The most popular and still existing finished item of Iloilo’s weaving industry in the patadyong or wrap- around. Made of cotton blends in plaid pattern. It is a tubular square cloth that you sort of “shoot” yourself into and then tie by the chest, leaving the shoulders and neck bare.
By and large, the persistence of the patadyong could be explained in terms of the multiple traditional uses. As a skirt or wrap-around, it is comfortable to the wearer and make one feel secure. A very versatile piece of garment, it serves as an umbrella to protect one from the heat of the sun and onslaught of the rain. Being absorbent and most convenient for wiping hands, head and face, especially when one is working, it serves as a towel and aprons combined. It functions also as a one-piece bathing suit. Up until 1970, women in the rural areas used a patadyong to take a bath in, or to cover themselves with, while doing the laundry in the river. It can also serve as a divider or private nook where one can change her attire. When hooked in a beam, in the wall or ceiling, it functions as a crib for the baby. Or, it can be used as a sling to carry the baby while walking or moving around. Oftentimes, in the absence of a rope, it can be utilized to tie together elongated objects.
The patadyong can be utilized as a curtain and a decorative piece to hang on the wall or from the ceiling, or it can be used a table cover. In the rural areas, it is also being used to handle newly harvested palay (rice grain) and fresh fruits and vegetables. And of course, in the absence of a mat or a blanket, when one gets down from a much-needed rest, the patadyong can serve as both. On special occasion the patadyong is popularly used with a kimona in a skirt-and-blouse ensemble as displayed here.
To the Panay weavers (of which Iloilo is part) the patadyong will always be needed and the use of it cannot be filled by anything else. The patadyong in a sense, is not just a fabric, but is part and parcel of Panayanon history and culture.