Van Phuc silk village is located about fifteen kilometers from the center of Hanoi, the village of Van Phuc is similar to a silk ribbon that runs along the Nhue River. The natural silk of Van Phuc, called Ha Dong silk and renowned for its finesse, is a high-end product very popular.
History of Van Phuc silk village
The sericulture and silk weaving of this village are nearly 1,000 years old. According to oral tradition, the first settlements on the banks of the Nhue River date back 1,200 years. Under Chinese rule, La Thi Nga, a girl from Van Phuc, taught the people of the village sericulture and silk weaving. Over time, this job has continued to grow, becoming the main livelihood of its inhabitants.
The pure silk
When we talk about Van Phuc, we immediately think about the types of fabrics: brocatelle (gâm) reserved for the royal court, silk (lua), gauze (sa), linen, satin, etc. These are typical products of the local population. Silk is obtained in a long process, starting with the planting of mulberry trees, which are the exclusive food for silkworms. The worms are then raised and the cocoon unwound after being immersed in boiling water, before dyeing the silk, drying it and then weaving it. After weaving, the fabric should be dyed again and dried.
The highlights of Van Phuc silk
Van Phuc silk is durable, beautiful, light and very soft. This is why many customers, especially foreign tourists, choose it, despite the many types of silk found on the Vietnamese market.
Vân silk is Van Phuc’s best-known product for its velvety and ornamental motifs. Satin is also appreciated for its quality and ornaments such as sunflower, Greek, etc. Its quality and originality earned the Van Phuc silk a number of awards at trade fairs: gold medal at the Giang Vo fair from 1988 to 1990, prize at the Quang Trung fair in Ho Chi Minh City in 1991, and 1992, etc.
Today, Van Phuc silk is sold not only in Vietnam, but is also exported to all corners of the world.
The place for discover the Vietnam silks
The villagers excel in the traditional activity of silk weaving. In the village there is a temple dedicated to the ancestor who teaches weaving to the local population and apprentices from other provinces.
In addition, the shops, all well stocked, are legion. The showcases filled with colorful fabrics dazzle passing visitors. Going to Van Phuc for the first time, it feels like being in the heart of the old district of Hanoi, in the streets Hàng Bông or Hàng Gai, animated for ages by the trade of silk and brocades. But behind these smart windows, the village has lost none of its authenticity. The clatter of the looms, which are passed down from generation to generation, still resonate in the homes.
Van Phuc silk village is a shopping destination for tourists
For about 10 years, the village of Van Phuc has been a favorite destination for travelers, especially foreigners. Visitors can choose silk items while trying to understand the process of producing them. Tourists can visit the production workshops where the machines are the same for centuries. According to Nguyen Huu Chinh, president of the Van Phuc craft village association, the village often hosts many foreigners. “In summer and on weekends, there can be up to 400 tourists daily,” he adds.
The silk quality of Van Phuc continues to stretch upward, adapting to the tastes of customers of all ages. In the past, Van Phuc’s silk was made for the garment of king, mandarin or rich families. This product was exhibited in some fairs, particularly in Paris in 1931 and in Marseille in 1938. Recently, Nguyen Huu Chinh has created two kinds of silk particularly appreciated. These are bristles decorated with lilies or bauhini flowers, which are creations of the craftsmen of Van Phuc.
In addition to silk weaving, Van Phuc sees tourism as an area to develop. For this, Van Phuc organized and participated in many events, aiming to present the Van Phuc silk. In recent years, the village participates in tourist festivals and craft villages and collaborates with some tourist agencies. Last year, more than 300 Van Phuc residents participated in festive events echoing the Millennium Thang Long-Hanoi.
Van Phuc is taking advantage of these assets to develop the smoke-free industry. Nguyen Huu Chinh said that the village has invested significant capital in building a product presentation center, a house of worship dedicated to the ancestor who brought the craft of weaving to the villagers, a large workshop, etc. According to him, the village intends to restore local sites such as the temple, the pagoda, etc.
How to get to Van Phuc silk village
With a view to reaching Van Phuc village, tourists should travel south west out of Ha Noi on Nguyen Trai Street until they reach the border of Ha Dong District. Then turn right and dive for about 3km. The village is on the left, some 8 km from central Hanoi. Motorbike, bus, or taxis are all of good use.
Or, tourists can book a day tours visiting handicraft villages around Hanoi to visit this village. Almost every handcraft or culture tours in Hanoi include Van Phuc silk village. As these tours offered are usually just one day tour from Hanoi, it is easy for tourists to arrange their time.
By Nam Huong