09:38 | 10/02/2020 Society
(VEN) - Hoi An used to be an important international trading port and a meeting place of Vietnamese silk products with clothing culture of other countries in the region and the world. Today, Hoi An Silk Village continues to act as a bridge to promote silk products and bring them closer to domestic and foreign consumers.
Maritime silk road
Nearly 400 years ago, Hoi An was considered an important trading port in Vietnam’s Dang Trong region, and its products were exported to Japan, China and Europe along the maritime silk road. Sources of raw silk cord were abundant in the region during the reign of the Nguyen Dynasty. French priest Alexandre de Rhodes, who visited Hoi An in the winter of 1624, commented that there was so much silk in the area that it could be used to make boats and fishing nets.
Every year, boats and ships from Japan, China, Portugal, the Netherlands and Italy sailed into Hoi An to buy raw silk cord and other kinds of silk. Li Tana wrote that the Japanese came to the Dang Trong region primarily to buy raw silk, which was gathered prior to their arrival and made available by the many Japanese traders who lived and did business in Hoi An.
According to historical records, with the expansion of the silk market, products from the Nha Xa-Ha Nam, Van Phuc, Ha Dong, Duy Xuyen and Ma Chau silk villages were brought along on trading boats to be sold in new regions.
Bringing Vietnamese silk to the world
Today, Hoi An is a favorite tourism destination of domestic and foreign tourists with numerous awards for its service quality. The preserved Hoi An Silk Village in the Old Quarter serves as a living museum of silkworm breeds, mulberry and craft weaving techniques from Vietnam’s silk making regions. Various kinds of silk like Ma Chau silk, Van Phuc silk, Bao Loc silk and Cham Pa silk are also presented there. Each silk craft village has its unique features, patterns, colors and combinations, which create a diverse silk culture.
According to Chairman of the Board of the Quang Nam Silk Joint Stock Company Le Thai Vu, Hoi An Silk Village is a successful venue for promoting Vietnamese silk to foreign visitors. They can watch silk weaving, learn about the silk weaving culture and buy a wide range of silk products. Foreign buyers mainly come from the UK, Australia and France.
Vu said Vietnamese silk has gradually affirmed its position at major events like the Asia Silk Association event held in Thailand in 2012, the first Silk Festival in Vietnam in 2014, the World Silk Association in Hangzhou China and many other festivals in France, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Thailand and India. The events provide a good opportunity to boost silk trading, preserve and promote the value of silk craft villages, and learn modern silk production, which helps boost economic growth in Vietnam’s rural areas.
The Hoi An Silk Village has an important role in connecting Vietnamese silk products with the world market. Through conferences and festivals on silk, domestic silk craft villages, production facilities and designers have found prestigious trade partners.
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