DOST-PTRI Partnership Launches First Textile Design Workshop

10 May 2024

Last May 4, the Bachelor in Textile Design program at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde  hosted the workshop “Colors of Nature: Natural Dye Talk and Workshop.” It drew Senior High School students interested in pursuing a design career from various institutions like De La Salle University, La Salle Green Hills, Arellano University, Ateneo de Manila University, University of Santo Tomas, Malabon National High School, OB Montessori Center, Pasig Catholic Center, San Beda College, and Philippine High School for the Arts, among others.

During the workshop, students gained hands-on experience with natural dye paints developed by DOST-PTRI, learning to paint fabrics with eco-friendly materials like Talisay, Turmeric, and Mahogany plants. Ms. Diana Jean U. Katigbak, Textile Design Program Coordinator, emphasized the importance of orienting young creatives with the basics of natural dyes sourced from scientific research.

“They have a unique perspective that allows new breakthroughs in design. Our workshop aims to give new knowledge to the youth on the basics of natural dyes and their sources based on science and research which makes a good foundation for exploring the different application possibilities for natural dye materials.” Ms. Katigbak said. This knowledge lays a solid foundation for sustainable and aesthetically pleasing design practices.

The MOU with DOST-PTRI extends the engagement to several programs under the School of Environment and Design, including Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Bachelor of Arts major in Fashion Design and Merchandising, Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design, and Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. Benilde Chancellor Benhur Ong, in his welcome remarks, emphasized “Our commitment to fostering creativity and advancing research is a cornerstone of our institution. The School of Environment and Design champions collaborative creative research emphasizing the essential role of technology in pushing the boundaries of design.”

Chancellor Ong added “We see DOST-PTRI as an ideal partner in this endeavor. Their expertise in research and development complements our focus on technological advancement allowing us to work together to create impacting solutions and the textile design industries.”

The signing ceremony, held at the Design+Arts Campus, saw the presence of DOST-PTRI representatives Dr. Julius L. Leaño Jr. and Zailla F. Payag, alongside Benilde officials Chancellor Mr. Benhur A. Ong, Vice Chancellor for Academics Angelo Marco U. Lacson, SED Dean AR. Harvey A. Vasquez, and Textile Design Program Coordinator Ms. Diana Jean U. Katigbak.

“We are training the new stewards of this rebounding textile industry hinged on the very passionate idea of design, and that design was the realization of what is truly ours, what is truly Filipino, and what embodies the values that we stand for.” Dr. Leaño of DOST-PTRI commented.

He mused: if a material was woven in the Philippines, is it automatically considered a Filipino product? What if the materials used were just imported from somewhere else? These are the details that are not often seen, but questions that the Department now asks as we pivot to the perspective of realizing its impact in the industry. “These collaborative efforts put us in a very good stance to be able to confront the requirements of the industry and the challenges of ethical design, and the truly Filipino concept of what is really ours. That sense of humility and profound acceptance propels you to a greater, bigger platform, which the world actually is standing on and that Filipino identity is the core of substance of this collaboration.”

True to Benilde’s trailblazing DNA, the College launches the Bachelor in Textile Design program, the first standalone textile program in the Philippines. Open for admissions for the Academic Year 2024-2025, the program aims to revitalize the Philippine textile industry by tapping into our rich Filipino culture and heritage to produce world-class products.

For more information on Benilde’s undergraduate programs, contact us at (63) 2 8230 5100 local 1801 or You may also visit our website at

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