Sunday, 05/11/2023 09:40

Vạn Phúc Silk Village celebrates timeless craft

SILK STREET: Vạn Phúc Silk Village attracts many tourists. — VNS Photo Thanh Nga

By Thanh Nga

Vạn Phúc Silk Village is currently adorned with a newfound sense of pride as its silk weaving has been recognised as a national intangible cultural heritage.

This distinction highlights the village's crucial role in preserving and promoting Việt Nam's traditional silk weaving.

The path leading to the village, located in Hà Đông District, 10 kilometres from central Hà Nội, is adorned with captivating displays of vibrant colours, symbolising the essence of the silk homeland.

A magnificent procession of umbrellas and kites stretches for hundreds of metres, while meticulously arranged silk reels and large-scale paintings showcase the intricate silk production process that defines the village's identity.

The formal ceremony commemorating Vạn Phúc Silk Village's status as a national intangible cultural heritage was held during the recent Vạn Phúc Cultural Tourism and Trade Week, which aimed to promote the rich tradition of silk weaving and invigorate tourism in this historic trading village.

FOREIGN BUYERS: Many tourists at home and from abroad purchase silk products at Vạn Phúc Silk Village. — VNS Photo Thanh Nga

Vạn Phúc has long been renowned for its traditional silk weaving craft of over 1,000 years, with artisans passing down their techniques and trade secrets through the generations. The silk produced in Vạn Phúc is famed for its exceptional quality, unique colours, and traditional floral pattern designs. 

Nguyễn Thị An, the owner of Thúy An Silk Shop, expressed her happiness and pride in the village's ancient craft.

"I am overjoyed and filled with pride that our village has been recognised as a national intangible cultural heritage, considering its ancient craft. It is my heartfelt desire to preserve and further develop this craft, ensuring that Vạn Phúc silk becomes favourite by a wide range of consumers," An told Việt Nam News.

Vạn Phúc is a remarkable cultural and historical destination in Việt Nam. According to historical records, the trade of raising silk worms and weaving silk cloth started in the area over 1,000 years ago.

During the feudal era, Vạn Phúc silk was chosen to make exclusive costumes for royal families of the Nguyễn Dynasty.

In 1931-1932, Vạn Phúc silk made its international debut at fairs in Marseille and Paris in France, garnering significant attention and praise.

During the 1960s to 1980s, Vạn Phúc silk was exported to various Eastern European countries. Since 1990, silk products have been exported worldwide.

In 2010, artisan Nguyễn Hữu Chỉnh designed the exquisite Long Vân silk fabric to commemorate the 1,000th founding anniversary of Thăng Long – Hà Nội, further solidifying Vạn Phúc silk's position in Việt Nam's textile and garment industry.

ANCIENT CRAFT: The silk weaving process in Vạn Phúc Village today remains true to its traditional roots. — VNS Photo Thanh Nga

According to artisan Trần Thị Ngọc Lan, the silk weaving process in Vạn Phúc today remains true to its traditional roots. Once the weaving is complete, the silk fabric undergoes meticulous stages of bleaching and dyeing, each of which requires intricate attention to detail.

"To produce silk cloth of exceptional quality, a single loom can only weave 5-7 metres of silk per day, and each weaver can only operate one machine," Lan said.

According to Nguyễn Văn Dự, chairman of the Vạn Phúc Ward People's Committee, the villagers produce around 70 different varieties of silk, satin, and brocade, each featuring unique patterns. Annually, the village supplies the market with over one million metres of high-quality silk fabrics, generating a revenue of over US$4 million.

The village holds the distinction of being recognised as "The oldest silk-weaving village still in operation today" by the Việt Nam Records Book Centre. Additionally, the Hà Nội People's Committee recognises it as a "City Tourism Destination".

Visitors from around the world appreciate the beauty of Vạn Phúc Silk Village. Agnieszka Okzewska from Poland expressed her delight visiting the village for the first time, praising the abundance of silk products available.

MATERIAL GIRL: Vietnamese tourist Trịnh Thị Hoàn is interested in wearing Vạn Phúc silk. — VNS Photo Thanh Nga

In addition to its stunning silk products, Vạn Phúc Village offers a captivating glimpse into ancient Vietnamese cultural features, such as banyan trees, communal courtyards, and wells. The village has introduced two new tours since 2022, leading to a significant increase in tourists.

The administration and people of Vạn Phúc are committed to preserving their village's heritage, promoting local crafts and tourism products, and improving the lives of the villagers. VNS

 RECOGNISED: Tourists came to Vạn Phúc Silk Village during Vạn Phúc Cultural Tourism and Trade Week. — VNS Photo Thanh Nga

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