked up in the following colors on
natural color straw:

Solid, No. 2, 3, 6, 10, or 15.

Casa Design.

The distance from the corner A to B is 22 straws;
from B to C is 33;
from C to D is 24; and
from F to G is 17.

Count down from A to B and weave border line around the entire
mat. Now count from B to D and from D to E, 3 1/2 straws, and commence
weaving the inner border line. When completed, weave in all four corner
designs. Count from F to G and weave in the next design, and so on. Let
H I, the steps, be on the left of every casa except the corner ones.

Mats woven for this design should be 254 by 407 straws; 271 by 424;
304 by 542 (double); 406 by 542 (double); or 576 by 712. In the last
three of these, 304 by 542, 406 by 542, and 576 by 712, the counts
should all be doubled, the designs being twice the size of those in the
first two mats; that is, from A to B will be 44, B to C, 66, and so on.

Tikug mats in natural straw may be embroidered in the following colors:

No. 14 for casa, No. 12 for tree, No. 15 for border lines except
on sabutan;

No. 3 for casa, No. 15 for tree, No. 8 for border lines; and Nos. 2,
3, 6, 9, 10, 12, 15, or 16, solid;

No. 16 should not be used on sabutan.

Chicken Vender Design.

The distance from the corner A to B is 15 straws, counting the corner
fold as 1. All counts in this design are woven double.

Therefore from A to B is 30;
from B to C is 17 by 2 or 34;
from C to D is 44;
from E to G is 16;
from F to H is 14;
from B to D is 78;
from G to I is 24; and
from J to K is 30.

Notice that the space on the right of the corner is one less than
the space on the left; this will occur on the right and left of
each corner. Count down from corner A to B and weave a line entirely
around the mat. Count from B to D and weave the inner border line. Now
weave the basket in each corner. Then weave from G to I and J to K,
and so on.

Mats woven for this design should be:
332 (7) by 512 (12)--from A to B is 30 straws;
260 (5) by 404 (9)--from A to B is 30;
260 (5) by 476 (11)--from A to B is 30; or
512 by 692 (17)--from A to B is 30.

On tikug mats of natural color this design may be embroidered in the
following colors:

No. 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 12, 15, or 16. (16 should not be used on sabutan).

No. 14 with a single straw outline and solid border lines of No. 9,
8, or 3.

No. 14 with outlines of No. 3 and baskets and hats of No. 1, except
on sabutan.

Carabao, Cart, and Driver Design.

The distance from A to B is 32 straws, but it must be woven twice
that size, making A B equal 64.

All the sizes given below are double the count on the drawings:
from A to B is 64;
from B to C is 40;
from C to D is 18;
from D to E is 6;
from D to F is 8;
from A to D is 122;
from B to I is 30; and
from G to H is 16.

Count from the corner A to B and weave B C. Count from A to D and
mark off D. Count from C to D and test the count. From each corner
of the mat make a count similar to A D and mark. Weave the border
line, commencing at D, around the entire mat, touching the marks at
the corners. Weave design B C, and a similar design in each remaining
corner. Count from B to I and weave design I J. At J count 2 and weave
another design like I J facing I J. The space between the backs of
the carts, not shown on this diagram, is 6.

Mats woven for this design should be in the following sizes:
258 by 396;
258 by 534;
396 by 534;
534 by 672; or
672 by 810.

In tikug mats of natural color straw the following colors may be used:

Singly, No. 2, 3, 6, 10, or 15; and No. 3 with border line of No. 9.

Rooster Design.

The distance from the corner A to B is 13 by 2 or 26 (counts in this
design are all double);
from B to C is 28 by 2 or 56;
from C to D is 5 by 2 or 10;
from D to E is 26 by 2 or 52;
from E to F is 3 by 2 or 6;
from E to O is 3;
from O to G is 11;
from H to J is 11;
from G to H is 56 by 2 or 112.

Count from A to B in all four corners and mark B in each corner. Join
all the B's by a double border line. At the first B, count down
to C and over to D and weave D E. Count from E to O and up to G and
mark. Mark H, counting from G. Mark J, counting from H. Mark all points
similar to H and J on this side of the mat, counting back from the
corner a space equal to G B. Now weave all designs on this side of the
mat. Mark off spaces on each side of the mat before weaving that side.

Mats woven for this design should be 202 by 538; 314 by 538; or 426
by 650.

In tikug mats of natural color straw the following colors may be used:

No. 2, 3, 6, 10, 15, or 16. (16 should not be used on sabutan.)

No. 3, cock; No. 14, comb, (three squares from I to C and two above
M); No. 1, legs and feet; No. 15, grass and other border line. (On
sabutan use No. 14 instead of No. 1 for legs and feet).

Carabao Head Design.

The distance from A to B is 25 straws;
from B to C is 3;
from C to D is 23;
from D to E is 3;
from E to F is 4;
from F to G is 11;
from G to H is 31;
from F to I is 22;
from H to J is 3;
from I to K is 37;
from L to M is 11;
from I to N is 12;
from N to O is 12 1/2; and
from I to P is 7.

Count from the corner A to B and mark. Count the same number in from
every corner and mark. At B weave the border line the thickness
of B C around the entire mat, intersecting the marks at the other
three corners.

Count C D and weave the corner design D G. Count from G to H and
mark. Count from B to H and see if the mark is correct. Mark off B H
in the other three corners and weave the border line H J around the
entire mat. Now weave the other three corner designs. Count from F
to I and mark. Count from I to K and mark.

From K on, mark off distances like I K along this side of the mat
until the last point is reached. The remaining space to the point
similar to F will equal I F. Now weave the intervening designs,
and complete the mat.

Mats woven for this design should be of the following sizes:
319 by 541;
257 by 405;
490 by 712; or
393 by 541.

In tikug mats of natural color straw the following colors may be used:

No. 3, carabao and all border lines; No. 15, grasses.

No. 2, 3, 6, 9, or 15.

Fishtail Palm Design.

This is an "all over" design. The unit counts are as follows:
from A to B is 33 straws;
from B to C is 11;
from C to D is 22;
from E to F is 35;
from E to G is 5.

From the corner of the mat, A, on the long edge, count down to B. At
B count in to C. Mark C O D E F and weave the design. From D count
44, and a point similar to C will be reached. Weave the same pattern
again. From F count 55, and a point similar to E will be reached. Weave
the same pattern again.

Measuring as at the first corner A, mark off spaces and weave all
three other corner designs. Weave all intervening designs, first
between corners on the sides of the mat, then on the interior.

Mats woven for this design should be:
374 by 520;
506 by 700;
572 by 790;
638 by 880.

In tikug mats of natural straw, the following colors may be used
separately, not in combination:

No. 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, or 15.


[1] Banig, petate, ikamen, dase.

[2] Meaning coarse stuff.

[3] Bayones, bayong, canastro, banyot.

[4] The Bureau of Education has taken steps to procure a series of dyes
suited to each one of the mat straws and other important fibers used
in household industries and industrial instruction in the Philippines.

[5] A tint is a paler or less intense tone than the standard color. A
shade is a darker, more intense tone of the standard color.

[6] Bulletin No. 33 of the Bureau of Education, entitled "Philippine

[7] This office is indebted to Mr. E. D. Merrill, Botanist, Bureau of
Science, Manila, P. I., for placing at its disposal an unpublished
manuscript on the Flora of Manila. Information from the following
sources is also acknowledged:

        Engler and Prantl: Das Pflanzenreich.
        Hooker's Flora of British India, 1894.
        Blanco's Flora de Filipinas, 1877.

The sugar and alcohol produced by the palms are discussed by
Dr. H. D. Gibbs in the Journal of Science, Manila, Vol. VI, Sec. A,
No. 3. Hats are also discussed by Mr. C. B. Robinson in the same
Journal, Vol. VI, Sec. C, No. 2.

[8] Buri (in most localities), buli or búle, silag, ebus.

[9] It is probable that some of the double Moro mats which will be
described under the heading "Pandan Straws" are woven from buri straw.

[10] Due to the efforts of Elmer D. Merrill and A. D. E. Elmer,
Botanists of Manila, aided by Prof. Martelli, of Florence, Italy,
our knowledge of Philippine pandans has been greatly broadened. It is
hoped that interested persons into whose hands this paper may come will
help to extend it by sending specimens of pandans for identification
to the Bureau of Education, Manila. Such specimens should consist of
the ripe fruit and of at least two full-grown leaves from which no
spines or tips have been removed, and which have been cut as close
as possible to the stem.

[11] Bulletin No. 33, Bureau of Education. Journal of Science, Manila,
Vol. VI, Sec. C, No. 2.

[12] To settle, if possible, the question of whether sabutan flowers
and fruits, inquiries and investigations on the ground were made
in Tanay and Pililla by a representative of the General Office of
the Bureau of Education. The people interviewed in these towns were
positive in their statements that they had never seen the fruit of
this pandan though they did remember seeing the flower. Every possible
effort was made to get accurate, reliable information. An old man was
engaged as guide and a male inflorescence of sabutan was found in a
patch located on a hillside, under the shade of trees and surrounded by
considerable underbrush. The patch, according to the statement of the
old man was older than he could remember; the age of the guide was,
perhaps, between sixty and seventy years. The flowers were odorous
and covered with small brown insects almost hiding the inflorescence.

[13] Plain double pandan mats, the material of which resembles sabutan,
are imported from Singapore and sold by Chinese storekeepers in
Manila in large quantities. They are roughly made and the fact that
they are double permits the unfinished edges to be turned under and
sewed down with coarse red cotton twine. They sell for a little less
than the plain, single, Tanay sabutan mats with finished edges.

[14] It is very difficult to obtain definite information with exact
figures. These statements were made by a woman expert in weaving mats,
and owing to the frank answers to the questions put, her information
seems more reliable than that of the usual weaver interviewed. Other
persons state that from two to six leaves are taken from a plant
every month.

[15] Three liters equal 1 ganta.

[16] Sabutan lends itself easily to the fabrication of pocketbooks
useful as purses, card-cases or cigarette-cases. From it can also be
made very pretty, strong, durable and useful handbags. The weaving
of both of these articles has been taken up in the schools of Tanay,
but it is not as yet commercial in the town. Sets consisting of a
handbag and a pocketbook in the same color and design are attractive.

[17] Sabutan suckers may be purchased from several firms in Manila at
P5 per hundred, freight prepaid. In shipping, the plants are packed
in baskets so that they can be easily handled. It is believed by
persons who have received shipments from this source that the plants
will remain in good condition out of the ground for a week or more
during shipment. Hence it is not advisable for places more remote
than one week from Manila to order any of these plants. For further
information see Circular No. 82, s. 1911, Bureau of Education. It is
probable that suckers can be obtained from the cultivated plants in
about a year after they are set out.

[18] At this writing no data are at hand as to the preparation
of sarakat straw, but it is probably made simply by drying. It is
possible that much stronger and more pliable straw could be obtained if
a process such as is used in the preparation of sabutan were followed.

[19] Vol. I, No. 1 of the Philippine Agriculturist and Forester. A
description of the plant occurs in Mr. A. D. E. Elmer's leaflets.

[20] It is probable that the improved Andes stripper can be utilized
in the cutting of pandan straws.

[21] Arrangements are now being made through the schools for the
introduction of sabutan plants into the towns of Majayjay and Luisiana.

[22] Most of the information on "karagumoy" is taken from the report
submitted to the Director of Education by Mr. Ralph E. Spencer.

[23] The average was obtained by measuring accurately a number of
specimens of the species sent in to the Bureau of Education from
various provinces

[24] Its most common name is bariu, spelled also bario, balio,
balewe, baleau. In Occidental Negros it is also called, balean,
barog in Surigao, batin in Capiz.

[25] Robinson, in Vol. VI, No. 2, Section C of the Journal of Science,
states that this sedge also grows on the eastern side of Luzon.

[26] F. meliacea is also known as tikug in Samar but it cannot be
used in weaving.

[27] In pulling up tikug the whole stalk can generally be obtained
by grasping it a short distance below the top. It is made into small
bundles and tied a short distance below the seed heads. Each bundle
contains from forty to sixty straws. In all towns except Basey
the weavers gather the stalks they use. At Basey, however, where
weaving of mats is a recognized industry, the straw is obtained from
country people who make it a business to gather and sell it. These
tikug vendors carry the bundles of green straw to the town, where
they sell for from forty centavos to one peso per hundred bundles,
depending upon the length of the straws.

[28] The high cost of these dyes results from the adulteration
practiced and the exorbitant profits, usually about 450 per cent. It
is expected that the new dyes obtained from Germany through the Bureau
of Education will make a saving of about 80 per cent to the workers.

[29] The following story is reported as showing the cleverness of
the weavers of Basey in embroidering designs on mats. An engineer in
charge of road construction refused to buy certain mats from a vendor
but stated, jokingly, and in order to be rid of the insistent merchant,
that if he were brought mats having designs which were of interest to
him, as showing scenes connected with his work, he would buy them. In
a few weeks the broker returned, bringing with him a large mat on which
were displayed a road roller, wheel barrows, shovels, spades and other
implements connected with road building, and part of a road itself.

[30] In general it may be stated that the sabutan and tikug mats are
the strongest made in the Philippines. Neither the wearing qualities
of the straw nor the permanency of the dyes in buri mats are equal
to those of tikug. If tikug floor mats become dirty they may be
cleaned without injury if the dyeing was well done. They should be
shaken to remove dust and dirt, laid flat on the floor and lightly
scrubbed with a cloth, sponge or brush, using lukewarm soapsuds,
after which cold water should be thrown on them. They are dried by
hanging in the sunshine or the breeze.

[31] A firm has recently entered the field and is doing a mail order
business in these mats with the United States. Their plans include
the furnishing of straw and dyes to the weavers and the weaving of
standard designs.

[32] Most of the information given under this heading was taken from
reports by Percy M. Jones and Frank Thomason, formerly supervising
teachers of Bohol.

[33] Circular No. 82, s. 1911, Bureau of Education.

[34] Based on original designs by Mrs. Alice Brezina.

[35] Three units will take up about 3 times 17, or 51 straws. In
starting, a curved pattern 51 straws across will have to be made and
slipped up or down in a sixteenth division of the mat in order that
the margin space may be determined.

[36] This design, in all cases except where G S is 8 instead of 5,
would look well with the outer border line broadened to the edge of
the mat. This is a suggestion only; it means a great deal of work.

[37] Weave large solid parts of designs first, when possible, and
slight mistakes of one or two straws, which may happen, will then occur
in open parts where they will show very little. Mistakes of this kind
are only allowable in cases of flaws in the mat which is used.


Annual Reports:

First Annual Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction,
1901. (Edition exhausted.)

Second Annual Report of the General Superintendent of Public
Instruction, 1902. (Edition exhausted.)

Third Annual Report of the General Superintendent of Education,
1903. (Edition exhausted.)

Fourth Annual Report of the General Superintendent of Education,
1904. (Edition exhausted.)

Fifth Annual Report of the General Superintendent of Education,
1905. (Not issued in printed form.)

Sixth Annual Report of the Director of Education, 1906.

Seventh Annual Report of the Director of Education, 1907.

Eighth Annual Report of the Director of Education, 1908. (Supply

Ninth Annual Report of the Director of Education, 1909.

Tenth Annual Report of the Director of Education, 1910. (Supply

Eleventh Annual Report of the Director of Education, 1911.

Twelfth Annual Report of the Director of Education, 1912.


1. The Philippine Normal School. Catalogue for 1903-4. English and
Spanish. April, 1904. (Obsolete.)

2. A Course of Study in Vocal Music for Vacation Normal
Institutes. May, 1904. (Edition exhausted.)

8. The Philippine School of Arts and Trades, Prospectus for
1904-5. English and Spanish. June, 1904. (Obsolete.)

4. The Philippine Nautical School, Prospectus for 1904-5. English
and Spanish. June, 1904. (Obsolete.)

5. Notes on the Treatment of Smallpox. June, 1904.

6. Reports of Industrial Exhibits of the Philippine Schools at the
Louisiana Purchase Exposition. June, 1904.

7. Courses of Instruction for the Public Schools of the Philippine
Islands. June, 1904. (Obsolete.)

8. Cursos de Enseñanza para las Escuelas Públicas de las Islas
Filipinas. (Spanish edition of Bulletin No. 7.) June, 1904. (Edition

9. A List of Philippine Baptismal Names. June, 1904. (Edition

10. Government in the United States. (Prepared for use in the
Philippine Public Schools.) June, 1904.

11. Courses in Mechanical Drawing, Woodworking, and Ironworking for
Provincial Secondary Schools. June, 1904. (Obsolete.)

12. Advanced and Post-Graduate Studies Offered by the Philippine
Normal School for Preparation for Entrance to American Colleges and
Universities or to the University of the Philippines. English and
Spanish. August, 1904. (Obsolete.)

13. Not issued in printed form.

14. The School Law of the Philippine Islands, as Amended by Acts of
the Philippine Commission to and including Act 1530, with Executive
Orders and Attorney-General's Opinions Affecting the Bureau of
Education. January, 1906. (Obsolete.)

15-20. Not issued in printed form.

21. Philippine Normal School. Catalogue for 1904-5. English and
Spanish. May, 1905. (Obsolete.)

22. Lessons on Familiar Philippine Animals. August, 1905. (Edition

23. Standard Course of Study in Vocal Music for the Public Schools of
the Philippine Islands. 1906. Revised and re-issued in 1910. (Editions

24. Outline of Year's Course in Botany and Key to the Families of
Vascular Plants in the Philippine Islands. August, 1906. Revised and
re-issued in 1907. Third edition issued in 1908. Fourth edition issued
in 1911.

25. Official Roster of the Bureau of Education, corrected to March 1,
1906. May, 1906. (Obsolete.)

26. High School and Secondary Courses of Instruction. June,
1906. (Obsolete.)

27. Philippine Normal School. Catalogue for 1906-7 and Prospectus
for 1907-8. May, 1907. (Obsolete.)

27 (A). Philippine Normal School, Courses of Study, Secondary
Course. January, 1908. (Obsolete.)

28. The Milkfish or Bangos. May, 1908. (Supply limited.)

29. Constructive Lessons in English, Designed for Use in Intermediate
Grades. August, 1910. Revised and re-issued, 1911. Third Edition, 1912.

80. Philippine Normal School, Catalogue for 1909-10 and Announcement
for 1910-11. June, 1910. (Obsolete.)

31. School and Home Gardening July 1910. (Now being revised)

32. Courses in Mechanical and Free-hand Drawing, for Use in Trade
and Intermediate Schools. December, 1910.

33. Philippine Hats. December, 1910. (Supply limited.)

34. Lace Making and Embroidery. December, 1910.

35. Housekeeping and Household Arts--A Manual for Work with the Girls
in the Elementary Schools of the Philippine Islands. February, 1911.

36. Catalogue and Announcement of the Philippine Normal School. May,
1911. (Edition exhausted.)

37. School Buildings, Part I. 1912.

38. School Buildings, Part II. 1912.

39. A Manual of Free-hand Drawing for Philippine Primary Schools. (In
course of preparation.)

40. Athletic Handbook for the Philippine Public Schools. (Now being

41. Service Manual of the Bureau of Education, 1911.

42. Intermediate English. II--Notes, Directions, and Aids to the
Preparation of the Correspondence Study Course, 1911.

43. Catalogue of the Philippine School of Arts and Trades, 1912.

44. Libraries for Philippine Public Schools.

45. The School of Household Industries, 1912.

46. Industrial Museum, Library, and Exhibits of the Bureau of

47. Good Manners and Right Conduct, for Use in Primary Grades.

48. A Course in Civics. (In course of preparation.)

49. Philippine Industrial Fibers. (In course of preparation.)

50. Arbor Day and School Holidays. (In course of preparation.)

51. The Philippine School of Commerce. 1913.

52. The Philippine School of Arts and Trades, Nautical
Department. 1913.

Civico-Educational Lectures:

1. The Rights and Duties of Citizens of the Philippines. 1910. (Supply

2. The Prevention of Diseases. 1910. (Supply limited.)

3. Rice. 1910. (Supply limited.)

4. Diseases of Animals. 1910. (Supply limited.)

5. Coconut Beetles. 1910. (Supply limited.)

6. The Housing of the Public Schools. 1910. (Supply limited.)

7. Coconuts. 1911.

8. Corn. 1912.

The Teachers' Assembly Herald:

Volume I, 1908. (Edition exhausted.)

Volume II, 1909. (Edition exhausted.)

Volume III, 1910. (Edition exhausted.)

Volume IV, 1911. (Supply limited.)

Volume V, 1912. (Supply limited.)

Volume VI, 1913. (Now current.)

The Philippine Craftsman:

A monthly school industrial magazine. Now current.


Woodworking, A Manual of Elementary Carpentry for Philippine Public
Schools, 1908.

Selected Short Poems by Representative American Authors. 1911.

Commercial Geography: the Materials of Commerce for the
Philippines. 1911.

Macaulay's Samuel Johnson; Emerson's Self Reliance; Lincoln's
Gettysburg Address. 1911.

An Introduction to the Study of Colonial History.

Economic Conditions in the Philippines. (In course of preparation.)

Miscellaneous Problems for Trade Schools and Trades Classes in the
Philippine Public Schools. (In course of preparation.)

Housekeeping--A Textbook for Girls in the Public Schools of the
Philippine Islands. (In course of preparation.)

A Primary Sewing Course. (In course of preparation.)


Suggestions for the Third Annual Observance of Arbor Day in Philippine
Schools, 1908.

Domestic Science, a Guide to Practical Instruction in Housekeeping,
Sewing, Cooking and Laundering in Grades Three and Four of the
Philippine Public Schools, 1908.

Abraham Lincoln--a Collection of Passages from His Speeches and
Letters, with Brief Comments, 1909. (Supply exhausted.)

Some Recipes for Preparing Jellies, Preserves, Pickles, and Candies
from Philippine Fruits, 1911. (Supply exhausted.)

Syllabus of Economic Conditions in the Philippines, 1911. (Supply

Second Annual Report on Private Schools and Colleges of the Philippine
Islands, 1911.

Third Annual Report on Private Schools and Colleges of the Philippine
Islands. 1912.

A Statement of Organization, Aims and Conditions of Service in the
Bureau of Education, Published for General Information. Several
editions printed at Manila and Washington.

Los Fines y la Organización de las Escuelas Públicas de Filipinas. (In
course of preparation.) (Tagalog translation in course of preparation.)

A Talk on Health Conditions in the Philippines. Dr. Victor G. Heiser,
Director of Health

Craftsman Reprints:

I. Philippine Mats.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Philippine Mats - Philippine Craftsman Reprint Series No. 1" ***

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