The artisanal villages of Vietnam

The Vietnamese government is very involved in the promotion and conservation of its local crafts and aims at developing rural industry.
There are a number of traditional Vietnamese products: decorative objects in bamboo, rattan, or plaited with water hyacinths, ceramic pottery, wooden or stone sculptures, lacquering, handmade paper, metal work, the traditional lanterns covered in silk, incense sticks…
villages artisans vietnam
These crafts are still actively practiced in thousands of specialised areas called “trade villages” situated in every province of the country. In certain hamlets we can count up to 90% of the population who work in the production of a certain craft.
The majority of crafts from minority ethnicities in Vietnam are made in trade villages. A few notable examples would be the Hmong fabrics dyed with indigo, the fine brocades worked by the Dao and the Lô Lôs of the north, hand woven textiles, made in a wide variety of traditional patterns, colours and decorative detailing.
Basket weaving has also become a very important craft in Vietnam. The Khemers are known for their bowls, their large plaited baskets and pouches in natural or dyed reeds.
villages artisans vietnam
Visiting the trade villages allows one to discover the local craftsmanship in the workshops, to meet the local skilled and creative artisans and to see their methods of production. In textiles, the Vietnamese have cultivates ancestral techniques for working with silk and embroidery.
The Thanh Ha village has specialised in embroidery for over a century. Of 8000 inhabitants, more than 65% take part in this celebrated work. From the skilled hands of the embroiderers, the most delicate and complicates flowers emerge, contemporary or inspired by a drawing from the 18th century, they become decorations for cushions, handkerchiefs, bed covers or curtains.
villages artisans vietnam
Since the 1990s, as the country opened up to the international market, there has been an increased demand for craft worked products which export well and allow the trade villages to maintain their prestigious, local and international reputation.