Hanoi handicraft village tour – Discovering lotus silk from Vietnam

There are plenty of handicraft villages in Hanoi which preserve and greatly show the cultural quintessence of Vietnam in general and of Hanoi in particular. More interestingly, the authentic products from these villages give us an excellent collection for souvenir choices. As reviewed by many tourists, when talking about which handicrafts to buy as gifts after a Hanoi trip or Vietnam trip, many choose to bring home with silk or silk-originated items. But hold on for a second, have you ever heard of silk made from lotus? Let take a Hanoi handicraft village tour to discover the unique lotus silk from Vietnam.

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1. The homeland of lotus silk from Vietnam:

The destination in our Hanoi day tour is Phung Xa Commune in My Duc District, about 40 km from Hanoi City center which was recognized as a traditional trade village in 2002. Since 1929, Phung Xa Commune has been widely famous for its traditional scarf and towel weaving. When visiting the village, you will be amazed by the rustic charms from its tile-roof houses, the beautiful hibiscus flower fences along the village road and yes its friendly and hospitable people.

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Phung Xa Commune has been long widely well-known for its sophisticated weaving items. The villagers still follow this traditional trade as a way of making a living and to keep their traditions.

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2. What is unique about lotus silk from Vietnam – Hanoi handicraft village tour:

The highlight on our Hanoi handicraft village tour is to explore lotus silk – one of the most unique master pieces of Vietnamese artisans. It is now time for us to learn about it.

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Lotus silk is weaved from lotus fiber. And yes the lotus fiber is meticulously and skillfully extracted from lotus stem. According to Mrs. Phan Thi Thuan in Phung Xa Commune – the very first artisan succeeding in making lotus silk from lotus stem said: “it takes more than 10 days to extract 250 g of lotus silk from about 3,000 stems, just enough for weaving a scarf. She added, “lotus silk is as fragile as smoke and that is a labor-intense process. It’s a true gift from the Mother Nature”.

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3. How does the artisan make a complete lotus silk item?

On our Hanoi handicraft village tour, we have the ample chance to admire the refined process of making a complete lotus silk scarf. Keep on exploring in the following part.

From lotus to lotus silk:

The complete process of making lotus silk has 3 steps. Beginning with the growing lotus of course, then comes with the harvesting lotus stems, then extracting lotus fiber from lotus stems.

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“In order to have the most appropriate lotus stems ready for extracting silk, we need to carefully control from the stage of collecting lotus stems”, Mrs. Thuan said. She has grown a lotus field near her house to build a material source for making the unique item.

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As Mrs. Thuan said, for the most productive lotus silk, the silk stems needed to be extracted for silk fiber within 24 hours after being harvested. If the head of silk stems gets dry, the silk fiber is utterly ruined. Extracting silk fiber is time-consuming and requires a lot of cares. To make fine silk yarns, the artisan must roll the yarns properly.

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Spinning and weaving need special care because the lotus fiber is so thin. Let’s take a closer look to the process.

Lotus silk making – Vietnamese language

From lotus silk to lotus silk products:

Depending on the thickness, the length and the sophistication of an item, this process can take long or short time. When we have been through one of the most time-consuming processes in making a lotus silk product – extracting silk from lotus stem, the remaining process will become more comfortable. After many failures in more than one year, Mrs. Thuan successfully weaved a lotus silk scarf with a distinctive scent. 

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Mrs. Thuan also shared: “it requires 4,800 lotus stems to make a scarf of 1,7m length and 2,5 cm width. The whole process can take up to one month”. Due to the sophisticated and labor-intense operation, the price for one lotus-silk item is quite high. One lotus-silk scarf can be sold at about VND 4 million, depending on its type and size. 

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4. How to get to Phung Xa Commune from Hanoi – Hanoi handicraft village tour:

The distance from Hanoi City center to Phung Xa Commune is about 40 km. You can get their either by public bus No. 103 – My Dinh Bus Station to Huong Son. The duration is about 2 hours. You will get off at the last stop – My Duc District. From here to Phung Xa Commune, you need to take other 8 km. You can refer to a very Vietnamese transportation – xe om (motorbike transfer service).

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Another way is to use the local taxi which will deliver you right at the place.

Other option for you is to refer to a private transfer service with GoAsiaDayTrip. Visit the company website or directly contact us via our hotline number: +84-9-4161-8080

Now that you have learn about the exotic lotus silk from Vietnam with our enticing Hanoi handicraft village tour. When are you gonna make your own tour? Wish you have such a great time then!

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