Philippine Center New York

Crystal Seas: April 20 – May 1, 2015


Crystal Seas was established in January 2006 as an export-manufacturing company that promotes the fine hand-weaving traditions of the Philippines. Its designs showcase the expertise and craftsmanship of Mindanao artisans translated into fashion items such as bags, shawls, and accessories made of natural materials like shells, fiber and exotic leather.

Crystal Seas partners with various communities in Southern Philippines by providing skills training and product development for better employment opportunities. Women and out-of-school youth from Davao City are trained in sewing and assembly of bags and fashion jewelry.

Determined to deliver quality products and to meet high standards of the export market, Crystal Seas pursues innovation in new materials and methods, while preserving Mindanao culture and traditions.

Materials used:

  1. Tinalak is a hand-woven fabric of abaca fibers made by the T’Boli tribe, also known as the Dreamweavers.

  2. Inaul is a colorful hand-woven fabric of the Maguindanao tribe. It is sometimes called Mindanao Silk.

  3. Yakan cloth is a colorful cotton fabric that features geometric patterns by the Yakan tribe of Zamboanga.

  4. Sea snake leather indigenous to the Philippines.

  5. Buntal is a hand-woven mat made of fan palm fibers.

  6. Natural colored shells

  7. Bead embroidery is a tradition of Southern Philippine tribes, collectively known as the Lumads of Mindanao. Shell, pearls, and glass beads are meticulously sewn into intricate patterns. These designs often depict motifs from nature such as flowers, birds, and trees.

Crystal seas