Located about 10 km from Hoan Kiem Lake, Van Phuc silk village still retains the original characteristics of an ancient village of Vietnam, with age old banyan trees, wells and communal house.
The village has been renowned for its traditional sericulture, weaving, and silk products. Tourists coming here are lured by various beautiful shirts, crafts, ties, dresses and many other items of silk available in the village. What is special is that the silk is made by very simple looms, which is the genuinely traditional Vietnamese way of making silk fabric.
For centuries, silk has been considered an extreme luxury, on par with rhinoceros horn, ivory and precious handworks in Vietnam. It has long been a universal byword of luxury, often worn by the richest, most powerful citizens. Most visitors somehow have heard about the significant role of this kind of material in Vietnam, yet might wonder where the cradle of Vietnamese silk lies. The mentioned Van Phuc Silk Village is proud to be the origin of best silk and silk-making industry of Vietnam, which is attached to a long-lasting history of more than two thousand years. Though enduring many ups and downs during that time, in recent years the village’s craft has enjoyed a revival due to a surging demand for silk in both the domestic and foreign markets.
Today, the fine and lustrous cloth that originates from the cocoon of the silkworm is more affordable to “ordinary” folk. Furthermore, silk is currently enjoying a fashion renaissance, particularly since its many varieties can be made into a wide range of designs suitable for all facets of modern life. Should you intend to have a silk pair of formal clothes made, just come here and select the materials that suit you, and professional tailors will bring you satisfaction!
Like other visitors to the village, you will be surprised at this “silk shop town”, where almost all houses along the paths have been turned into shops selling silk products. The village is now home to 1,280 households, with 90% involved in silk production and business. More than 2 million meters of silk are produced here each year. Most importantly, coming here offers you a good chance to explore the Vietnamese traditional industry of silk-making.
No tourists here are left discontented when they glimpse the variety of glistening silk products. They are always confronted with an initially bewildering array of silk items, from raw materials to garments, and a myriad of silk accessories. The local silk is known for its smooth and lightweight appearance, and of qualities that enable it to be dyed more colors to suit a variety of skin tones. In order to cater to the changing demands and tastes of customers, Van Phuc silk producers are expanding their silk and garment repertoire: traditional glossy, embroidered silks, double layers, wrinkled silks, and of course, more colors, hues and weights, for which they have invented new techniques in dying and thermo-processing of the threads.
If you are going to buy something from Vietnam to bring back as a gift for those at home, all types of silk and clothes made of silk of your choice are available in the village. Though the days when Vietnam’s silk was reserved for nobility are long past, what will never change is the sense of romance and luxury imparted by silk, a luminous type of cloth. With 2000 years of history behind them, the silk weavers of Van Phuc Silk village are still busy, weaving dreams.
Some photos of the ancient silk village: