10:21 | 18/04/2016 Trade
(VEN) - The traditional silk weaving village of Van Phuc has managed to overcome difficulties to find new ways to maintain the local traditional craft while attempting to transform the village into an attractive tourist destination.
Van Phuc villagers are always proud of their silk products. Under the Nguyen Dynasty, Van Phuc’s Ha Dong silk products were selected for making imperial garments. During the French colonial period, Ha Dong silk products received a high award at the fair hosted in Marseille, France. At that time, Ha Dong silk products which were made by skillful artisans became one of the most popular choices for the well-off.
However, Van Phuc’s silk products which have faced fierce competition from foreign imported alternatives in an already contracting market. The introduction of low-quality cheap-priced industrial fiber fabrics has gradually won customers, which has affected Van Phuc’s silk products.
Van Phuc silk weaving artisans are pondering over on how to improve product quality and offer competitive prices to make their products survive in the market.
According to Chairman of the Van Phuc Silk Weaving Village Association Pham Khac Ha, silk is classified as a precious and desirable fabric requiring much labor. Silk weaving artisans have to work on elaborating every stage of production including sericulture, quality silk selection and working.
Silk is woven into different ivory smooth fabrics and then dyed into different colors from using natural materials such as plants and roots. The patterns on silk fabric are simple.
With their creative minds, Van Phuc silk weaving artisans have created Van silk, a unique embossed patterned product of the village. This product has better colors when dyeing and patterns on which are often cranes, pine, bamboo, chrysanthemum and ochna integerrima.
The non-fading dyeing technology developed by experienced silk weaving artisan Le Van Thanh has helped Van Phuc silk products compete. Thanks to non-fading vivid colors, silk products now attract more customers.
Van Phuc silk weaving artisans have overcome a lot of difficulties in recent years in terms of material and technology, for example, they had to purchase raw silk of untraceable origin and adopted low silk processing technology. In addition, they had also to compete with cheaper alternatives smuggled from China.
Recognizing these difficulties while implementing the city’s policy to restore local traditional craft villages, the Ha Dong District People’s Committee has prepared and implemented a business and commercial services development project with a focus on the restoration of Van Phuc silk weaving village.
Along with maintaining the existing pavilions, the Van Phuc Silk Weaving Village Association is responsible for advising and establishing silk weaving businesses to boost silk fabric production and expand the market. The association has also provided assistance for craft villages in terms of renovation, contributing to boosting local tourism and trade.
In recent three years, the association has been invited by the Mekong Institute, an intergovernmental organization run by six governments in the Greater Mekong Sub-region including Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, to participate in silk textile seminars. The organizing committee also invited a number of silk producers in several other countries including India, Japan and Australia, Pham Khac Ha said.
Through participating in these seminars, the association has had opportunities to showcase silk products at trade fairs organized in Thailand, Italy and Russia, which were rated good, beautiful and high quality while further promoting village tourism development.
Van Phuc today looks new and tidy as its infrastructure has been replanned and rebuilt. Visitors may hear the sound from silk textile mills and see diligent silk weavers at work.
Many silk weaving villages across the country, including Van Phuc, had to find their own way to survive and develop in a market economy and have proved successful in craft preservation associated with tourism development.
Van Phuc now has become a familiar destination for tourists on village tours. Visitors have chances to buy genuine Van Phuc silk products, visit silk production facilities, talk with silk weaving artisans, and learn about the production process as well as the history of the village.
Source: Duong Nga