Have any visitors here seen “Ao lua Ha Dong”, a Vietnamese famous film which is lasted 135 minutes and telling about war and love of director Luu Huynh. This film was released in 2006 and was rewarded the Golden Kite Award for Best Film. And from this name of this film, Silk Dress become a familiar name with Vietnamese people, especially for whom living in Hanoi. Actually, Silk Dress is not a product of the imagination. Silk Dress is real and it is also one of traditional trade villages of Hanoi. In Vietnamese, we call Silk Dress as “Ao Lua”.
1. The origin of Ao Lua:
“Ao Lua” is a product of Ha Dong silk village, or Van Phuc silk village (now belongs to Van Phuc ward, Ha Dong district, about 10km away from the centre of Hanoi). Ha Dong silk village is the most beautiful silk weaving village which has been famous for many centuries. It owns many oldest patterns in Vietnam and it is also chosen to dress the for the royal family.
Van Phuc silk was first introduced to international market at the Marseille market (1931) and was regarded by the French as the most delicated product of Indochina. Since 1958, Van Phuc silk has been exported to Eastern European and many countries around the world.
2. Silk weaving techniques of Ha Dong village:
To make special silk products, the workers of Van Phuc silk village have to carry out a process which includes many stages such as silk, lacquer, weaving, dyeing, stretch drying…. From the first stage, the workers not only wrap the thread ỉnto a tube but also need to select the thread and hewn the thread in order to ensure that the color of the silk thread is white, smooth, hairless. After that, this thread must be fibered.
After silking, yarn have to glue. The fiber lining is made with warp yarns and requires a high technology. Workers have to add beeswax to the glueing for spinning, while using their own secret to make the fiber after the duct become more flexible.
Using loom to weave. If weaving smooth silk, then use straight woof and go round woof. Weaving flowers also need enough manipulations as weaving plain but having a little bit differences. Before weaving, workers need to draw the flower patterns on paper. The main weaver put the patternson a table to weave and then a sub weaver set flowers. Folk call weaving flowers by a name, double weaving, to distinguish from the single weaving when making smooth silks.
At the dyeing stage, not all kinds of silk are dyed but excepting for some are pure white or yellow like ivory silk. There are some types which are dyed from the fiber thread stage, such as brocade, but we also have the types just are dyed only when we finish.
3. The variety of Ha Dong silk fabrics:
Handmade silk items of Vietnam include many different types.
- Brocade: thick textiles with many different colors to create various types of brocade, such as broccoli, rosemary, red leaf.
- Vein: A thin silk with floating flowers and sinking flowers.
- Silk: includes all kinds of silk such as smooth silk or flower silk.
- Gauze, bracelet, band and cinnamon.
- Stature, satin and segment.
Having an opportunity to visit Hanoi, we recommend that visitors should not forget visit Ha Dong silk village and choose your own beautiful sourvenirs. Ha Dong silk village tour will leave for you a lot of interesting and impressed moments that you never wanna miss in your life!