On the banks of the Nhue River about 6 miles (10 kilometers) southwest of Hanoi sits Van Phuc Silk Village. Of Vietnam’s many officially designated craft villages, Van Phuc is perhaps the best known and best developed. It’s also one of the oldest silk producing villages, with a history dating back more than 1,200 years. More than 700 households within the village are involved in silk production, and visitors will find three main streets lined with over 100 shops.
While modern silk shops and mechanized weaving are now the norm in Van Phuc, it remains the best place in the Hanoi area for buying silk products, and even if you’re not in the market to buy, it’s an excellent place to see up close how silk is produced, both with modern methods and traditional looms. In general, silk items in the village tend to be slightly cheaper than in Hanoi, and Van Phuc silk is known for its light weight and smooth appearance, making it cool in the summer yet warm in winter.
Van Phuc silk has been known for its smooth, light weight, and elegant appearance. Especially, a traditional kind of silk called Van Silk made in Van Phuc make the wearers feel cool in summer and warm in winter. Today, to satisfy various demand for silk of the market, Van Phuc silk producers have expanded their silk and garment goods like embroidered silk, , wrinkled silk, double layers and more colors for silk products.
Many families in Van Phuc open their own shops on the main road of the village; create a “town of silk” that sell eye-catching and high quality silk products. Tourists may buy available nice souvenir and clothes in the shop, or select the most suitable materials to then get customized products. The sellers are very friendly and can speak a little English and French to communicate to foreign tourists.
Nowadays, although the weaving has been mechanized for higher productivity, there are still simple manual looms in some houses in the village which help tourists contemplate the genuinely traditional Vietnamese way of making silk.
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