Craft villages in Vietnam

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Tan Chau Silk Village

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Silk of Tan Chau (An Giang) has been welknown in local and international market. People do not aware when it started existing but there is a fact that Ha Dong in the North and Tan Chau in the South are two biggest silk weaving centers in whole Vietnam.

Back to history, in the beginning of 20th century, silk weaving was much in vogue in the Southern areas. There were more demand than the supply capacity for Tan Chau silk, it was exported to Cambodia & France. Along riversides of Tien river and Hau river, from Cambodia border to Tan Chau, Tan An, Cho Moi, especially at the Tan An, Vinh Hoa (Tan Chau), Long Dien, Cho Thu (Cho Moi) villages, there were immense mulberry groves & silkworm baskets everywhere. Houseboats are close together to form a floating village. There are green mulberry groves on both riversides. Houses are in close proximity to one another where we can easily notice looms and beautiful weavers inside the house and you can hear the clatter of shuttle anytime in Tan An, Vinh Hoa, Long Dien, Cho Thu (Cho Moi),...

Tan Chau people are very proud of their well known silk homeland with nice designs & soft silk, unfading as colors dyed by natural materials such as indigo & mangrove,... Tan Chau is also famous because of its unique item called “My A – Heavenly beauty” which was the dream of any woman in the beginning of 20th century. My A has shinny black colors, durable, soft, airy in summer and warm in winter, humid absorb, unstuffy like nylon products and being dyed by the reverse side,... therefore My A is called as “Queen” of silks.

It is a masterstroke of going through many stages from 20 days to a month to create a nice silk batch. The production also depends on weather and can not be implemented in anyplace. First stage is looms brushing, spinning, thread selecting. Under the precise selection of weaver, every single thread is examined because even a bigger thread shall make the un-smooth silk surface. After weaving in a piece, silk is soaked, washed, dried, kept with forest resin, color dyed, sun dried the second time and then color died the second time,... They have to choose to dry silk in a soft sunlight in order to protect silk from damage. Forest resin for silk soaking must be extracted at the right season in order to make right color. All the steps are handmade without chemical treatment therefore silk is durable, shinning with the time flow.

Since the diversification of silks in the market, especially since the import of silk from China and Thailand with cheaper price and more varieties, Tan Chau’s silk are facing with difficulties. The simple-heart weavers do not have experience to actively in marketing their products. Recently, some French incidentally realized the perfect beauty of Tan Chau silk, they have placed orders for My A silk to supply for European fashion. Tan Chau weavers have more confidence in their high quality products and hope the brighter future with more business cooperation opportunities to bring My A silk to more and more people.

(Source: viri.org.vn)

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